Thursday, March 22, 2012


I was composing a lengthy and fairly negative blog post, but I think I got some catharsis from it and I have deleted it. I feel slightly better, but some frustrations remain.

People in my immediate circle don't have time for gaming anymore. They all have jobs and kids and school and other real life things. The thing is... I have real life things, too....I'm married (although we have chosen a childless existence), I own a house, I hit the gym and train a martial art, and my job (teaching) keeps me plenty busy. (I usually have to work a few extra hours most evenings) I haven't started my Master's yet, but when I was going to school for my teaching credentials, I was working full time as well...and I was gaming more back then with even more real life stuff on my plate.

A lot of things are getting in my way, and I have control over none of them. In addition to disparate schedules, my available pool of gamers contains people who won't play with other people due to vast differences in play style, people who will only play a narrow range of games, and people who just can't give me a couple of hours one day a week (or even every other week). They have spouses who overschedule them, they have jobs that will not give them a regular schedule, they have all manner of things.

I have bandied about the idea of playing via G+, but I have experimented with that medium and I just...I don't know, online tabletop gaming just doesn't do it for me. It isn't really anything I can put my finger on, but I just find the experience somehow...lacking.

My only solution is to run solo games for people who actually have free time, or to try and expand my available pool of gamers. (My gamer xenophobia will make that extra fun, now won't it?)

On a lighter note, Jim Raggi has posted a video blog on LotFP. I watched it, and it has totally destroyed the mystique of James Edward Raggi IV. (Whose last name I have been pronouncing wrong for like three and a half years.) I expected Jim to live in a dwelling reminiscent of the temple on the cover of the AD&D 1st edition PHB, complete with demonic idol and burning braziers. I also expected his voice to sound like a death metal lead singer, all growly and stuff.

Instead, I get a pretty average gamer sitting in a tidy apartment(?). There are throw pillows.

I was going to continue working on my RIFTS to AD&D conversion (I have only finished one class since my break started, and I'm having trouble with the next two on the list) but I think I'll just go to bed.


  1. I share your pain. I started to vent my gaming mettle in PC strategic games and RPG writing.

    Solitaire games are very good too, especially if you want to flesh out parts of a setting.

    Good luck, and enjoy!

  2. Ryan sometime you'll have to give Fantasy Grounds a go with Rob (Bat in the Attic) and I sometime. Although you can never replace the real thing, but it is a good option to have.

  3. "There are throw pillows."


    For whatever it's worth, I share your frustration. I'm one of those shlubs who doesn't work a regular schedule, which makes it challenging to do a regular group thing more than once a month. For my regular game, one player's been Skyping in from Europe, and I really need to do more of this.

  4. You should join us! We have a weekly game with about 4-6 players most Sundays... Having a little bit of trouble lately with peoples schedules...But it has always seemed to work itself out!


  5. The thing is... I have real life things, too...

    Amen to this. I can respect the people who don't want to game with certain other folks...and non-fixed work schedules suck. But outside of those factors, if you really want to do something, you can make the time. This was a major frustration for me for some time up until last year; I had lots of folks who were interested in gaming, had lots of fun whenever we did it, but were just "too busy" to commit to a regular schedule. Feh.

    I'm at the opposite side of the spectrum now, practically inundated with committed, reliable gamers to play with, running multiple campaigns, etc. These things tend to be cyclical, of course, so I'm just trying to enjoy the ride as long as it lasts.

    One of the campaigns I'm involved with is online, incidentally. I took a long break from online gaming, but I've recently returned to it via Google+ Hangouts. It's working out great so far, but then again I'm using the format to game with my old high school/college group, so we've got a certain level of camaraderie and mutual understanding already programmed in.

  6. Good luck with this, my friend. My current group has lost some players due to people moving away, changes in work schedules, or just being generally too busy in various ways. Right now I'm down to two pretty consistent players who come to my once-a-week (sometimes every other week). I am planning on putting the word out in my FLGS where I game regarding my need for new players. I share some of that xenophobia you mention, but that's really been alleviated by just diving into the new gamer waters. The first time I ever gamed with strangers (who are no longer strangers) was just over a year ago! So try putting out the word, you may be surprised.

  7. We could allow an online gamer and see how it goes. normally i would reserve this for our best players that have moved away but they don't reply to my emails. Maybe you guys could reach out to Rob and offer a game to him. I'd be willing to play another time as well. Just have to figure out the time.