If “A” is fun and “B” is also fun, why wouldn’t doing “A” and “B” at the same time be twice as fun? First of all I want to state (just for reasons of CYA) that I am not advocating doing anything illegal by anything I say in this post. From underage drinking to illegal substances. There are penalties for doing those things (physical, social, legal, etc) and I’d advise you to avoid those penalties via the most prudent methods available to you. That said, I see nothing wrong with getting messed up while you game so long as you understand what kind of trade-off you are making.To give you an idea of where I’m coming from, my gaming roots are strictly sober games. Before moving to Seattle, every game I’d participated in where intoxicants were allowed, being intoxicated while gaming had been the stated intent of the game from the beginning. In other words, we got messed up while gaming from time to time mostly for the novelty of it. It was when I moved to Seattle that I discovered how rare this kind of gamer “upbringing” is. Almost all of the gamers I encountered here were baffled by my desire for my group to remain completely sober through out the game I was running. Some of my gamers out here were willing to try it, but not many. Most insisted that they didn’t see the point of gaming sober and a few (I have now learned) even went so far as to agree to my request just to placate me. They then simply got messed up before coming over to my place instead of during the game itself and let me wonder why they always seemed so lost. They apparently were of the opinion that that obeying the letter of our agreement (not getting messed up “at” game) was good enough. Since moving here though I have sampled the other side of things and played in my fair share of “normal” gaming environments, ie. ones where being intoxicated is not just accepted, but an expected part of gaming. Moreover, I have enjoyed myself at these games. So I don’t think that one preference is necessarily “better” than the other. As I said before deciding what is best for you in your situation comes down to understanding what your goal is. Intoxicated gaming tends to be a little more light-hearted, a little less goal-oriented, and a lot more in the hands of the GM where there are decisions to be made. Intoxicated people have difficulty keeping their eyes on the prize, as it were, and so the GM has to either coax their players along whenever they get lost in the weeds or limit the options available so that decisions can be made along very obvious lines of priorities. Basically, in order for the game to go anywhere the GM should probably set it on “easy” and then not get inebriated themselves or at least not too inebriated or I feel that very little will happen in the game at all. Sober games, in my experience, are more serious, thought provoking, and deeper; both in terms of player investment and story complexity. I believe that these are the reasons why I prefer the games I run to be sober ones. I enjoy challenging my players to come up with creative solutions to realistic problems and that can be difficult at best and frustrating at worst if your brain isn’t working quite right. I also don’t like having to deal with the off-topic conversation derailments that are a hallmark of chemically enhanced games just as they are a hallmark of chemically enhanced gatherings in general. There’s a reason why people aren’t allowed to operate heavy machinery or go to work messed up. That reason is because you aren’t at the top of your game while you’re messed up. I know that in the cases of driving or working, the consequences can be serious while in the case of gaming, the worst that will happen is a game ending argument. However, part of the fun of gaming for me is taking it seriously and the things I take seriously I like to handle with my wits about me and with the wits of those I must work with about them as well. So for me, it is mostly a case of not liking to run gaming groups full of loopy Players. I guess I’m fine playing in a game like that, but probably not if it was my only game. My goals are for some serious escapism and that seems to me to be incompatible with having a party at the same time. When I read a horror novel I want H. P. Lovecraft or Stephen King, not Scooby-do.
Better Gaming Through Chemistry?