They're an older bunch who've clearly been playing together for years, which has its advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantage is that they're obviously used to a certain style of episodic play; at one point near the start it was made clear to me that "this case is closed and we're moving on to the next one now" even though I kind of wanted to investigate what I thought were loose ends. The advantage is that everybody knows what they're doing and it's a well oiled machine.
It was also interesting to observe from an outsider's perspective what the "average" British gaming group is like nowadays (seeing as I've been away from the scene for 7 years or more). Obviously this wasn't a representative sample, but it was notable that:
- D&D dominates online debate, but this group (and the circle of connected groups, about 40 players total) rarely if ever play it. They seemed to like Basic D&D best. Yet another blow struck for BECMI.
- Though they were a very trad group, they'd heard of Dogs in the Vineyard and liked the idea of it.
- They thought Shadowrun was "crap", which I'm inclined to agree with even if I've played it an inordinate ammount.
- They had no interest in blogs or websites to do with RPGs.
- Judging from the campaigns they've been playing recently, they seem living proof that the games that were popular back in the day (Traveller, 2300 AD, Twilight 2000, Space 1889, Call of Cthulu) are still being played regularly and in pretty large numbers.
I'm not sure what this tells us, if anything, but there you have it.