2022.10.09 Triumphant Return To Game Nights
Dave and I have had a long-running Game Night, allowing us to keep playing AIF even though we lived in different cities - and then different countries. But last year, after [checks math...] 25-ish years, Dave asked for a break for a while.
Which made sense. It had been a long time being weird loner nerds playing our ultra-violent RPG, and a long list of various life stuff had accreted over the years for us. Taking a breath from long-term time commitments is a chance to re-assess what's healthy for ourselves.
Except for the obvious aspect that Dave is my best friend from the depths of deep time, and having the ability to semi-regularly hang out with him is kind of emotionally important to me. And outside of our "game night", there's just not much of that really going on. We did manage some occasional brief chats in the same time slot as the Game Night, when we were both online, so that's something. But not quite the same mojo as actually doing something creative together.
I managed to drag the kids and Amy up to see the family in Canuckistan this summer, and while there got to visit Dave (and Bonnie) in person. This gave more opportunity to see how Dave was doing, and to plumb the idea of re-starting Game Night. The hook on the lure was to suggest a couple things:
1: Try Dungeons & Dragons 5E, so that Dave could sample it firsthand.
2: Include more people in the game, to improve upon the endless cycles of 1-player games we had been grinding through for decades.
The 5E part wasn't too hard; I had a metric shitte-tonne of unused D&D game ideas too violent to include in the kid games I've been DM-ing. So I kitchen-sinked those all together to make a chimera horror adventure gestalt. [insert pantomime of job-done hand clap-wiping motion]
The "getting more people to play" aspect was the thing we had classically had stumbled on. We met, and agreed on a sort of shotgun approach - meaning just ask everyone who we could think of to play with us. Which, admittedly was a pretty short list.
Amy volunteered immediately, so that was a great relief. Both Dave and I talked about inviting Lou, but both of us independently contemplated it and chickened out, being reluctant to face the rejection directly. I still mean to ask him at some point, as a matter principle. Lou is super cool, and even though I know he's simply too busy to play with us (or do much of anything with us), I'd still like for him to know that he's still welcome join in.
The main win, though, was getting Ulrich to agree to play with us. Finally hearing his voice again, after years of purely text correspondence, was pretty great.
We had a session-0, where we finished off the character generation, and had an initial encounter. It was hilarious goodness. I'm genuinely delighted to have this personally-curated crew of alpha-nerds to play with.