Roleplaying: Dungeons & Dragons for the uninitiated. And if D&D doesn’t give you an idea of what roleplaying is; where on earth have you been living??
A group of us used to roleplay at school which is to say that it was pretty much all we did at school! It dominated most of my time from age 13>18. We started with D&D, moved to Merp, Rolemaster, Spacemaster, Stormbringer, Warhammer and more.. but then it suddenly stopped. We got jobs, discovered booze and girls., got cars and started going out more and then as years went by we spread out and moved away and we just stopped playing – not because we didn’t like it anymore but because we didn’t have the time to meet up (working sucks balls for things like this) or the knowhow to find new groups in the areas we were now in as this was before the modern internet and social media (or more like weren’t brave enough to!)
Then in my late twenties I rediscovered my love for gaming with board games and for the last 20 years I have been enjoying evenings with friends laughing, drinking, and eating whilst play some absolutely awesome board games. But I have never got back into roleplaying. There are a couple of times I’ve dabbled but never with a group that was serious – it was more talk and no real intention.
Then a couple of things happened. JJ, One of my original group, married and it transpired that his lovely wife Sara enjoyed games – mainly computer games up to this point but with JJ’s background in roleplaying she found something new to explore. It started with boardgames (which JJ didn’t enjoy so much) and then moved into roleplaying and whilst I had nothing to do with either of these events as I was living many miles away, we spoke occasionally about games and shared what we had played and our thoughts on it. They joined a couple of local groups to them (board game and RPG) and then suddenly out of nowhere Sara decided to launch a games convention with her local group in Hampshire, and Gamescon UK was born! That someone can go from nongamer to convention host in just a couple of years really does testify to what you can do when you have passion, determination, drive, commitment and enthusiasm – and good project management skills!
Gamescon has just had its second year (2019) and I have attended both as a friend and gamer but not helper; however next year I plan change this and to help out too – Sara’s commitment to keep this running is contagious and really want help her keep her dream alive.
What has also happened is that Roleplaying has once more started appearing as a subject of conversations and JJ has been asking me to join in an online group for a Cthulhu campaign he wants to run. Now initially I was a still a little reluctant because as well as not having roleplayed for donkeys years I also had never done any online gaming. So it was I decided to do a little research into folks that do online gaming so I watched a few streams of people doing it (there are lots of options to choose from) but in particular I enjoy watching the Polyhedron Collider team who as well as doing a really good board game podcast, they roleplay remotely online every Thursday evening for a couple of hours and it gave me a really good idea of what to expect – their latest D&D campaign here.
And so I made my choice, and said yes. This week we logged on and started with creating our characters and learning alittle about who the game system works getting used to the various tech platforms we are going to use to run the game on, talk to each other and possibly even video conference! There will be three of us playing, with JJ running the game (typically called the ‘Games Master’ – or ‘Keeper’ for Cthulhu games) and I got to meet Steve (another one!) who will be one of the other players with Sara and I.
Here is me, going a little OTT on tech setup as we tested various platforms (laptop with two screens, ipad and iphone) and with the essential bottle of wine (actually, two but one was almost empty when I started).
It was a lot of fun just playing around and getting to know Steve (an Irish man who can do amazing accent impersonations) and I cannot wait to start this weekly event.
Not so much for the roleplaying, which I am *really* looking forward to, but because in just this one session I’m reminded just how much fun it is to sit around a chat with people. As with all gaming for me it is much more about the social aspect than it is the playing; the laughing.
GOOD GOD, I love to laugh. So much. And I cannot recommend enough that you do it too. Find something you enjoy and share it with someone because you’ll undoubtedly enjoy it all the more for doing so.
So here I am rekindling my love of roleplaying, but really embracing the chance to spend some quality time with some old, and new, friends.
Sometimes tech can rock!