And on the first day, God said "Let geeks muster upon the soil of the Royal Oak." And he saw it, and it was Good.
Tonight I met up with two guys - Tyler and Spencer - I had emailed re: a poster they had put up in Fandom II. My gaming itch has not in the slightest been sated by the PbP game, I'm sorry to say. It's been great so far, but is nothing like a real table-top game. The interaction and shootin'-the-shit is half the enjoyment, as are the in-game screw-ups, such as: dying... twice! (Pascal: "What do you mean dead? Like -3?" Me: "Ummm... like -24 'dead'. As in 'crispy and unidentifiably dead'." Pascal: "Ooooohhhhhhh..."), setting loose a one-of-a-kind evil (Todd: "That's a tarrasque isn't it..." John: "Maybe?"
Tyler and Spencer were great. I've had such amazing luck over the last decade in terms of meeting gamers. Only a few problem people (*cough* halfling couple *cough* - the Kingston crew knows who I'm talkin' 'bouts) have ever emerged. Most have been fantastic and become very good friends: Pascal, Adrian, Steve, Geoff, Fiona, Linda, John, Todd, Lisa, and Sacha.
Tonight, I had to sit there and assume a calm, patient, sagacious DM face: nodding with a barely restrained smile as the enthusiasm swelled over the two hours we talked. It was so hard to curb my own avidity. Hilarious to watch everything die momentarily as the waitress wandered over to see if we wanted anything. "Nope, we're good."
What amuses me is that most of this care taken not to expose our geeky roots is silly. Nowadays, a lot of people hear about pen-and-paper gaming and want to know what it's about. 10 years ago gaming and especially D&D came with a huge stigma, thus was something to be hidden and lied about. Now the reaction is typically "Hey yeah! I've heard of that. What is it exactly? Can I watch a game?"
Anyway, it looks like the chips are in play, and we're off to the races. (or something) Spencer and Tyler left tonight with solid ideas for PC concepts, and gave me great ideas for a campaign start. It was quite collaborative, which I want. We talked about gaming styles, really getting into what we wanted and relating funny/sad anecdotes from our early gaming years, positive and negative both. Then we got into specifics, mostly to do with changes in Black Company versus generic D&D 3.5 edition stuff. The end result: what they want from a game is exactly what I want to put into a game, so it's a go.
On a side note, I'm so lucky Angie not only tolerates my geekiness but thinks better of me for it. I try to imagine what things would be like if she was disdainful of it. Well, it'd be an ugly situation, I guess, because as Steve says "I'm a gamer. That's just the way it is. I'll always be a gamer." And to think it all started (for me) with the Heroes' Quest board game 16 years ago.