Sunday, February 21, 2010

Tarrantino, Brooks, Gilliam

A few years back, when I was in Japan, I was part of the Ebisu Gaming Club. Founding member, in fact. It wasn't as pretentious as it sounds, actually. I came into contact first with "GMSteve" and then "Angryman" on the WotC message boards. They both lived in Tokyo and wanted to game, I was close enough, as was my friend Gene. So the 4 of us would get together once a month on Sundays for 7-8 hour game sessions, mostly of RPGs (and primarily d20 games, as we were into them at the time) but board games or other things too. A few other people would join on occasion, and Gene finally moved back to Canada and a fellow named Tim took his place.

We went through lots of short RPG campaigns. We'd start off with a bang, then fizzle out shortly. d20 Conan ended on the 3rd session when Pete (Angryman) got drunk on mead while DMing and suddenly poison-weaponed Picts were swarming everywhere and TPK. Our Eberron campaign died after one too many too-tough encounters nearly wiped the party of characters we were heavily invested in and didn't want to lose. My d20 Future Aliens/Predator game was meant to be short, and we actually completed it and then moved on to other things. We tried out a "narrative" game Steve was working on, in several incarnations, but it never seemed to go right.

By the end, just before Steve found out he'd have to move back to the States for his company, he was heavily into the Forge's creations but also jonesing to get back to some BX D&D--which finally broke me of the d20 craze and made me realize that BECM was what I really wanted to play.

Anyway, we often discussed just why we had so much fun but couldn't keep at one game/campaign/system long enough to really get into it. One day, Steve offered the following assessment:

Steve's gaming style was Quentin Tarrantino. He liked it cool, edgy, and violent.

Pete's gaming style was Terry Gilliam. He liked it weird and funky.

My gaming style was Mel Brooks. I liked it odd but humorous.

Yes, my Aliens/Predator game was filled with some of the most tense moments in our gaming, but also with the most silly and gut-busting funny ones, too.

I think I've lost that Brooks charm lately. I think I need a bit more "Stupid" in my "Retro."

So anyone else out there got a style similar to a movie director?

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