It's the curse of the RPG writer - well, at least this RPG writer - that the more time spent writing for the game, the less time there is to play it. Wah. Wah.
Many gamers face the difficulty of "no game". Adult schedules grow increasingly difficult to coordinate. Gamer buds slowly but surely disperse about the country. Kids. Worse - kids not old enough to game! My problem began when we moved two hours north of NYC. If you're in NYC, it's simple. Nerdnyc will get you all the game of any game that you can handle on just about any schedule. Great community.
When you live semi-rural, putting together a weekly group of adults for at least 5 hour stints proves more challenging. Take me for example: writing hours aside, I had game for a bit. After I moved, my friends made the valiant effort. They traveled up. They spent the weekend. Some still do, if intermittently, but eventually the trek proved too much. The final straw came when one of my player's job took him to Washington DC. What's a gamer to do?
You beg. You plead. You cry into your pillow. You try virtual tabletop.
I recently decided enough was enough and ventured something I've never ventured before: to game at my FLGS (friendly local game store). It took a little more doing than simply showing up in the store, but I figure if it worked for me and you're in a similar boat, what I tried might work for you.
I hit my FLGS, the Dragon's Den in Poughkeepsie, and they were downright excited, warm and welcoming. They agreed to do what they could to help me find players. There's the rub. Players. Players of the right stripe. Players you don't know. Scary. I girded my loins.
Loins girded and not one to rely on a single iron in the fire, I stumbled on and tried RPG Game Find and...found gamers! The ad was free and hit enough people to snag two players. One of these fellows is a history professor at a local university (can't wait to get him running Ars Magica!), and he had interested friends. I found two more players on message boards I frequent, Paizo and Sinister Adventures. The store hooked us up with our final player, and the game launched.
The table chose Pathfinder RPG - what I consider the 4th edition I always wanted to see - for our system, and that gratified me; although I admit I advocated a bit. I offered up a variety of options for our campaign-to-be, but my new group chose to playtest a book I've been working on for over a year, now. My little project, among other things, includes world-building guidelines to help the GM help everyone at the table contribute their creativity to the setting and campaign.
Eventually, my process - and the wonderful folks I now game with - produced a unique setting for our adventures. To top it off, my new table taught me a bunch for improving this section of my little book
Now we're off and running, and I for one am glad to have some game again. One of our player's is posting play reports, written in character, over here. Inspired, other players are getting in on the fiction act. For example, in broken green English and green font, our half-orc braggart chimes in, frequently calling our gnomish chronicler "stooopid" and a teller of "liez". Now maybe this will only entertain those of us who were there. In which case, "Sorry. You had to be there." On the other hand, if you find these tales of our adventures amusing, I'd love to hear it. I ROFLMAO every time I read them.
Great gaming to everyone and rock on!
PS Our game seems to have activated latent interest in PFRPG -- or maybe its just the way we yell, hoot and curse. Either way, the Dragon's Den will soon be launching Pathfinder Society events, so check 'em out!