My game, undecided

My wife understands social media, helpfully rolling her eyes when I bestow my great wisdom of its ills. She does because she uses it. She talks to her graph, finds the best deals, where to go, what to do. She plugs questions into it like it was an oracle.

So when I decided that in 2019, I needed to actually get my game off the ground (after an unreasonable hiatus), I posted the following To Facebook on New Years Day, with a link to Zak Smith’s Vice article about why he still loves Dungeons and Dragons in the age of video games:

I love Dungeons and Dragons. I mean LOVE it. With heart. Something I want (need) to do is run more games.

If you’re okay with a rusty, enthusiastic Dungeon Master and earlier, simpler rules: we need to get in touch this year.

And the nerds began to emerge… Mostly fellow nurses, and the odd local old-schooler, whom I’ve gamed with in the past, the only person at the time of posting, I knew would likely play. I was, for a day, genuinely excited.

But then the decision paralysis began to set in. I have my lonely prep…a small black book in which I’ve added some setting notes and transcribed half of The Tomb of the Serpent King. But I am hesitant to use my own thing, worried that it would be just a piecemeal collection of mostly dull disjointed ideas.

Then a hospital transporter, calling me on my vocera to deliver blood asked, “Where are you? Are you there?” Amusing to me as I was well away, in another patient’s room, “Of course I’m there, everywhere you’re not is there.” Shortly thereafter, another transporter handed me the wrong form, saying, “oh sorry, this a future job, you can’t sign something in the future.”

After these exchanges, I walked out to the station, and a colleague asked me about this game I posted, expressing interest, and I rather spontaneously (spurred no doubt by the transporters wry incongruities of place and time) answered that I’ll likely set it in A Red & Pleasant Land. I think I was also appealing to her and others, who will know Dumbledore* but never Nigauble of the Seven Eyes.

But now I’m not so sure. The pull of early fantasy, of Vance and Leiber, of the art of old TSR modules, of the 1e Dungeon Masters Guide, and the homages to that in the OSR, is the setting that courses through me aesthetically. Anything less, with my one possible game, I’m afraid won’t have my passion or that seventh hidden eye that looks in.


* The colleague in question posts relentless Harry Potter memes on Facebook.

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