I've Gamed With These Guys Half My Life


Gamer Life General Discussion


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I'm 50, and the title is no exaggeration. I've been with some of these guys nearly 30 years, and the rest at least 25. But time and life is catching up to us, and my group barely gets together now, and when we do, only half of us can't make it. I don't begrudge anyone their time with jobs, family, or their own personal ways of unwinding. Lord knows I need that time myself sometimes.

If this group finally disbands, which I think will be this year with get togethers for gaming only a couple times a year or so, I don't know if I'll join another group in my age bracket. I've become very set in my ways when it comes to gaming, and the times I've sat in with other groups my age I just felt, well, off for lack of a better word. I realize it would be very hard for me to join another group regularly.

I've been GMing Pathfinder for my son and a group of his friends, all in their early 20s. It's fun, but the generation gap is clearly noticeable. They don't get my social, historical, or entertainment references and I don't get theirs. And of course slang has changed, so I end up speaking like I'm some college professor in a "slang neutral" fashion because they laugh at my old slang and I don't understand some of theirs.. lol

Most people look forward to retirement. Mine looks like it'll be pretty dull and grey, as far as my primary fun activity goes.

Now I'll go find some cheese to eat with this whine. Thanks for letting an old fart ramble.

Sovereign Court

Or you can try to game with other people.


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I've tried, and it's not, well...easy. I have severe anxiety disorder and some days I can't even leave the house. I'm sometimes not very comfortable even among my friends, but being around people I don't know or know well is hell for me.

Sovereign Court

That sucks. Can't offer any advice on that without sounding like an unfeeling ass, so I'm not gonna try.


I know how that feels. I was with my previous to this latest misbegotten group for 1/3 of my life. We knew each other very very well. I moved to another state and some of us had other rl situations that scattered us across the globe. We talk via various social media and actual phone calls all of the time, but it's not our gaming group...for the last couple of years I've tried and tried to find others to game with and mostly I end up with the mmo twitchy type that only want to kill and level as it were.(Sorry if this offends some of you. I love FF and Skyrim...but it's not roleplaying) Role playing is foreign to most of them and those that do try are sometimes jeered out of it by others at the table. I'm to the point of holding gamer auditions lol! I'm not good at describing game detail and all that in posts, but I've been gaming since I was 13 and Gm'ing since I was 15. I'm by all accounts a pretty good tale spinner with heavy on the fantasy and horror elements. It seriously sucks to have a situation in your life like this. Do you have a local online gaming chat board? Or one that has a regional section? Getting to know people online is a pretty good step in the right direction....I've just been chatting with some gamers in my area on Obsidian Portal and that may be a viable gamer option for me since some of them live not too far away and we may get together for a trial session or two. I'm geeky girl awkward and shy and have a hard time connecting with people with out feeling uncomfortable until I know them.

I hope that you find some way to game, I don't think I'd ever like to be without my rpg sessions...I spend too much time in my own head as it in. It's pretty much my social life =P


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Have you tried PbP?
Have you tried a virtual game via skype or other such setup?
What about an immersive MMO?

Also, have you thought about GMing WITH your son? Maybe setting something up you both can put together and provide input on, sort of passing the torch?

What about writing? Maybe starting a blog, putting out some of your accrued knowledge and/or opinions on the hobby, reviews, discussions, etc?


Hey, just because you take a break doesn't mean it has to end. Most of my gaming group has taken a couple of years off here and there. I'm 42 and just now have my first child.So I'm having to take a break. The rest of the group have kids that are just now able to start gaming themselves, so it's a new day for them...


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Cal, my current group is made up of the remnants of several groups I've gamed with before, and we've taken on a long-time remnant of another group. To be honest, I'm 30 and one of the two youngest players; a couple of these people have been gaming since 1E OD&D hit the shelves. You sound like the kind of player we would give a try.


Thanks, MJ... too bad you probably live as far from Central Arkansas as possible... lol


Lamontius wrote:

Have you tried PbP?

Have you tried a virtual game via skype or other such setup?
What about an immersive MMO?

Also, have you thought about GMing WITH your son? Maybe setting something up you both can put together and provide input on, sort of passing the torch?

What about writing? Maybe starting a blog, putting out some of your accrued knowledge and/or opinions on the hobby, reviews, discussions, etc?

I've been trying to write something since I was 15. So far, nuthin'.

I've tried to get my son to GM, but he says he's too intimidated to do so with me in the game. :/

I've done the virtual game via chat before. It was fun, but the players decided it was too slow and clunky. As far as MMO's go, I haven't the foggiest notion of what to do. I quit playing video games with the controllers went from a single joystick and one red button... lol

Seriously, thanks for all the ideas and pep talks. I wasn't fishing for sympathy (hell, maybe I was. I don't know). I'm going through round of insomnia and have been awake nearly 2 days now. On top of that my middle age is poking me in the brain and that depresses me. So, I was just letting out one little bit of the squirming jello that's in my head... lol

Liberty's Edge

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Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

Hey Cal,

It sounds like a really difficult space to be in. To find that you're approaching retirement age and feeling as though one of your favorite past-times is going to be hard to come by. Mostly, I just want to say I appreciate the complexity of your dilemma. There's certainly not an easy answer.

Now, nowhere in your post did you specify that you were looking for advice. If mostly you just wanted to vent, and sometimes that's all we need, I get it. That said, if you're open to advice, read my next paragraphs. If not, please just skip it and take my response strictly as a point of empathy and appreciation for your sharing.

Anxiety is miserable. It's crippling. It turns one of our greatest and most wonderful strengths, the ability to think, create, imagine, and language, against us. We come up with lots of creative ways of minimizing the impact anxiety (or any unwanted feeling for that matter)has on us. Most of the time, these ways of coping somehow entail avoidance. As far as I'm concerned, there is absolutely nothing wrong with avoidance... until it starts to cut you off from the things that matter to you. It sounds like gaming matters to you.

If you can find the willingness, I would encourage you to consider (if you have not already) finding a therapist with which you really click. Know that therapy is only beneficial if you have a good, trusting relationship with the therapist and you are open to and invested in exploring how you might start to show up in your life in more satisfying ways. It's some of the hardest work that someone can do, but so long as its in the service of what matters to you, I would argue it is totally worth the discomfort.

Best of luck sorting this all out. I hope you (and I!) get to keep on gaming well into your twilight years.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Companion, Rulebook Subscriber

I'd recommend getting into something like PFS. Not necessarily as a outlet for your gaming, but as a space to find new gamers who are in your demographic. When I went off to university I joined the gaming club to find a new group, as my group scattered to the winds. The same thing happened after I graduated and I used an organized play program to find people who were my temporal peers (not just age by life stage.) I probably bounced through 3-4 tentative groups before I found one that stuck, we've been pretty much a core group for 8-10 years now.

Now that I'm gaming regularly with the same group of folks, I've found that staying involved in the organized play stuff (all PFS these days) gives me an outlet to experiment with characters, meet new folks, and helping others find permanent gaming groups as well.

Dark Archive

Have you considered asking any of your older game buddies to join you for a game in another group, even just a one shot? Maybe just one familiar face will give you a comforting anchor with a little slack so you can venture out a little bit.


Jeremy, thanks for the good words. I do see a therapist, and have done so for several years now. I'm not sure how good we click, but the pickings are pretty slim where I live. I'll muddle onward... lol


Galnörag wrote:

I'd recommend getting into something like PFS. Not necessarily as a outlet for your gaming, but as a space to find new gamers who are in your demographic. When I went off to university I joined the gaming club to find a new group, as my group scattered to the winds. The same thing happened after I graduated and I used an organized play program to find people who were my temporal peers (not just age by life stage.) I probably bounced through 3-4 tentative groups before I found one that stuck, we've been pretty much a core group for 8-10 years now.

Now that I'm gaming regularly with the same group of folks, I've found that staying involved in the organized play stuff (all PFS these days) gives me an outlet to experiment with characters, meet new folks, and helping others find permanent gaming groups as well.

I was invited to play in a PFS game by a guy who works at one of the FLGS' in the area, but my anxiety kicked in and I started to sweat just thinking about being around people I didn't know.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Raymond Lambert wrote:
Have you considered asking any of your older game buddies to join you for a game in another group, even just a one shot? Maybe just one familiar face will give you a comforting anchor with a little slack so you can venture out a little bit.
I've brought it up, but the response was a resounding "negatory, Ghost Rider". Their view is if we don't have time to play in our own reindeer games we sure don't have time to play in someone else's.

Liberty's Edge

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber
DungeonmasterCal wrote:
Jeremy, thanks for the good words. I do see a therapist, and have done so for several years now. I'm not sure how good we click, but the pickings are pretty slim where I live. I'll muddle onward... lol

That's really tough. All towns are not created equal when it comes to mental health resources. Just to give you some jargon words to look into: There is a substantial amount of research evidence supporting an approach called Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). The short of it is that ACT is a behavioral approach to working with a range of presenting concerns and has been found effective with a range of issues including anxiety, depression, chronic pain, interpersonal difficulties, and PTSD to name only a few.

There are a few good ACT-based self-help books out there for those who are motivated to try it on by their lonesome.

I wish you the best moving forward, Cal.


Thanks, Jeremy. I'll look for material on ACT at my library the next time I muster the courage to leave my burrow! LOL


How about inviting someone new to join your grognard group? Make the switch gradually... start with your family and their friends.

I have recently started GMing for a group of four, two parents and two kids, and it is working pretty well.

Regards,
Ruemere


ruemere wrote:

How about inviting someone new to join your grognard group? Make the switch gradually... start with your family and their friends.

I have recently started GMing for a group of four, two parents and two kids, and it working pretty well.

Regards,
Ruemere

My son and nephew sometimes sits in with my merry band of Old Ones. They're the only ones they have any interest in allowing in the circle. We're a pretty clannish outfit, I've learned.


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If you are motivated and inspired enough about it to feel bummed out, make a new world. That will give you an outlet. Instead of lamenting frequency focus on quality and depth.

Take the time to weave a web of adventure that snares the group tighter with each step they take without tripping them up.

Or make a true open world. The next time they play let them adventure to find adventure, or just enjoy the scenery. Make a secret cult that remains secret, with the players only catching on to suble manipulations, but not knowing who or why.

You could view the whole thing as an opportunity to put time into fleshing things out. Maybe, instead of running the game you can tell the story to your son and try to get him hooked, offer up only a little of the deepest and darkest at a time as he dms. He might change his mind about running games if you shift focus on 'running a game' to 'telling a cool story'.

Liberty's Edge

I gamed with the same group for years. Yet eventually due to some moving away. Having family as well as personality clashes I looked for new players. Don't get me wrong some of my players are good people. Yet some are almost stereotypes when it comes to their behavior.

Two players are luddites and refuse to even check their email on a regular basis. Case in point my last game.We hold it on Saturday afternoons. They both knew that they had to go to a BBQ on Saturday of the game. Knew about it on the Monday of the week. Yet because they check their email once a week told me they could not show late Friday afternoon. Then tried to blame because I told them on the Tuesday of the week. How is it my fault. It's up to the player to tell me they can't show. Not me to hound them for their availability. I'm less than impressed because they spend hours online playing mmos. Yet they can't take 5-10 mins to check email. That and they don't like doing anything outside of rpgs beyond eating junk food. Watching anime and playing mmos. I'm way beyond that phase in my life.

Another I stopped inviting to games because he simply had no respect towards me as a DM and person. While admitting they he had no respect to a good friend of mine in the same game Just try and do the same to him or his girlfriend and you got a earful. He was out as well.

Another hates playing D&D yet wants to play because he reads the game notes of the game. Joins leaves. Then joins again and leaves. Tried to do the same thing a third time and I refused. Were still good friends. Even if he does talk my year off about Savage Worlds sometimes.

To the op I know it's not easy meeting new people for some. Yet my suggestion is to at least try. If not take a break. As sometimes you need new blood and new friends. The group I game with is more sociable. Likes to do other stuff beyond rpgs and are well adjusted as individuals.


I actually find that a lot of gamers in pfs are old grognards. You'd be surprised at all the different types that join there.

Even if you're too anxious to go in and game with all the strangers (I can totally understand, asphergers here so really upset by new people) contact your local venture captain. Believe it or not, if you're in any kind of metropolitan to suburban area they're gonna have contact info by fb or phone on a ton of different gamers, or at least interact with them regularly. They'll likely be able to point you in the direction of a few groups that are closer to your style.

Liberty's Edge

My group is not so much old groganrd. Just set in their ways. I'm not a perfect person by any means I admit.

To use the example of the email from my previous post. They spend lots pf time online. They are not being forced to just check email one day. They knew ahead of time that they could not show. So why not do the smart thing and tell the DM in advance. At the very least don't blame the dm for their mistakes. It's not like they have a gun at their heads forcing them to check email one day. They also kept and keep saying they are broke. Yet they would show up at the table with new hard drives, anime and managa.

They guy with a lack of respect kept underplaying his characters refusing to listen to any advice form the dm or players. No matter the rpg. The last game he was in he played a Alchemist. Refused to use extracts or his mutagen. All he did was toss bombs. Refused to even look at the Grenadier archtype. Used a buggy free character creation program which kept listing his bomb damage as 1D6 even at high levels. Until I pointed out he should be doing more. His response was to blame the buggy program. I don't know how about reading the books and using old fashioned pencil and paper. Again never could admit to being wrong.

Another was a maniac depressive had his high and lows. Yet taking his meds and getting professoinal help. Never knew what would set him off. Played fast and loose with the alignment rules. Was bored if he was not the center of attention so started stuff in game. Kept eating sweets even though he was pre-diabetic. Is now severely diabetic and losing his sight.

It's strange. Once I turned thirty. I could no longer deal or want to deal with some of my first group odd behaviors. What was I thinking putting up with these people for at least ten years.

I'm loving my new group. I can talk about various topics gaming and otherwise. They either bring food or are willing to contribute in buying it. Listen to advice most of the type. Are not rude if they don't. Finding new people is hit or miss. Yet if you can get some good ones it's all worth it in the end.


memorax wrote:

M

Another was a maniac depressive had his high and lows. Yet taking his meds and getting professoinal help. Never knew what would set him off. Played fast and loose with the alignment rules. Was bored if he was not the center of attention so started stuff in game. Kept eating sweets even though he was pre-diabetic. Is now severely diabetic and losing his sight.

Heh, sounds like me, manic depressive with asphergers disorder. Keep getting yelled at because I eat too many sweets, not enough food, and drink way too much soda.

Sovereign Court

Where do you find all these people? Compared to what some of you had to endure, I feel like I've been playing with pretty well adjusted people.

Aside from a single guy who treated the entire game as a single player video game, he was the protagonist of, and everyone else were the NPCs.

Booted him quickly.

Liberty's Edge

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Hama wrote:

Where do you find all these people? Compared to what some of you had to endure, I feel like I've been playing with pretty well adjusted people.

I met them in the hobby. I and some of my other friends up with their behavior and never said anything for the longest time. No one wanting to be the bad guy. So we kind of deserved what we got. One by one though I either asked them no to show up. Or hung out with them on a social basis. The last are the two brothers afraid to use email. If they show up at the next game or before with their usual passive agressive BS they are out. As both players and friends. Of course they are never wrong. One can't make this stuff up. I did say they were almost like stereotypes. Now I screen players carefully.

Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Heh, sounds like me, manic depressive with asphergers disorder. Keep getting yelled at because I eat too many sweets, not enough food, and drink way too much soda.

There is a big difference imo. You can at least admit to all of the above. The player never took blame or responsability for anything negative he did. If you were diagnosed as being diabetic and risk losing your sight. I'm assuming you would stop eating food with sugar. Not ignore people advice get really sick then try to get people to feel sorry for you once your sight started to fail.


memorax wrote:


Thomas Long 175 wrote:

Heh, sounds like me, manic depressive with asphergers disorder. Keep getting yelled at because I eat too many sweets, not enough food, and drink way too much soda.

There is a big difference imo. You can at least admit to all of the above. The player never took blame or responsability for anything negative he did. If you were diagnosed as being diabetic and risk losing your sight. I'm assuming you would stop eating food with sugar. Not ignore people advice get really sick then try to get people to feel sorry for you once your sight started to fail.

I cut back from 4 liters of soda a day after they diagnosed me with an ulcer.

Liberty's Edge

Thomas Long 175 wrote:


I cut back from 4 liters of soda a day after they diagnosed me with an ulcer.

Again as I said the main difference between you and my ex-player. I met him a few months back. He is in real danger of going blind. Yet he ignored everyone attempts to cut back on the sugar. While he does not deserve to go blind. He was kind of asking to and now he may.


We managed to get a small group together for a one off game last night. Felt good to have grownup company.. lol


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Oh, and the quote of the night; "Hold still so I can punch a F****hole in your head!"


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Hail and well met, fellow grognard! I'm 53, my wife is 52 and the two other players that make up our surviving core group are 46 and 43 respectively. A few other group members have come and gone -- one player had to be dumped because our continued association with him had grown intolerable; one was having to divide his time between work, school, soccer, church, new girlfriend and gaming; three moved out of town, etc.

The four of us left have been gaming steadily for...I'm not sure how many years now, but we were playing AD&D 2.0 when we first got together because there was no 3.0. We largely skipped 3.5, moving from 2.0 to 3.0 to Pathfinder (zero interest in 4e), and occasionally breaking things up with GURPS, Harn, Call of Cthulhu or HERO System. After a couple of sessions of white-box D&D in the late 70's I started with 1e AD&D in 1978.

My current group finds that four is an awkward number for RPGs because the traditional mix (and assumed roster for APs) involves four players; these days we always have three and a GM. Life happens occasionally, but even after 15+ years we play more weekends than not.

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