Playing with strangers

Although I don’t think of my regular group as strangers, I did meet them all through my regular game. But in the last month I’ve played in six different games with people I had never met before. Thankfully the people were all cool, friendly, and well adjusted. In fact, this past weekend I played in a game run by @gamefiend (of the popular At Will blog) and I had only met him two weeks ago while playing Pandemic!

There are a lot of advantages to playing with new people. I’ve learned new techniques for role-playing, tips for running characters, cool race/class/power combos, and I have better understanding of the rules from gaming through unfamiliar scenarios. I also go to make contacts in the game industry and met others bloggers that have already helped me out. Gaming with an unfamiliar group is a like skill challenge: it’s work xp if you succeed, and if it fails, maybe you get into a fight, but noone dies.

I find there is always risk and fear when meeting new people. I have not always clicked with a random group. In my experience this happens when there is a big disparity in age between yourself and the other players. It’s also tough when the other people already all know each other–it takes awhile to become part of an established group, and you won’t have that time if it’s a one-shot. Fortunately, this is a whole lot better than dating: first of all you already have something in common (D&D), and secondly, there’s no fear of “gamer shame” (that tingle of embarrassment some people have when telling non-gamers about their hobby).

In conclusion, I don’t have a lot of advice about how to meet new people game with (conventions, gamedays, the friendly local professional game store, the internet), but I highly suggest that you do. It’s a great way to learn new aspects of the hobby and make new friends.

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2 thoughts on “Playing with strangers

  1. It was totally fun to have you! I look forward to the monthly semi-monthly gathering; I think we have a fun group.

    But yeah, it can be touchy gaming with new people sometimes. You take that risk that you might not mesh in personality or with gaming styles.

    I did my best to try and mix up the people who didn’t know each other in the game to get people comfortable and I think I was at least partly successful. 🙂

  2. Agreed. It’s a calculated risk every time. Sometimes I meet folks like you and @SarakDarkmagic and sometimes, playing with strange people means playing with…strange people. Remind me to tell you sometime about the Game Day I played at in New York, where one of the players was an 8 year old playing a fighter named Rosa Parks, and another was her father who claimed to be a D&D whiz, but who seemed to have no concept of how his spells actually worked.

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