So it's coming up on a year
since I last ran a campaign, even a short one. And I'm pretty happy with that, honestly. Playing 2-3 times a week continues to be pretty rad. Being a player is just fun, and it's given me a lot to think about in terms of how I'm going to run the next game. I'm also enjoying the opportunity to get some time to really think about what I'm going to run next, and for whom.
I still really, really want to run my own chat game. The format really clicks with me, as a player, and I'm not going to master it until I run my own game. I've got the player base. And I've got some ideas and inclinations that wouldn't really work except in chat. I know that if I were to run a tabletop game, I'd spend at least some of my time thinking, "Man, if this were chat, then we could..."
And yet, I've got this gentle, persistent nudging that my next game should not be the intimate, 1-3 player online chat that I'm really digging right now, but open, anyone-who-shows-up tabletop. Some kind of crazed LL/S&W/LotfP WFRPG/"you want to play a centaur? sure!" megadungeon sandboxy thing, just to get that all out of my system. The game itself wouldn't be quite as good, not quite what I'm grooving on at the moment, but the game isn't everything.
In short: My social life revolves around gaming. A lot of this is just because people I have other things in common with tend to be gaming-curious; partly it's because I make a conscious effort to be "out" about my gaming, and to bring my non-gaming friends into the fold. The overall effect is that, since seventh grade, about 90% of the people I voluntarily interact with on a regular basis (as opposed to classmates and such) have been people who I'm actively gaming with, or people who I'd gamed with in the past but for various reasons wasn't at the moment. Which means that, at the moment, a great deal of my social life is online.
I should probably be more worried about that than I am, but I'm actually pretty happy with that right now. Skype is an awesome thing, I'm weird enough that "mostly online" means "fits my strange niche interests," and a lot of it is that I'm using the 'net to keep in touch with the people I hang out with at college, now that we're scattered across the state.
However, what mostly gaming online does mean is that I don't have a whole lot of influence on my local social scene, and that's going to be even more true once I get back to college. I'd like for there to be a little more communication between the different groups of gamers I'm in touch with at school. I'd like for there to be a reliable group of people around for me to hang out with, who understand how to socialize without getting as drunk as they possibly can, as quickly as they can. I worry about some of my friends who, when I'm busy with my online gaming, often end up hanging out with people who drink more than said friends are really comfortable with. Running a game isn't necessarily going to have the effect that I want, and it's obviously not the only way to create that kind of environment, but it's a tool that I'm comfortable with, and fairly good at using.
So there's that. Plus, like I mentioned before, the kind of "anyone can show up!" old school exploration game I've been curious about running for a while is going to be a lot easier to wrangle while I'm still at college, and have a handful of people bugging me about running some variety of old school D&D already, than it will be once I graduate and have to start over cold in a social environment. I'm not quite convinced that's the kind of game I want to run, but it's enough that I've started (once again) scribbling down notes and maps for something of the kind.