Monday, September 27, 2010

Forgotten Group Dynamics

I played in Rob's monthly game this past Saturday and forgotten a little about how group dynamics can go. The group I play with on Monday night has been together for too long to remember, except Rusty Battle Axe, he's new, but he blends in so much that it seems like he's been there the entire time. I've been trying to shake my anti-social instincts and get out and game among others. It's interesting to see.

Saturday night the group was traveling through a maze beneath an ancient elven temple. Rob just had the party run into us at the beginning so I didn't have to wait in a coconut or any other novelty introduction. Next time I may request my character enter like an 80's rock star floating down from the darken above with fireworks and theme music playing. Anyway.

The group was made up of five party members with Rob DMing. Had a slight age range where I believe I was the oldest player and the youngest was 11 or 12. I used to work with kids for many years so they don't bother me unless they whine. Hunter, talks a lot, but is just excited about the game. I can appreciate that. And he cracked me a up a few times. All the others were adults.

One played a thug, he kept running up to doors and checking for traps and opening them while the rest of the party was way behind or in another room. First, he couldn't detect traps worth a goblin's toe and second I had the skill and the cleric in the party had a Find Traps spell. I'm not sure why the thug was in a hurry since all the treasure was divided up in the end anyway. The only thing I can figure is he was hoping to find an amazing magic item and get first dibs on it or maybe an artifact. But if there is an artifact laying around somewhere usually its guarded by some nasty stuff. And you may need the backing of the party. One incident where the thug knowingly released a gas trap in a room where everyone stood killed the cleric. Rob said some of the most feared words in gaming, "Save or Die!" Cleric didn't make his save.

Now the only healer in the group has assumed room temperature. If this had been a normal group I gamed with I may have given him the displeased elf treatment, but I wanted to see how it worked out. The Monday Night group is very methodical in our approach. There are so few of us that keeping together is vital. As far as treasure goes, whoever it benefits the best it goes to and if none of us can use it or has better stuff we give it to one of our henchmen.

Don't get me wrong, I was enjoying this aspect of the game I hadn't experienced in a while. And the person was playing a thug so one would expect a certain amount of greed and stupidity. The cleric got resurrected. I was a little disappointed by that. Sometimes I think it's too easy to rectify character death. But for the fun of the party I understand why. I'm sure we got lucky as a party in many ways because there were a few encounters that had the potential to wipe out the party. In those times the party came together.

I plan on making a few more games, playing with different people and just see how the group works. Sometimes I do forget just because I am not exposed to it. I can read about it a hundred times, but it's not until you sit across the table and experience the difference does it sink in.

That's my mindless Monday rant. Another game night tonight. I have no idea where we are or what we are doing. Last week we had lots of fun struggling to get Fantasy Grounds up and running right. Have a good start to your week and have fun gaming.


  1. I can understand your feeling about the cleric's resurrection. But the decision was based on some great roleplaying in the prior session so hence the break.

    However now the thug is going to have some interesting times ahead of him.

  2. I figured there would be and very much looking forward to see what happens. And I agree, Janus is a great character and fun to have in the party. When the raise happened no one was sure why or how it happened. Not that we need to know the details, I'm glad to hear that it comes with a price.

  3. The (gratefully) resurrected Cleric wishes to warn all future gamers:

    "Never, NEVER stay in the same room with a Thug who is about to release gas!"


  4. A bit of explanation about the Thug's motivation in hurrying ahead... He (His character Hazar) has decided that only items that others in the party have also seen need to be divided up among the party. Hazar will attempt to claim that since none of the other characters were in the same room at the time, that none of us saw him slip that magical gegaw into his robes, or that potion, or those ten gold crowns! He also doesn't mind keeping evil items in hopes of profiting in the future from selling them or even using them, but the Cleric will insist that those items be destroyed. The cleric didn't go into the noxious room he discovered in the temple - simply because the Cleric - having just been resurrected after succumbing to poison gas, decided she didn't really want to investigate another room full of potentially hazardous fumes right away... (total waffle) Cleric is not grateful to the bum thug for said resurrection - personal sacrifice or no - since she rightfully believes that it was the stupid smelly male humand's fault that she was gassed - and also had very nearly died on two previous occasions, when stupid thug left rest of party paralyzed in order to explore by himself!