In February of 2001, four friends and I started recording a home-grown role-playing campaign we'd created from scratch using the rules from Steve Jackson Games' GURPS.
Before the year ended, our numbers were around seven or eight players (it varied as schedules allowed).
For the next thirteen years, we'd game at least once a month (with the occasional skipped month due to schedule problems). Some of our number would marry. Some of our number would jaunt off across the globe, only to return later. Some of our number would leave, answering the call of real life. Some of our number would be asked to leave, as personalities conflicted.
Last night was the conclusion of thirteen years and five months of fairly-frequent gaming in the classic fantasy vein: lowly would-be heroes rise up to save the world, etc.
Sure, it was loaded with tropes. So. Many. Tropes. It wasn't particularly original, though I found our spin on things to be pretty clever (in all humility).
However one looks at it, it was thirteen years of sitting around a table with good friends, some dice, some paper (and later, laptops, 'cause... 21st Century and all that). It was thirteen years of pizza, Chinese food, sushi, beer, candy, pretzels, chips, and FSM-knows-what-else. Later it was home-cooked meals, sometimes by one of our number, sometimes by an incredibly-understanding spouse of one of our number.
That was a damn good thirteen years.
We're not done as a group. We've got other campaigns - most of which are set in the same made-up world - but the campaign that served as the foundation to all of it is now over.
It's a bittersweet feeling for me. Both a relief and something I'll miss terribly. Now I need to figure out how I'll redirect my OCD elsewhere.
To those I game (or gamed) with, if you're reading this, thank you for your time, your patience, your participation, and your special brand of crazy. I expect to be rolling the dice at the retirement home with you lads.
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