Tomorrow is the start of our new Dungeons and Dragons campaign. That in itself would not be a notable thing, but eight years on, it feels like a partial rebirth of our gaming group.
Eight years ago we came together to play D&D3e, 'we' being the players from a disparate larger group of gamers who wanted to turn a very casual approach into something a little more concrete. Since then we have seen people come and go from the table. We have moved venue on a number of occassions. We have played some awesome games (Pendragon, Buffy, Spirit of the Century) and some awful ones (Werewolf ... what was I thinking?). We have seen off CCGs and to an extent MMOs. We have even grown our own family of gamers and now have a packed out gaming social calendar, which includes our own mini-convention!
However, despite all of these achievements, its the things that we haven't done that please me more. We never argue. We never keep things bottled up - instead choosing a very open feedback mechanism to help support each other as we develop. We have never turned on a player or ejected a player from our table. We play with respect and fairness. We don't abuse people's hospitality for opening their homes to us. We haven't ever let external pressures - primarily from MMOs - get in the way of our gaming.
So now, on Sunday, the original five sit down again with the next version of D&D, but this time I get to play rather than DM. The game has all the hallmarks of an excellent campaign. We have excellent characters and a brilliant situation. The setting, which is a homebrew, has a feeling of focus to it that I have rarely seen. It has great flavour around it whilst still allowing huge variety. Andrew, the GM, has concoted a fair few tweaks to 4e to keep the game ticking over in the manner that we have become accustomed.
Really, we are going to have to try really REALLY hard to fuck this one up!
And what does the future hold for us? Who knows.... but I hope we continue in the same way we have for the last eight years. Damned fine gaming.