Saturday, August 24, 2019

2019 RPGaDay 18/19/20: Plenty/Scary/Noble


Plenty is a word that gets used a lot by gamers in denial. "I have plenty of games" or "I have plenty of dice" or "I have plenty of time to prepare." In truth, there is not such thing as "plenty" when it comes to gaming.

According to the Miriam-Webster dictionary, plenty is defined as "a large or sufficient amount or quantity; more than enough."

See? Not relevant to games and gamers. Most gamers I know are constantly buying new games. Granted, these days that's become a lot more doable, due in equal parts to the proliferation of indie games, and the availability of games in less expensive PDF format. As a self-publisher, I would say at least half of my profits got back to DriveThru in the form of purchasing new games and gaming materials.

And dice? I have a small collection. Scattered over several dice-bags and a jar that was a gift years ago. I would seem to have plenty of dice, but I always crave more. New colors and patterns, new functions and numbers, new sizes and denominations; dice are like crack to most gamers. We all have more than we probably need, and likewise we all simply want more. It's a fact.

Prep-time for games is hit-or-miss. Sometimes you do have plenty of time. But that's always just for the pre-planned stuff. There is NEVER enough time to prepare for every eventuality. Especially not in the face of a group of children. It's like herding cats. And there's never enough time to prepare for that either.

The bottom line is, there is no "plenty" in our lexicon. Not in a literal sense. Not unless you add "for now" to the end of every "plenty" statement.


The first time you play with a group of strangers can be scary. Not always with home groups, since you usually know at least one other person beforehand. But when you game in public, like at a game store or at a convention, it can be a little nerve-wracking.

What if you look stupid? What if you don't know the system and the ones who do laugh at you? What if you fart and it smells horrible? Embarrassment can be just as scary to most of us a 7-foot tall, mask-wearing psycho with a machete.

But, like most things we are scared of (except sharks), our fears are largely unfounded. Gaming in public with strangers has become one of my favorite pastimes. If I could go to a gaming convention every weekend, I probably would. Meeting new people and realizing that we are all basically the same, and we are all there for the same thing, to have fun, is liberating.

So, no matter how scary it may seem, I highly recommend you game in public with strangers at least once. You'll probably find it somewhat addictive, and will soon be back for more. And soon, those strangers will just be friends, and all the scary disappears..


When most people think of "noble" an image of a king or princess comes to mind. As in "nobility." Gamers will often take that a step further and think knights and paladins. And still others will think of those bastions of good in a superhero world, like Captain America or Superman.

My personal definition of a "noble" character is one who is honest, forthright, and stands up for his beliefs. And in fantasy worlds, that's not limited to knights and paladins. Anyone can be noble. Even that thief who robs from the rich or the oppressive. There's a nobility in such pursuits.

Then there's idea of the "noble savage." Seemingly the opposite of the chivalrous knight, this person follows their own code. They are strong in their convictions, respect their peers, and generally want what's best in life for those they deem worthy. Durotan from Warcraft and Conan the Barbarian are archetypal noble savages, IMHO.

Playing a noble character can seem difficult. Especially in a game like D&D, where the characters are basically murder-hobos. But in reality, it isn't. In fact, most players play their characters with a certain sense of nobility anyways. When you support your party-members, cooperate to get the job done, and split the spoils, there is nobility in that. However, when you backstab your buddies, or steal from allies, that becomes problematic. And honestly, what gaming group doesn't deal with that sort of behavior decisively? So, again, noble.

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