The third game in our current campaign went down last night. But that story is for later.
Campaign games are both great and horrible at the same time. We’re currently enjoying seeing how the story progresses, the ebb and flow of fortune on the battlefield, the fiction that is being created around the forces and their achievements. That stuff is all good.
What isn’t good is what the campaign is doing to us. And by us, I obviously mean me. I’m not by nature a competitive person. One of the reasons I love Mechaton is that you can build some stuff, play a game and it’s all fun amongst friends. I just don’t care who wins or loses, it’s just good fun with some Lego, a table, friends and a few beers. Now things are getting different.
I find myself getting angry when I have a poor run of luck on the dice. I find myself getting really, really concerned about coming out of the game with a good result. Worst of all, I find myself turning into a rule nitpicker. Like last night, right at the end, Richard had rolled a good Spot but hadn’t declared it before he rolled. We had a bit of a discussion and, because it could have meant the difference between winning well and losing badly, I insisted on the letter of the law.
That is what is known in detailed Mechaton terms as a dick move.
Sure, Richard should have stated the spot before rolling. In the end, it’s a damn game, what does it matter? Why was I so insistent that he follow the rules? Because I have become, through the simple campaign guidelines, invested in this series of games. That’s a great thing for a games design, to get people involved. On one level, it’s also great for our campaign. On another level (the one that I actually worry about), I don’t like the way it changes me as a player when I am at the table. I want this game just to be fun, I don’t want to be the idiot who gets upset over dice, who is finicky about rules.
The campaign will continue until the bitter end, but I’d suggest that I need to become less invested in the outcomes, for the sake of all concerned and because I am making the game less fun for everyone else.