Two Days of Splendid Gaming

Origin Story: The Riddle of Midnight

When I returned to Ithaca a few years ago, one of the few people to really make a sincere effort to track me down was J.J. He stopped by a few times when I was a Youth Advocate, a slave to a beeper and trapped in a strange schedule. When he was in a bad car wreck and broke his hip I thought of that. I remembered how he kept stopping by and trying to hang out and how I never made the time to track him down.

In guilt, in honor of his effort, in friendship, I decided that the least I could do for my wounded friend was to start a role-playing game. The finest thing I can do for someone trying to learn how to walk again, trapped at his parent’s house, unsure of his future, is give them a passport to another world.

That was why I started the game I call the Riddle of Midnight. It has been running off and on for a year and in that time JJ has re-learned to walk and celebrated the first birthday of his only son.

Swashing Buckles and Buckling Swashes

Oddly, I met Robert Ahrens on-line. It sounds cheesy, almost corny when I say that out loud. We both frequent RPG.net, a geek’s forum where one can either kvetch about Lucas, ask if someone knows the names of all of the Gord the Rogue books or just in general get your geek on.

We ended up hanging out in real life and we didn’t meet any of the D&D Geek stereotypes that are so cringe-worthy becomes sometimes they are so damned apt. We both bathed, made eye contact when speaking to another, could talk about something other than gaming and generally got along.

It was a nice thing to be invited into Robert’s game, something of an honor. Non-gamers won’t understand the hesitation. Picture gaming as making a story with your friends. Imagine you are making an imaginative yarn with your friends and it is going well. What if you invite someone to make a story with you all but they’re crap? what if they’re terrible? What if their method for generating stories is so different that you can’t sit at the same table and make stories together without great pain and annoyance?

That’s the fear.

I’ve met Robert’s eclectic group though and now I’m a happy and eager player in his cool 7th Sea game, an RPG with influences from the 3 Musketeers, Zorro and throw in a little Faery magic. Fun stuff.

Which brings us to the present…

In these last days of unemployed languor, I have gamed. It has been glorious. Yesterday, with Jessi in town, we played the Riddle of Steel in the Midnight setting. It was seven hours of good role-playing and fun. Jessi even commented on the energy of the game approaching (but not close to reaching) the levels we found when running Ars AD&Dica in days of yore.

Today I was in Robert’s lovely 7th Sea game, where I have been inserted in the final 10-12 weeks of the game. Tonight I felt that it was the first night my character really shined. It was nice to play again and not have to juggle ten different shiny things at once. Playing is so pleasant, only having to focus on my one character and not considering the consequences of an entire world (or worlds).

It has been a most pleasant two days.

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3 thoughts on “Two Days of Splendid Gaming

    • Yeah, Jeff, it is important to keep in touch with that as a DM. I hear ya.

      I think two things can happen when a player loses touch. They can come down with the “The Players are So Stupid Syndrom,” in which the character’s faults are seen as player mistakes and punishments are handed out instead of plot complications.

      And through that kind of thinking, a DM can get a DM vs. Player rut.

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