Building a new gaming group is always a struggle because it’s difficult to get a good balance of player personalities that all enjoy the same style of play. Maybe it’s more difficult for me than for others specifically because my style of play isn’t incredibly common.

I’m more of a story-oriented player. Sure, I enjoy the occasional hack and slash, but I do not relish the never-ending onslaught of random monsters that have no point to the story. Contrasting the two games that I’ve participated in over the past year, one game started out as much more story-oriented than its current incarnation, in which we’re stuck in a terrible place, looking for something/someone I can’t remember the name of, just killing everything that shows its head in long combat sessions. In the other game, which was much too short-lived, the story drove the adventure, and even the few encounters between interacting with local NPCs were oriented at furthering the story. The players of both games preferred these play styles.

Actually, it’s not so much that the players prefer specifically different styles, just that they’re satisfied with the the style of the game that took place. Being the only storytelling player among a group of power-gamers is tough.

Another very important aspect for me is the stereotype of the gamer players themselves. This is probably more important to me in terms of selection of new players than the gaming styles, really, because as a GM, you can always make accommodations to different styles of gamer in the same party.

When I used to play at the store, there were a handful of groups to play with. There were a lot of traditional “gamers”. You know the kind I’m talking about, the fat guys with lots of facial hair that bathe less frequently than everyone would like, and tend to prattle a bit more than anyone else about their favorite fantasy/fiction worlds and characters. Mind you, I think it’s possible to be a geek without completely going gamer, and it’s a little safer to geek out when you’re amongst other geeks who will understand, but there is a limit.

In college, we somehow interested a group of girls in playing D&D with us, which was great. They weren’t “gamer girls” (which can sometimes be ok, but sometimes not) so they didn’t have preconceptions and could bring their own ideas of fantasy to the game, which is pretty cool. The best thing was that they weren’t unkempt and brutish. This brings me to my point about finding people to play with.

I find it difficult to look for gamers online, because it’s hard to tell who bathes over the internet. I guess that’s what it comes down to. Gamers who come off as too enthusiastic to play or too enthusiastic about a particular fantasy race (yes, if you speak some elven dialect, I’m talking about you) often trigger my warning signal for “too gamery”. I think my criteria for choosing fellow gamers is more about whether I would choose to be with those people when they’re not gaming than whether they’ll play games with me. This makes for a surprisingly small crowd of potential gamer friends.

I’ve yet to play games with any cosplayers, at least that I know of, and that would be fine if they were otherwise normal people. It’s just harder to take regular friends into gaming than vice-versa, and I think that the older I get, the less forgiving I’m becoming about weird quirks that gamerfolk have.