I run games with one of the gaming groups and I am just curious what people think of them? Do you look for specific groups? Do you avoid groups? Which groups are your favorites?
Just curious and thought I would take an unofficial survey.
For the most part I don't pay attention to whether an event is attached to a group. Just because I enjoy one event run by a GM who happens to be a member of a group doesn't mean I'm going to automatically like anything else the group runs or even other events run by that specific GM.
There are a couple of groups whose events I avoid, whether due to multiple poor experiences and knowing they organize many similar events or due to them being focused on a type of event I don't enjoy. Those tend to be highly personal, though.
The only group I look for is Game Base 7 and actively avoid games run by them. I had a very bad experience in a Pathfinder game a few years ago run by them and decided I would never go to another game run by them.
I like Rogue Judges - their GMs are enthusiastic and what they have described, they delivered, when I've played in their events.
I've only played in two gaming group events, and that's more than enough for me. Both occasions were full of private jokes, interruptions by others, nonsensical GM adjudications, gaming nepotism, and in one case, pressure to purchase a game book a member had written.
I'm sure other groups are just peachy, but I don't feel like risking it. I've had a LOT more fun heading into games with random folks.
The gaming group is a big factor in my decision making. If I enjoyed playing a game with a group, odds are I'll probably enjoy other games put on by them. In particular, I've found that Infinite Imaginations Inc. tends to run the type of games I like to play, and has GM's that I like. The way my schedule worked out this year I think I ended up with my entire Saturday in their games :)
Interesting thread. I just made up a gaming group name for tracking purposes on the games I'm running and try to pressure some other guys from my game group to run a few events under that banner. I have never thought about the negatives of this that have been pointed out above. I personally like seeing gaming groups because it sometimes is my deciding factor on what I play based off two events at the same time slot. Although DM factors first I do take groups into consideration. In my case MU Skulls is running a nightmares game that peaked my interest because they are running it. I've enjoyed past games ran by them in Cthulhu games and assume we have similar taste so I thought "might as well".
If you get a critical mass of gamer friends in the same event (or sometimes, in the same room), then you run the risk of those friends treating the con game like their Saturday night basement game. It's probably not anything they're even aware of. Get the same people together, and they hit the old behavioral ruts.
That's why I like gaming with randos. It forces me to stay away from those ruts, too.
I always seek out Nascrag for the fun they have in creating and running the module and then the groups of people who come back year after year to play.
NASCRAG is a perfect example of a great gaming group which either attracts or deters interest in the game they are running. I have played in one of their events because of the mass hype that surrounds their sign in. They put on a first class show and the amount of work they put into these events show with the product you receive. Puzzles, role play, story line. With this being said though, I have never signed up for another and probably will not in the future because the overall humor is not a match for mine. Everything about their game is top notch though and I would suggest others to give it a try to see if it matches up with your personal taste. So I guess I am just chiming in again to say how the gaming group option really helps my game selections either for a group or a subtle pass on a game. I usually even look at my wish list after completed to make sure I have at least one new gaming group every year to see where they fall on my preference of style. So it's a big thumbs up from me on gaming groups. On a side note if anyone has specific groups that really stand out for them, I would be interested to hear about. I plan on trying to find an Infinite Imaginations Inc. game and/or a Rogue Judges to see where they fall on my eclectic style barometer.
Then again, it's just a risk. My experiences =/= yours.
But our GMs write good games, and there are 25-35 people, why wouldn't I want to play in their games? :)
I think the gaming group or event organizer matters a lot, especially for RPG or LARP. I won't sign up for an event unless I've researched the group and other people have had good experiences in the past.
I've personally had a great experience with:
Novus Ordo Seclorum
You Too Can Cthulhu (is that the same as Novus?)
I pick my larps based on the group running it more than the game itself. I love Iocane, Mu Skulls, and BYOV! There are some other larp groups that I know aren't my style, so I avoid them. Even if the game sounds right up my alley, I won't have fun with certain play styles.
Another vote for Rogue Judges and one for Flight in the Skies Society. For boardgamers you know there are trustworthy GMs and sometimes the flavor/type of games they generally run, so I always try to check our their listings.