Get your game on the table!

What’s that over there on your shelf?  You know, the dusty game you bought a while back that never seems to make it onto the table!

Wait, what’s that?  Nobody wants to play it?

I find that hard to believe.  Because, I mean, you want to play it, right?  Of course!  Otherwise you wouldn’t have bought it.

So my question to you is: if you want to play, there have got to be 3-6 other people on the planet who want to play it too.  Fair assumption?

Regardless, here we sit with an empty table and a dusty game.

Listen, I get it.  I mean, I’m the guy learning AD&D 1st Edition when D&D 5e is the hottest thing in town!  Even I was at my FLGS tonight flipping through those shiny, sexy 5e books.  But let’s not get distracted.

You’ve got a game you want to play.  So how are we going to get your game on the table?

The old college try

The old college try is your first best bet.  So you’ve got a game that you want to play.  Have you actually asked anybody to play with you?  Or are you assuming that folks don’t want to play your dumb old game?

Let me be completely frank.  I can’t count the myriad people who have played the Wicket the Ewok board game with me.  Gamers game.  And most gamers are willing to try any old game.

But maybe you don’t have an FLGS or a thriving gaming community near you.  What can you do?  Find a game online!  And here’s how:

Just last night, I started a Mad Cleric Facebook group.  There are two purposes to this group:

  1. Discussing content from madcleric.com and
  2. Finding folks to play games online

So you want to play your game?  Join the group and put the idea out there!  Give it the old college try!

Ask for feedback as you play

As I’ve been playing AD&D 1e with my home group, I’m trying to keep an open dialogue going.  They’re a remarkably accommodating group, pretty much rolling with whatever the GM wants to put on the table.  But I recognize that we started as a Star Wars RPG group, not an AD&D 1e group.  So I’m trying to keep the conversation going.

Because here’s the thing–you never know that you’re going to like a game until you start playing it.  And as the person who brings the game to the table, you’ve got to be the first one willing to set it aside as well.  If your group doesn’t like it, there’s always other groups out there.

This is why I try to set clear expectations when I bring new games to the table.  With AD&D, I told my players they can expect 6-8 sessions, then we’ll discuss if we want to continue or move on to another game.

Course correct to gain momentum

As I’ve been talking to my group about AD&D and Chasing the Dragon, I’m noticing my group gravitating toward some other AD&D modules that were not written by Gary Gygax.  Specifically, U1 The Secret of Saltmarsh and I6 Ravenloft.  So I’m doing the unthinkable!  I’m changing course…slightly.

I’ve decided to integrate more than only Gygax’s modules into Chasing the Dragon.  Instead, I’m aiming to play what are considered the most classic, most excellent modules of AD&D.  Granted, many of those are going to be Gygax titles.  But there will be a few others tossed in.  But what does this have to do with you?

If you’re finding your gaming group isn’t totally enjoying the game you brought to the table, course correct to fit the group.  After all, the game is meant to be played with others.  And that means compromise, redirection, and course correction from time-to-time.

If you don’t have synergy and momentum as a group, that table will be empty again before long and the game will be dusty.  But if you’re willing to work, change, and adjust, you may have a great gaming group in the making!

So do it!  Join my new Facebook group and tell us what game you want to play!  See if you can’t stir up a group.

Appendix I: Chasing the Dragon (2nd Edition)

For those curious to know what modules I’m planning on playing now with Chasing the Dragon, here’s a current list (split into campaigns):

T1: The Village of Hommlet
T2-4: The Temple of Elemental Evil (Lev 1-8)
S4: The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth (Lev 6-10)
WG4: The Forgotten Temple of Tharizdun (Lev 5-10)

WG5: Mordenkainen’s Fantastic Adventure (Lev 9-12)

N1: Against the Cult of the Reptile God (Lev 1-3)
G1: Steading of the Hill Giant Chief (Lev. 8)
G2: The Glacial Rift of the Frost Giant Jarl
G3: Hall of the Fire Giant King (Lev 8-10)
S1: Tomb of Horrors (Lev 10-14)

N4: Treasure Hunt (Level 0)
U1: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh (Lev. 1-3)
U2: Danger at Dunwater (Lev. 1-4)
U3: The Final Enemy (Lev. 3-5)

A1-4: Scourge of the Slavelords (Lev. 1-7)
D1: Descent into the Depths of the Earth (Lev. 7-9)
D2: Shrine of the Kuo-Toa (Lev 9-14)
D3: Vault of the Drow (Lev 10-14)

S3: Expedition to the Barrier Peaks (Lev 8-12)
WG6: Isle of the Ape (Lev 18+)

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14 thoughts on “Get your game on the table!

  1. Great advice for starting up a gaming group of campaigns you would like to run. It is a balance between GM and Player interests. I am also very envious of the 2nd Edition of Chasing the Dragon. I have fond memories of many of those classic modules and would love to play them again myself.

    • MadCleric says:

      So 2nd Edition isn’t selling out, then? LOL

      Realistically, the only Gygax modules that got dropped were the two Alice in Wonderland ones. Those really just didn’t appeal to me that much.

    • Pretty awesome list of adventures you have lined up..wow! As a DM since 1987 I think your on the right track and your advice is great. Like the way you put all that together.

  2. Very good idea to do an online group. Build a community of players. Technology allows to play anywhere with anyone so long as we are all open and honest with the dice rolls lol.

  3. Oh MAN! (NOSTALGIA OVERLOAD) the UK series in particular UK2 The Sentinel and UK3 (the title must sung opera style) “THE GAUNTLET!” Were rock solid good times! Great idea! Great project! Let me know if I can help promote them!
    So in my home campaign with my family (including my 10 & 12 year old daughters) we’re currently doing (opera again) “KEEP ON THE BORDERLANDS!”. Converted to 5e of course!

    Anyroad let me know and may the dice be with you,
    Greybeard

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