We suck at breaking the cycle…

2008 March 11
by Dante

I was spending some time tonight thinking about all of the different gaming systems that I have been adjacent to over the years and how utterly terrible our group is at adapting to new campaign settings or rules systems.

The Great Resistance

For some reason, our group is change resistant. We have tried several different systems over the years and despite the different flavors and genres we keep coming back to traditional D&D.

The reasons for resistance have been varied and numerous. I wanted to give Deadlands a try, however the strange character generation rules and utter complexity to combat made it fizzle out after only a session or two. Kanati, my co-DM for our current D&D campaign, wanted to introduce us to Call of Cthulhu. It lasted several sessions, but for some reason running a roleplaying game in a modern setting just wasn’t resonating with our crew. I actually liked the fear system and the ephemeral “X-Files” feel to the whole session, but I guess the rest of our crew wasn’t really feeling it as much.

Does your group have a comfort zone?

We’ve tried limiting the number of sessions for a new game system or campaign setting, and it really hasn’t helped the situation. It appears that our core group simply prefers the Greyhawk/Forgotten Realms classic D&D experience.

Does your gaming group have a comfort zone? Has anyone succeeded in breaking out of this comfort zone and trying some new things with any measure of success? Is there something (besides the obvious) wrong with us?

Lets hear it!!

4 Responses leave one →
  1. Grant Woodward permalink
    March 12, 2008

    No question our group has a comfort zone – pretty much all quasi-medieval fantasy. And whether it’s low-magic (the Birthright setting) or high-magic (Eberron, current homebrew campaign), we play pretty standard D&D. The only recent exception has been an on-again, off-again game set in the World of Darkness, but played without a real system – pure descriptive roleplaying.

    I’ve been reminding myself to buy Unknown Armies and give that a try – I think the weirdness of the setting (and the fact that it’s modern-day without being a different universe like WoD) and simplicity of play would go over well with the group as a pleasant change from d20 rules. Likewise, there are hints now and again of someone starting an Exalted game. Unfortunately, with several other games “queued up”, the odds of either happening anytime soon are slim.

  2. Jamie permalink
    March 12, 2008

    Our group’s comfort zone seems to have no limit. We’ve done Eberron for the most part. We’ve done a Sharn campaign (never leaving the city itself), a nationalistic campaign, a high-flying adventure campaign, etc. . We actually get a little antsy if we’re too familiar with a place.
    However, I think that our group has a comfort zone with our DM. His spin on pre-made adventures and his ingrained style in home-brews are what we’re really comfy with.
    The setting isn’t really a problem as long as our loveable DM is in the chair.

  3. DNAphil permalink
    March 13, 2008

    For a long time our group was very fluid in going from system to system, from setting to setting. There are some strong likes and dislikes among our group of players.

    With the release of d20, we have been playing a lot of d20 games as of late, and a lot of fantasy (D&D and Iron Heroes).

    It has been discussed that after our current campaigns, that many want to take a break from Fantasy and try some other settings again.

    Personally, I am not so tired of settings as I am of system. Having played so much d20, in the past few years, I am eager to branch out and try a number of other systems. I am curious about the Burring Wheel/Empires system, Classic Traveler, and a few other games like Qin.

  4. kanati permalink
    March 13, 2008

    My original group was very comfortable with just about anything. We would switch from D&D to Warhammer to Tolkein to Shadowrun to Star Wars to Call of Cthulhu (though that was our favorite) to Traveller… But SR’s current group just has no stomach for change. 🙂

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