Friendship is a cool thing. It lets you get through tough times, and help others in the same manner, makes you feel, like you belong somewhere and generally incites the feeling of happiness. But is it wise to role-play with your friends?
Playing with your friends seems like a no brainer. You have a ready-to-go group of people, whom you know well and spent a lot of time with. You can almost always count on them, so setting up games is much easier, than with a bunch of random players. You generally know them really well, both their strong and weak points, their character quirks and manierisms. For a GM this kind of readily available info is simply priceless and really helps in setting up games, creating adventures and developing interesting encounters for his players.
Of course, one of the most important thing, if not the most important, is the fact that you are playing among people whom you really like, and who also like you. Thanks to that little fact, the atmosphere during sessions will be greatly improved, as common sympathy and friendly camradiere will be felt all around the table. If you'll manage to infect your friends with a passion for role-playing games, you'll get a bunch of great people, sharing your enthusiasm for the hobby. That's a lot in itself, but there are many more benefits of gaming with your friends, too many in fact to write them all down. Needless to say, it is worth it, and if any of you thinks about trying out RPG's, then gather a bunch of people, who are close to you, and give this hobby a shot. Together.
|Awesomeness will ensue|
What I'm talking about exactly? Well, it is quite simple, really. Being friends with someone, means that you can usually get away with a lot more shit, than when you're dealing with a simple colleague, or a completely random person. This means that your players (as usual, I'm talking from a perspective of a Gamemaster) can, and probably will, get on your nerves and try to have things their way, from time to time. Ok, maybe even more often. I've seen it all, and lived through it to tell the tale. Emotional blackmail, shouting, getting at each other's throats (metaphorically speaking, of course), cheating and many, many other shitty behaviours, were all a part of my experience of gaming with close friends. You see, friends always think that they can get away with more things, than others. It dosen't matter if they've arrived 30 minutes late to the game. No big deal, surely the rest of the gang will understand that it happens. It dosen't matter if they've canceled their schedule, at the last moment, beacuse of some stupid-ass reason. Friends won't mind. Maybe some of them had a really bad day at work, and wish for nothing to piss their co-players off, and tell the GM that he sucks, and not in a friendly, light manner. What? What do you mean, that it's a shitty way to deal with people? We're friends, after all!
Yeah, that's the other, not so nice, side of playing with your friends. Be prepared for a LOT of shit flying your way, for hard talks, which will be inevitable at some point, if you want to avoid being smothered by the rest of your group, and generally for a lot of nasty things. From my experience friends think that they can get away with a lot more, than others. This is probably true for most people, but frankly I've found out that it's a lot easier to deal with this kind of behaviour, outside of hobby. These games are all about having fun, mutual fun, and I always got pissed the fuck off, when one of my friends decided to take it out on me, or the others, for a crappy day that he had at work. For starters - it's not my bloody fault, nor any of the others at the table, and secondly - we came here to have fun. Leave your frustrations and bad attitude at home, for they are not welcome here. That last part is actually targeted towards anyone, who thinks that weekly/monthly/quarterly etc. game sessions, are his private therapy sessions. They're not and fuck you for thinking otherwise.
I know what you're probably all thinking right now. Is playing with your friends really worth it? Is it actually worth all the effort, nerves, frustrations and arguments?
Yeah, I think that it is. Some of my best memories in life are from playing with my closest friends, and even tough more often than not it was a real pain in the butt, I wouldn't trade those memories for anything else in the world. It wasn't always easy, but in the end it was worth it. Just as gathering your closest people around the table with you, handing them a bunch of funny shaped dice and some character sheets, and describing to them that damnable inn, in which they all meet, is. It really is. Take my word for that.
|It is here that so many wonderful tales began, after all|