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Boris' Ramblings

The fear of being stupid

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From speaking to people it seems they started gaming in their early teens and have often spent 10 - 20 years playing all kinds of different systems.
I've been playing regularly now for 14 months, and I started when I was 29. Having come to it as a newcomer it's really not as simple to start as it appears on the surface.

  • There are strange terms, jargon and acronyms.
  • There are strange dice - and it's not easy to spot the difference between a D8 or D12 straight away, and how does a D4 work?
  • There are strange people - tbut some of them are nice.

There are also so many different things to learn, understand and implement in a game that for a long time I was considerably overwhelmed.

We started playing Call of Cthulu, which is a role playing game where we use miniatures. I only have to control one miniature which makes everything less complicated, and I've learnt about giving your character important skills like 'stealth' and that just because you have a gun doesn't mean it will fire - it could jam.

Recently we started playing Songs of Blades and Heroes rules and I can say with relief that these are pretty simple to follow. We've started off with the basics and slowly added new rules each session; this way I've been able to build up to a warband of 9 men without feeling it's all too much.

If you've never gamed before it can be pretty daunting and this feeling can remain for a long time - you need to play with people who are very patient - and I am ever grateful to Keeper and Warhammergrimmace for not losing it with me, especially when I was being very slow to grasp what's probably a fundamental and obvious concept.

It is a lot of fun though, and I do enjoy the Wednesday nights at the club.
I've found it helps to bring a notebook and pen to a game, and a non-competitive attitude.

Tomorrow night we're playing a mystery game, and to be honest I'm very nervous - what if I don't understand the rules, or can't follow what's happening? I'm hoping it will go smoothly and I'll be able to keep up.
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  1. Hinton's Avatar
    It's good that you're not letting your nervousness keep you from playing and having fun. It does help having people that are patient and willing to explain things to you, so don't worry about not understanding everything right off the bat.

    One thing that I've noticed over the years with some gamers (not all, just some) is that they conveniently forget that there was a time when they didn't know any of the rules or jargon. They were newbies, just like everyone else at one point in time, and had to have everything explained to them or discover things by trial and error.

    Hopefully you don't come across anyone like that and have a great time with gaming.
  2. exilesjjb's Avatar
    I always laugh because my Dad and I can talk away about wargames and it like a different language to anyone else. Alsway good to game with nice people when all is said and done its a hobby so should be fun.
  3. War Griffon's Avatar
    Unfortunately its all to common for bad attitudes to ruin a game or for a persons attitude towards new players or their gender to spoil a game no matter the type.
    If you get in with a group that enjoys playing together then it makes it that much more fun.
  4. Boris's Avatar
    I am enjoying it :)
  5. wiccanpony's Avatar
    I’ve only played D&D, but a good thoughtful DM is a must, I had a few who would run games just for newbie’s so they could get their feet wet and at a slow speed that would have the Vets pulling their hair out.

    Oh and I did so love those special “be silly” games …….. Hear strange noise behind door ………. Open door toss Halfling in …… slam door, wait
  6. Boris's Avatar
    A lot of the games we play end up being a bit silly. I'm not one for taking it too seriously! :)
  7. NathanS's Avatar
    I kinda started late into gaming in life also. I grew up in a small rural area of North West Tennessee a big farming area was not much gaming going on but when I turned 22 or so I moved to a college town and I was hooked on gaming from then on out.
  8. White tiger's Avatar
    I don't really get to play much at all...I'm so out of date with rules and things I've given up trying to re-learn until i finish my course...oh well more painting!