This blog has been around for almost a year now. Do you know how I know that? And don’t think for a second that I’ll accept checking the date of my first post as an answer!
When I first started writing for this blog all anyone in the RPG blogging scene was writing about was Gen Con. For years I’d wanted to go but with it being held on the other side of the Atlantic I was severely limited in my attempts to attend. As time went on and mortgage applications were signed and children were born I came to the realisation that I’m never going to get there any time soon.
As an beginner in the world of RPG’s I didn’t really know what to write about. I’m that out of the loop on new releases that I struggle to keep up to speed with my 4e news and don’t get me started on any of the 3rd party products for 3/3.5e that everyone seems to know about as well as the rules and laws behind publishing for them. I decided to follow the same guidance I’ve followed for every other blog I’ve ever written. Pick your 8-10 favourite blogs in your niche and take the topic that is doing well for them at that moment and write my own take on it. That is kind of hard to do when all anyone was writing about at that time was Gen Con. It’s not as if I could write about conventions in general as I have never attended any during my many years of gaming.
So what did I do? I changed the scope of my blog so that it was a place for me to just write. Hopefully it will end up being full of gaming anecdotes from my time playing but it will never be a successful site that people come back day in and day out to get the latest news from.
Olivier Bruchez @ Flickr
But what of Gen Con and my desire to attend? It seems my wife has had a burning desire to go to New York for years and hatched a plan to go later in the year. I had a choice. We could both go early next year for a few days for our anniversary or she could go later this year with her friend, catch an NFL game before heading over to LA to see relatives and I could attend Gen Con in 2010. Almost everyone has been putting on their Mon Calamari masks and shouting “It’s a Trap!” It isn’t. Honest.
So here it is. The planning starts now. Financial spreadsheets as well as a giant wall calender will be produced and I will be at Gen Con next year. I will. I will. I will. I will find the money and I will get play some games. I just better not end up talking to an alien in Area 51 or get lost whilst traveling by myself over 3,500 miles each way.
Over the years you accumulate many pads of paper and mountains of loose sheets all with important information on them for your campaigns. For the last eighteen years I’ve been keeping every single ship, vehicle, building and character I’ve ever put down on paper safe in a handful of folders.
I say very recently because I got home from work the other day and found a drawing of a light fighter I’d done for one of my first Space Master games sitting on the floor behind my front door with many muddy cat paw prints on it. It’s at this point that your heart starts to race and if you know anything about my health over the last year that’s not a good thing. So I moved further into the house thinking to myself that it was only a drawing and it was done when I was 14 or 15 years old so it was no big deal. It wasn’t as if it was actually any good anyway.
I took one step into my living room and found one of the folders open with almost every page sitting loose on the floor, my almost 3 year old son sitting in the middle with a black marker pen in one hand and a pair of plastic scissors in the other. There were nice pretty stars cut out of some pages and ragged strips torn from others. On some of my drawings lovely wee pictures of fruit and Christmas trees were scrawled and on a few character sheets the only hint of what they used to be was top edge of the sheet where I recorded and rubbed out hit point totals as everything else had been coloured in with the marker.
The crappy drawings I couldn’t actually care about as I’d never use them and apart from a few of the character sheets most of them would never see a game again. There were a handful of character sheets though that I couldn’t bare to lose and thankfully they were in one of the other folders but my favorite drawings were in that pile of torn pages. I had my dune buggy style assault vehicle and my Zzoooomer anti-grav landspeeder frames at one point and hung on my parents wall. That’s how good those drawings were and there they were in pieces on the floor.
My heart almost stopped when I realised this but when I seen the look of joy on my sons face none of it mattered. It only took me a second to realise that everything I had in those folders were replaceable. So what if I never managed to draw them the same way again as in all these years I’ve barely used them after the initial campaign finished. So what if all I have is the memories of those characters who’s sheets were destroyed as they were barely more than postcard style reminder of the games of yesteryear.
We spend years collating and hoarding gaming information and apart from the odd house rule or homebrew system almost all of it is disposable even if we choose to ignore that fact.
Maybe I should go through the rest of my notes and weed out everything that will never be used again and is guilty of just taking up space on my gaming shelf.