Below is a guest post by my very good friend (and co-blogger over at LizSquared) Liz C. She’s a pretty awesome person and, like me, struggles with the balance between being a parent and being a gamer. Read all about it!
My child is 8 years old.
This is relevant because it has thus been about 8 years since I have done any serious gaming, and y’all, I am MISSING. IT.
This isn’t to say that before I had kids, I was a deeply intense gamer. My husband rediscovered gaming because his younger son expressed interest in the hobby, and his rediscovered passion re-ignited my own from my teen years. (Remember Beast Riders? So flippin’ cool. Especially to 16-year-old me.) So we had a gaming group and we gamed fairly frequently, but we only got into an actual campaign twice. Once for Forgotten Realms, and once for Eberron. In both cases, I had a character I was really excited about, whose background I built with care, and whose storyline I knew how to follow. It was those two campaigns that really made me feel like I could say that I was A Gamer For Real (TM). But then we had a baby.
O, Internet. Parenting and gaming. It is possible to mix them, but I just never tried – when our daughter was born, my gaming life effectively died. At the time, I was okay with letting it, because dudes, babies are INTENSE, and being a breastfeeding mom meant that The Sainted Husband could only do so much before It Had to Be Mama (TM). So I didn’t game, and was content for him to run a group without me while I took care of the munchkin. More and more of late, though, I’ve been feeling the pull of the dice, and I don’t mean for a one-off Dread or Lady Blackbird type thing, although those kinds of games have nicely scratched the itch over the past 8 years. No. What I want — need — YEARN for — is A Campaign.
A good, old-fashioned, same-character-throughout gaming campaign. The kind where you develop an insanely detailed backstory that nobody else knows or cares about, complete with appearance reference photos and motivations and god-knows. The kind that drags on for months and months, where you’ve got time to develop a serious grudge against that one person in your gaming group for not getting the cue in that last diplomacy check to just SHUT UP ALREADY! The kind that provides you with years of argument with your DM over magic mechanics and howcome that one time when you tried to cast a spell in two directions at once it was TOTALLY within the defined parameters for your character.
I need a campaign.
I want to get emotionally invested in a character story arc. I want to know where my character’s trying to get, and be able to use his or her arsenal of skills and items to try to get them there. I want to sit around the same table every other week for six months or a year knowing that the story is To Be Continued.
So. Who’s in?