Is there some key element that you feel is necessary for an enjoyable session of role-playing?
The key element is, we have to touch each other on a human, heart-to-heart level.
People think I’m hyperbolizing when I talk about this stuff. But I’ve been role-playing for 20+ years, y’know? In the last couple of years I’ve had such consistently good role-playing experiences that they’ve changed my standards. What used to be the best session of a summer with my very best friends in the world, right, you know how good that session is? I demand roleplaying that good now from a 4-hour con game with mostly strangers. And I’m getting it!
While we’re at it, check out the interview with Clinton R. Nixon, designer of several cool games including Paladin and Donjon, which I’ve got, and The Shadow of Yesterday, which I’d like. He’s got a great little note on why one needs a GM. And there’s Keith Senkowski, whose games I’m not familiar with but which Clinton recommends. He’s got a lot of good stuff to say.
Someday, I will finish my game, Odyssey, and people will interview me! Or else I’ll end up illustrating games and other things for a living.