For those of you who somehow missed being bombarded by emails, today we had our monthly RPGala. A new location, several new GMs, and several new members in attendance.
First off, we had 33 people in attendance. Pretty good but there were many no-shows. Too many, about 10. More on that later.
The new location was the West End library in Foggy Bottom. I liked it for the most part. There was no metal detector and security check point like at MLK. That combined with no huge lines of people waiting to get in meant we were able to get in much more quickly than at MLK. The room was well ventilated so the oppressive heat of MLK was pleasantly absent. Tables were there, in the room. Nice! Despite being in a smaller room (much smaller) it was somehow no more, maybe even slightly less, noisy than the large room at MLK. Except for that one point where Jim started screaming. What was that all about?
There were definitely downsides. Being a smaller library, the staff don't show up to open the library until right
before the scheduled opening so there was no advance set up. Next, the room was very small. Probably the same size as the room where we held the very 1st RPGala. It was definitely a bit cramped. There is a larger room at the library but it doesn't have tables. I have to call and ask if we can reserve the large room but move tables from the small room into it.
We had a couple new GMs- Joe, Jim, and Bradly. Jim and Bradley were the heroes of the day, stepping in as some GMs had to back out. Everyone owes Jim and Bradley a huge 'THANK YOU!!' The other GMs get a slightly less huge 'THANK YOU'. More on GMs later.
I played in Kurt's game, Esoterrorists. Kurt was a great GM yet again and I always look forward to playing in his games. Great setup, great job explaining the rules clearly but quickly, keeps things moving at a good pace, and great with setting up tense encounters. The system itself, Esoterrorists, was fun enough I guess but being a die-hard Call of Cthulhu and Delta Green fan... I can't say I'm crazy about the system. In fact, as a Cthulhu junkie, I consider this system heretical
I think it would be a great system for people who either just 'don't get' CoC/DG or are maybe looking for less of a challenge. Kinda reminded me of those BBC stop the monster shows like Torchwood or something. I like my horror Lovecraftian with a heaping spoonful of madness, a shot of despair, followed by a chaser of seriously contemplating suicide. This system doesn't seem to match the angst and such of Cthulhu. I like ticking off sanity and rolling for temporary insanities. For those out there that look at Cthulhu or DG and say "What's the point?", Esoterrorists might be more up your alley. But like I said, Kurt was great and I still had a really fun time. I'm just going to keep mine Chaosium.
I met several new members which was nice and it was great to see the usual gang as well.
On to the problem of GMs and attendance as both are sort of related. After a few good months of practically zero no-shows, the no-shows came roaring back this month with a vengeance. One GM had to pack it in and take all his prep time and toss it out the window. Luckily that GM was just me, so no big deal
I really don't want to have to establish punitive measures for no-shows so I will instead try to appeal to everyone's common decency.
I am having a tough time recruiting GMs. No GMs=No DC RPG/NoVa D&D group. I cannot overstate the grave nature of this problem. I don't know all the reasons for this disturbing trend but I do know one of the reasons. Several GMs have been burned and burned badly by no-shows in the past. Then they don't volunteer again. Worse, other GMs hear about it and refrain from volunteering. No one wants to spend several hours (or more) putting together a game only to show up and be told 'So sorry, no players... better luck next time'.
One of our members lost a sibling this week in a tragic car accident. Despite grieving, traveling home, and attending a funeral, he still had time to let me know he wasn't coming and change his RSVP. So there is really no excuse to not change an RSVP or just drop me a quick line that you can't make it, even if it is only an hour before start. PLEASE RSVP YES only if you are committed to attending. If something comes up, no big deal, no foul, PLEASE just let me know.
I really hate bringing up negatives when our RPGala is really so very positive but I have to protect the GMs and the GMs have to feel secure in the fact that their time will not be wasted. I'm not trying to scold, so I really apologize if I'm coming off that way... I'm just very concerned... because I have put more of my time, effort, and money into this group (meaning DC RPG and NoVa D&D) than any of you (with the exception of Aaron and a few others) could possibly know. I get protective, sorry
Back to good stuff... we are planning a trip to the Virginia Renaissance Festival, a summer barbecue, more Battlestar Galactica parties, something new called 'The Gaming Spotlight', a new and better website, expansion of the group into the farther Virginia suburbs and more! I'll try to get an update out by midweek.
Finally, if you have any friends in your gaming groups who are not members, please get them to sign up! If you or anyone you know would like to GM at a future event, please contact me.
Thanks everyone for another fun day of gaming!