Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Goldilocks Group

Those of you who are familiar with astronomy probably have heard of the "Goldilocks Zone", the nickname given to the region around a star within which a planetary mass with a sufficient atmosphere can sustain liquid water and possibly develop extraterrestrial life. The name obviously references the fairy tale "Goldilocks and the Three Bears", where a little girl chooses from several different sets of items, ignoring the ones that exist on the extremes for the ones that are "just right".

Today, I'm going to talk about a term that utilizes a similar idea for something completely un-scientific. The term I'm going to be talking about is the "Goldilocks Group". This piece of vocabulary obviously refers to a gaming group that a player believes is "just right". This "Goldilocks Group" is based on a few factors, most notably size, style, and rules. 

Every player has a preferred group size, knowing how many people they are willing to play with at one table. Some prefer large groups, averaging around 6 to 8 people at the table. However, other want a smaller group, averaging around 3 to 5 people at one time. Likewise, there are those who fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. 

Players also have their own, preferred gaming styles as well. Some people like groups that are more laid-back, enjoying a less serious, "beer & pretzel" style of game. However, others like groups that enjoy serious roleplaying and storytelling. Once again, there are also those who exist somewhere in the middle. 

Finally, people also like to consider the weight of the mechanics the group will be using. There are those who will only play rules light games, while others refuse to play any game that doesn't have a book so thick that it could stop a bullet if need be, then you have those who can go either way based on the situation and their preferences at that moment.

The importance of finding your Goldilocks Group is to find the group that you would enjoy playing in the most, thereby enhancing your game experiences. As an example, my Goldilocks Group would be on the smaller side, prefer serious roleplaying (but not afraid to be silly on occasions), and lean towards rules light and rules medium game systems. I believe I've recently stumbled upon that group and I've had some of my best moments at the table because of that. Everyone should have that same experience as well.

Now, I pass the question on to you. What would your "Goldilocks Group" look like? Also, would it include any bears? I would like to know.