Do veterns find it difficult sometimes to accept new trends, find new players, feel isolated when they visit the local comic book shop, and find themselves playing "in the closet" because of their age?
What are are your feelings and experiences on being or dealing with a veteran?
My own observances and experiences (from the vetern point of view):
Please excuse me for sounding a bit like a bitter, gray haired, veteran. The first thing I listed below happened very recently. I'm still feeling a bit chaffed about it. It's the driving force behind posting this article.
1. Recently my husband and I went to a local game store to buy new dice and mini's. Somehow conversation with a clerk ensued about favorite RPG's. When the clerk discovered our favorite table top games were old, out-of-print systems he began treating us like infidels that needed converting!
His whole attitude went from friendly to patronizing in the blink of an eye. After trying, fruitlessly, to defend our favorite out-of-print products we left; feeling as if we were verbaly attacked.
This is not the first time we received prejudice for our preferences. It's just the first time we have received such a rude and overt reaction.
2. We have tried newer systems. We spent a fortune on the latest and greatest of new D&D stuff last year (or was that 2 years ago?). Our recent purchases have been Battle Tech, Shadowrun, Hero, and downloadable supplements for Spacemaster and Rolemaster. We play new products whenever we feel like we need a change, or just want a short game. But the newer systems will probably never become our favorites. It seems like every new game we have tried ends up gathering dust on the gaming book shelf until we want to try something different (which is not very often I might add). Our favorites remain the RPG's and additions we played 10-20 years ago.
3. Occasionally we invite younger players (aged from 18-25) from a LARP my husband plays to join our gaming group. These players never stick around for long. The longest was around for a year but he left for college. We liked him and wanted him to stay, but most new blood, however, were just too "immature" or their age didn't fit in with our group of older gamers. Everyone in our group is married and/or has children. It's hard for us to discuss the difficulties of dating and final exams with intent interest.
4. As my daughter grows up I often get questions from other parents. "So what do you do to relax, de-stress, and have fun?" I usually answer "I have a group of friends that we play games with twice a month". I know they are assuming I'm talking about board games. I never ever tell them that the games are RPG's and sometimes my daughter makes a character and we play innocent watered down versions with her. I never tell them game development consumes most of my free time and is considered a hobby for me. They would think I'm crazy and label me as 'out of touch with reality'. My daughter would have no one to play with because parents would consider us unacceptable.
I don't know how I'm going to handle this when my daughter gets older and begins telling other parents we role-play as a family.
It was one thing to admit to being an avid table top gamer in high school and even in college, but now when I do mention it to peers I get astonished, unapproving looks.
5. Also recent trips to the gaming store has elicited the greeting of "Mamm, May I help you choose something for your son/daughter?" My reaction depends upon my mood, and lately it has not been good.
6. Do you find yourself taking parts of two or more older games and trying to make them work together, or making your own tables, rules, and entire supplements for the sake of correcting or adding to a game that is out of print?
My groups recent incidents of this-
My husband ran a Battle Tech game using 2nd edition and instead of using Mechwarrior to make characters he modified Hero rules to mesh with BT (omitting all the super powers and re-doing a lot of the weapons).
Now we are fiddling with ICE's Spacemaster trying to make parts from the newer version work with parts from the original version.
Most recently we decided we don't like using Rolemaster's Treasure Companion for actions like picking pockets and determining treasure in pouches. It just doesn't make sense picking a pocket and getting a +20 broad sword! So we made our own charts for determining pocket and pouch items (including creature encounters).
Sometimes I feel like our gaming rules has become Frankenstein! A mish mash of parts and pieces from the different games we love.
Finally, a discussion that has comes up in our gaming group more than once.
Someone needs to make producers and vendors of games realize that families of gamers usually produce gamers for life. They should respect older gamers more as we will always be buying their products and administering advice and mentorship to the younger crowd.
They also might try catering to an older crowd occasionally by reprinting older products in limited editions, or playing on our need for nostalgia by printing old stories and advice from veteran gamers and printing re-vamped modules from vintage gaming (D&D did re-do some modules but the ones I have played were not very good. Then again, I don't a like a lot of new d20 stuff). I know at least 7 older gamers that would buy older editions if they were reprinted, and at least 5 young gamers that would purchase it out of curiosity. They know others that would as well.
What are the feelings, experiences, and rants, of other veteran gamers and those non-veterns dealing with veterns?