An article about running public games showed up on the D&D site a little while ago. I did not read it till recently, but it reminded me of a conversation with our gaming group. Our collective experience of random gaming is generally on the negative side. (While I hope this is not the case for you, see below.)
Let me preface the screaming with a story (which I mentioned before in passing). During a Fan Expo, I decided to stay late on the Saturday to play a game. So a group of about 9 gamers plus Game Master were around a table playing a storytelling game of some sort (it was not D&D). At one point, one of the gamers (who can only be described as obese, oily and greasy, receding hairline, generally uncomfortably disgusting, and trying to hog the limelight playing up being a buxom cheerleader character) decided it was socially acceptable to lift his shirt above the belly, take a dirty fingernail, and dig around his navel for… I do not know what. It was akin to watching a car accident you know is going to happen… you are horrified, but cannot take your eyes off the scene. My wife found my horror amusing… I still cannot help but shudder every time the story comes up.
I know there are good gamers and bad, the ones that look like Clare Grant (first one to come to mind, I am sure you can think of others) and the one described above, the ones that are socially normal and… the one described above, the ones who are successful and… well, you get the picture. Just as in life there are varying people, but when it comes to looking for random D&D pubbies, it just leans more towards the negative experience. The term “neckbeard” came about from a stereotype for a reason.
What is your experience with “random pubbies”?
While half of my current D&D group was found through random chance, I am not sure I could risk diving into that pool again… and I was the one who ran the public game in the first place. *Shudder*. May there be a safer way…
But… what do I know…?