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Day 1: First RPG Played This Year

The first game I played this year was Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. This was a continuation of a game I’ve been in since mid-2020 that is nominally bi-weekly but is closer to monthly. The reason for the reality versus theory in scheduling is the campaign is me, my wife, N, and D plus D’s daughter, and for most years their current exchange student. Two high school students, at least one in the theater program, means a lot of interruptions.

Some weeks we don’t meet. Others we meet and either play other games. We’ve one-shotted the James Bond 007 rpg and Ultra-Violet Grasslands. We’ve also played a lot of board games from Car Wars to Wingspan to Dungeons & Dragons Trivial Pursuit.

Yet, despite the irregular schedule some of my most meaningful gaming moments have been in this game. To explain that we need to go back a few years.

Dungeons & Dragons fifth edition players handbook

The longest-running campaign I’ve run this century was a Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition that ran from 2016 to 2020. Despite the end date, COVID did not kill it. Just before the lockdowns one of the players died. When his wife called me I wondered if he was Georgia’s first COVID death. It wasn’t, but that’s a separate story. His wife, another of the five players, moved to New Mexico to be closer to her family.

This left D, his daughter, and their current exchange student F. D had been of the original twelve who responded to my Meetup ad. We’d fallen to six within a month then down to a semi-stable four. At that point, D asked if his daughter, then in the fourth grade, could join.

His daughter is a natural.

But I was glad to have her for a different reason. When I was still in school I had moved from playing with adults who treated me as a peer. I think that is a core reason that despite having played in JHS and HS in the late 70s and early 80s I didn’t quit gaming after graduating. I wrote a lot about this in my old OSR blog.

Back to 2020, F returned to her home country as COVID broke. There was no way to find people for an in-person game at the time. So, when the old game collapsed we didn’t game for a while. Then D invited C and I to play with him, his daughter, and N who is the grown son of his wife’s coworker.

James Bond 007 RPG Ad from the 80s

D had said he’d never really run. But, having watched me for four years he had the confidence to run a game. I took that as I’d been transparent enough while running a good game that he learned enough to try.

It’s been a good game. And I had helped bring another game master into the world. He ran the 007 one-shot as well.

Then, for NYE 2022 his daughter decided she wanted to run a game. Not only had I given her the spot I’d valued, being seen as a peer among adults but she had repaid me by becoming a gamemaster as well.

And just this last week, at D’s game, F sat in as she was back in the States for a week and a half to visit. She hadn’t played RPGs before my table. Now she is teaching other people to play at home and running a couple of campaigns.

To some degree, I helped bring two new players and three new gamemasters into the world.

I’m glad the game I started the year playing was a continuation of the game that allowed me to play a part in that growth of our hobby.

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