Due to the crazy that is Labor Day Weekend, I am not running a game for my campaign this weekend. But I'm noticing the differences between this group of adventures compared to my last group of adventures. This isn't going to get too descriptive because I don't want to reveal too much.
The last time I was running this game, about 4 years ago as a sophomore in college, I was playing with guys that I knew. So the dynamic is of course going to be different rather than a bunch of strangers I met on the internet. However, I couldn't exactly predict how they were going to act.
To be honest, they were quite thoughtful about how they approached things, and even with the original group that started everyone was discussing not only their actions and implications. Even though their characters hadn't known each other for long, there was a sense of teamwork when approaching a problem. Also, they were a bit more paranoid. These were players wounded by previous experiences, so didn't trust ANYTHING. Safety was an issue.
Three sessions in, and this current group is doing thing extremely different. Most of these players are not as thoughtful when it comes to a plan of attack. And they are very much individuals. Hence, you get a lot of miscommunication on the field, which is hilarious in some respects as a DM, and taxing in others.
I think the opportunity here is to get a story where the PCs find out what makes them a good team and grow in that respect. The trick is making sure everyone is on that path. There are some people who already have goals in mind that would bring them into a team way of thinking. There are also others who are following very individual goals and not paying attention to the team potential.
Am I saying my players have to play like a team? No. But it will make things a lot easier down the line. Why am I saying this? Because I friggin' know. I'm the one who made the game and I've seen it played out before. The individualism that is thriving three games in could be costly?
Not to say that the previous PCs had other flaws. They tended to over-think, and in that midst complicate solutions that I knew could be a lot simpler. I'm not favoring the tactics of one group over another. It's just interesting, knowing the path and seeing what different people do on the path.
There is of course a lot more that is happening behind the scenes, but alas, if I share any of it I'm going to spoil the surprises.