It’s the start of a new year, one full of chances and possibilities. You don’t know what will happen to you, and chances for doing something marvelous await you at every corner. You might win the lottery, you might meet the love of
your life, or you might discover why your washing machine keeps eating your socks. But the greatest adventure of all awaits the dice-roller who is brave enough to leave his comfort zone, to abandon rules oh so familiar, and to venture forth into the unknown territories of a setting not yet explored. That’s right, I’m talking about all the brave tabletop gamers who will have the guts to try a brand-new game this year.
Alright, enough jesting, trying a new game is of course not such a big deal it would seem, but there are gamers out there who stay loyal to one and the same game for most of their role-playing career. Some of them just don’t know better, being entirely happy with that one game that one friend introduced them to. Others actively fight any attempt of the GM to try a new game, stating that rule X of that game is so terrible, or that the setting is just another lame Tolkienesque fantasy world. No matter the reason, trying out a new game is an adventure in it self, but one every decent gamer should undertake once in a while. Why? Because it keeps the mind open.
I’m not saying that every gamer who sticks with one game for years is some narrow-minded jerk who thinks his player’s handbook is some kind of gospel. What I’m saying is that trying games with different worlds and rules allows you to rediscover your hobby. You notice that there are so many different ways to approach the RPG genre, and might learn something you can use in “your” game. I will never forget the look on a player’s face in a short-lived Mage: the Awakening chronicle I ran. She came from a D&D / classic fantasy RPG background, and was used to very strict and precise rules. When I told her that her character’s magic powers were really flexible, and that she could cast spells without even knowing them, she gave me this confused, yet somewhat happy look. Slowly, she got into the mindset of this completely different game, and discovered an entirely new approach to magic in a role-playing game. As a GM, it was great to see someone finding joy in something so simple.
So, all I’m asking of everyone who reads this article is one simple thing: try new games, guys and gals! Ask your GM to run a one-shot of that nifty game you found, or even better, try to GM it yourself! Even if it’s just a single session, lose yourself in an entirely new world, and take those experiences back to your regular gaming sessions. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!