So I’m curious. For 30 years I have always played the same home game with the practically the same players, there are always 2 people including myself who would run most of the games but occasionally another person from our group would step up and run and us as a group were always supportive. Games were almost always fun but it was also a group where friends came together.
Now I have been playing PFS for a few years, there are a wide range of GM’s. There are different skill levels, personalities, etc. Some games I walk away from and say that was fun and others I walk away from and say that was “eehh, OK”.
So the analyst that I am keeps me thinking what is the difference? What makes a bad scenario for many people a good experience for me or visa versa.?
I honestly think it comes down to one thing, “distractions”. If I can get into the game mentally at the table with little distractions I enjoy the game. This encompasses a lot of sub things happening; Does the GM, have a good grasp of the rules or at least someone at the table does which prevents constant looking up the rules, does the GM keep the pace going, is the GM prepared, do the players respect the GM and hence minimal debating, is there little or no side conversations, are there few or no people who walk up and distract the table, does the GM keep us in the game, does the GM paint a clear picture of what is going on (so I don’t sit there confused), etc., etc. I don’t think things need to be perfect but minimal distractions for me leads to the best gaming experience.
It comes down to- the less I as a player have to think outside the boundary of the world we are creating as a table the better the experience.
I’m curious do others agree or is it something different for you that separates the good experiences from the rest?