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Team Building and Rivalries

July 1, 2011

So I’ve been confronting the question lately of how to build teams and how to form rivalries. Well the rivalries won’t happen without teams, but what kind of incentive is there to get going in this community of competitive team roleplaying if you don’t have someone you want to compete against? That’s what a good rival is; someone you want to beat because you like them and know their good (even if you don’t admit to either).

I didn’t have to do this part 10 years ago. The RPGA had a system of gaming clubs and there were frequent competitive events for them to participate in. I was just picking up the ball that RPGA had dropped in 2002. The old event deteriorated because it was a lot of work for little payoff on the part of the people running it and because – in 2011 – you can’t get a critical mass of traditional gamers to play the same version of D&D let alone anything else like Savage Worlds or FATE. It wasn’t easy to get the critical mass of players for D&D 3.x before 4E, but it was possible and that made the team event in the old style possible. The last several years of trying to run the event in the wake of competing D&D versions is what ultimately killed it. That’s one of the key factors to me in making my own system – if I’m going to fight to get 20 to 40 people to play the same game system I need to make it something I love and believe in.

But most of those old RPGA “clubs” were really just gaming groups that took on the club identity to play these games. I’m reaching out to all the gaming group leaders I know to try and talk them into putting together a team for our first run; I’ve had some very positive and encouraging responses. I know there are a lot more roleplaying groups out there that I don’t know how to reach. This is the way it’s always been; a roleplaying group forms, gets comfortable playing together, and no longer needs to maintain contact with the larger, local gaming community. So it will take time and word of mouth to reach these “silent” groups.

By the way, here’s what a winning team looks like (from the website). These folks game together regularly and they’ve competed in the old style of the team event for the last 10 years:

Waterdeep Boys Club win the 2011 Colorado Team Roleplaying Championship!

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