[guest author] GoPlayNW, Go!
A couple of weeks ago, Ben and I went to Go Play Northwest, a small, mostly local roleplaying convention that focuses on indie games though given the timing there was some downright gleeful D&D 4e too. Besides meeting a great bunch of gamers and playing totally new games, there’s something very eye-opening about gaming with new people. You learn a lot about your good and bad habits that being in the same group for a long time might be masking. Sure, some games were much more fun than others, but I think that’s the grab bag of gaming and part of the con. Suffice it to say, we had a blast.
I have to tip my hat to the GoPlayNW organizers for making everyone feel welcome and making sure everyone had a game to play. Before each game slot, Tony would ask if anyone was game-less or if any GMs had open slots. If after that there were still stragglers, groups would just form ad hoc and play. Beautiful. One of the best things about many indie games is they’re designed so you can just sit down for a few of hours and play with no prep. I straggled a lot and played 3 ad hoc games, a teen slasher flick themed game of Geiger Counter and 2 sessions of In a Wicked Age, possibly one of the most fun, no-prep, quick start roleplaying games out there. Ben goes into more detail about the joys of IAWA in his Indie Exploration Kit article.
GoPlayNW won’t come around again until next year, but taking a look at the Meetups and Conventions thread on Story Games, there’s a lot of opportunity between now and then.