I miss being a Dungeon Master.
A little known fact about me. I’ve spent countless nights and literally thousands of hours creating worlds, developing intrigues and calamities within them, and then writing the entire thing down in an open-ended, slightly improvisational fashion that only works when you’re counting on other people to tell your story with you.
I’ve actually written 3 entire campaigns that will, more than likely, never actually see the light of day or have anyone actually play them.
I did it simply for the love of creating them. And I do love it.
Thing is, I’ve never found another group of people that I’ve actually wanted to DM for. There was the original Fab 5 back in the heady Avenue D Days of 1996, when I first ran the Ravenloft Grim Harvest campaign.
But we were all very close friends to begin with, and we’d played a ton of Magic: the Gathering against one another, so we were well-versed in each other’s tendencies. There was very little in the way of munchkin power-gaming, and everyone seemed more interested in developing the story and creating space within the world where their characters fit. That’s the kind of game I like to run. Less rolling of dice, more imagination.
Alas, we grew up. (Well, most of us anyway.) And after a few years, there was simply no going back to those free summers of bone bats and danger bongs*.[*Not what you think.]
And now, the commitment required to undertake an episodic game that takes hours to play and requires at least 4 people to commute to a physical space with regularity is just too tall an order.
I know I couldn’t do it if the shoe were on the other foot.
A possible answer would be to find a group out near where I live. Problem there is that it’s still D&D, and therefore it has a reputation for being unassailably geeky. As such, it isn’t something that I’d bring up all that often among the decidedly straight-laced denizens of the West Houston suburbs, lest poor Daphne suffer more “geek dad” insults than is absolutely necessary.
I actually did run a very short campaign during Extra Life the year before last, although there ended up being too many players to run it effectively. (I think I had 6 or 7?) It was fun, but it killed me when we ran out of time and I’d merely set the table for all the things I’d written for these characters. Sadly, the players would never know what was in store for them.
As I mentioned before, playing the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game scratches a similar itch, but it just isn’t the same as the open-ended freedom of true role-playing. Which reminds me, there’s a new PACG box set coming out in a couple weeks that apparently takes characters into The Abyss (which is essentially Hell), that looks like it could be interesting.
Meh, maybe someday…
See you kids Monday.