#RPGaDay2022 – Day 1: Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?

#RPGaDday2022 is all about being positive about roleplaying games, just like every year of the event. Due to my schedule this year, I am certain that I will need to release my responses in groupings, and unlike past years where they originate in total from both this blog and the YouTube general, or last year where they appeared each day for the podcast, this year they are likely to be spread out across several platforms as time and situation dictate. Like many of you, I do not want some self-imposed pressure of trying to post every day to wear me down or take the fun out of sharing.

For this first day of the event, however, I am trying to get a single post out on three platforms.

Fortunately, the design of this year has given each week its own flow and its own internal logic so posts that cover several days – at least up to 6 – will be easy.

Day 1

Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?

Roleplayers are an imaginative lot. Given the right game, group, and goals, we can imagine ourselves as anything, anywhere…. and at any time. As we get older, some memories get filed under words like regret, and so for this RPGaDay, I think it is a good idea, and hopefully a positive one, to turn one of my regrets into an acknowledgement of failure and a clearer sense of how to be of better use in the future.

Decades ago, near the end of my time in high school, I failed to make a new friend. It wasn’t for lack of trying on his part, it was because I couldn’t or wouldn’t meet him halfway. This fellow, let’s call him Roger because that was not his name, liked many of the things that I did, was something of an outsider, like I was, and had his own reasons to be unhappy and in need of friends. Unlike him, I did not mind being on the outside, had a pretty low opinion of those on the inside, and despite my family’s frequent moves, had managed in each new place to make a friend or two. I didn’t really have it in me to make more friends than that… or did I?

Roger was bigger than most of us, and he was able to do heavy physical activities – he had to work long before the rest of us started getting jobs. He loved metal and more than once my love of metal was my passport through Roger’s world in the more dangerous parts of the school.

Eventually, we became acquaintances and started talking about things like music, video games, movies, and so on.

What we didn’t do was talk about RPGs.

I never once invited him to a game… or thought to do so.

Looking back on him and his life, interests, and problems now, I know he would have loved gaming. He wasn’t a reader, he wasn’t that interested in school or the future, but he was full of imagination and humor. He loved video games and he loved how they worked. He was good at figuring them out. He would have loved RPGs – maybe especially AD&D which was the only game we played in those days.

Not long after graduation, Roger drove his van into the concrete pylons of an underpass leaving little doubt that he intended to end his journey among the living.

I am not saying that I think that if I could travel back to those days, or if I had made a different choice the first time around, that Roger would not have made the decision to end his life. For many of us, RPGs were one of the things – I think especially because of the connections and relationships they foster by their very nature – which helped us stay on this side of life, but it would be foolish to think they are the singular cure for all that ails us. What I am saying is that even if an invitation to play might not have changed his ultimate destination, it would have added a positive to a life which obviously, now in hindsight and from experience younger me would soon accrue in loss after loss, needed more positive things. One positive may have led to finding more – and THAT would have made the difference.

Tomorrow’s question: What is a great introductory RPG?

One Response to “#RPGaDay2022 – Day 1: Who would you like to introduce to RPGs?”
  1. I’d love to be able to convince my wife into playing TTRPGs… but she’s too cool for that 😎

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