Anyone interested in the progress of our Open Table roleplaying game set in the world of Hiraeth and powered by AD&D will be pleased to know that it’s still gaining some momentum. Despite me having to cancel a session last week due to illness, this week has seen some lobbying from players to get more play plus the introduction of some new players. This is exciting me, as GM, because it’s evidence that this approach to play is working.
The players who have played a couple of sessions (or more) are starting to prod me into setting up further sessions. This is great because, honestly, it bucks the usual pattern where that the GM has to champion the game and organise sessions. For me, this is a barrier to running games because it’s hard work.
In Hiraeth, although there are only a handful of players, their enthusiasm and desire to keep playing is energising. It’s got me thinking in terms of at least a game a fortnight and even seriously considering weekly sessions. I can’t remember the last time this kind of momentum built around one of my games.
The best recruiters to a game are the players. They usually don’t see it as their role, however, so it generally falls to the GM to find new souls. With the Open Table, some players have twigged that getting new players to join their expedition means they will have more characters in the group and, therefore, a better chance of survival.
This week I have had two new players show up and ask to create characters. At least one of those comes from an existing player finding a friend. I think that good word from the rest of the extended player group has attracted the other.
Because the game is fluid and open to anyone without long-term commitment, I am noticing players who have asked for a character so they are ready to jump in if/when their schedule aligns with mine. This is awesome because there is already a much larger pool to draw from than I would dream of having for a dedicated table.
Flexible Play Is Fun
This open and flexible attitude from all players (and the GM) is making the game friendly to all the busy people who know I am running the game. It’s opening up the one-off appearance of a character and their player for a meaningful session… which, in turn, is enriching everyone’s play. I think this might be the biggest reason why D&D (when it arrived 1974+) caught on: there’s a really good buzz around not quite knowing who is playing next time.
One player commented that it’s loads of fun to discover that other players have both been involved in sessions you haven’t and, on top of that, might have knowledge and goals that are different to what you expected. The sharing of information, insight, and goals appears to be making the game a different kind of fun to the regular dedicated table experience. I am enjoying seeing the players shape their play from the raw material my prep provides.
Overall, their ideas are fuelling my desire to play. Players are offering lots of interesting tidbits and suggestions too, all of which adds to the melange. On game night, I don’t really know what to expect and it’s as much a play experience for me as for them. Discovering the emergent narrative of Hiraeth is buckets of fun for me.
I am kicking myself for not being free to play tonight… but I wanted to. We’ve got another Friday session coming on the 8th July and I cannot wait to play!