Wednesday, January 26, 2011

The Denver-Area Gaming Community

While I’ve lived in the Denver-area before, I wasn’t active in the gaming community back then. I really got involved in community when I started working for Game Daze in Tucson. I was meeting a lot of gamers, which led to me starting the podcast, helping to form SAGA, working with Pulp Gamer, and so on. While TGTT is still going, I don’t have that very public presence like I did working at a game store. And I honestly miss that.

My first foray into public gaming was earlier this month at MagnaCon. The folks I met there are primarily board gamers, and I’m psyched to have that venue. But it seems to me there’s a bit of a hole where there should be a more thriving RPG community. I know there are huge presences for 4E and Pathfinder here, and I hear tell the local Savage Worlds community may be organizing, but there’s not anything I can find for “everything else.” While there’s nothing wrong with any of those groups, they are a bit too narrow for my tastes.

My initial plan when I moved here was to just find a “home base” game store and go from there. Denver has several very good options for local game stores. The store closest to me, Total Escape Games, has a nice setup. The staff is decent, and the owners are cool folks. But like every other game store I’ve checked out in town, their prime in-store game slots are already taken by 4E, Pathfinder, Magic, Warhammer 40,000, and Warmachine/Hordes. Again, there’s nothing wrong with that. I just don’t have any interest.

Between MagnaCon and a couple chance encounters, I have put together a small group of folks who share my interest in playing different RPGs. I’ve decided to take a page or two out of the Tucson playbook and start something of an RPG guild. I’ve begun networking with interested parties, and we are officially in the planning stages. What I can say now is the main things on the agenda are regular meet-ups, a reverence for all RPGs, bringing roleplayers out of the woodwork, and introducing new people to the hobby. There’s also some grumbling about a sort of GM support group--something we were beginning to have in Tucson when I decided to leave Arizona.

I think a thriving, public RPG group is important because, more so than board games, RPGs tend to be a private affair. The trouble is when private groups fail, or just stop, people who would like to continue playing often cannot find a group, and so they leave the hobby--sometimes temporarily, sometimes forever. I want to reach out to those folks and help keep them in the hobby, and perhaps we can grow it as well.