Entry #5: The Last Game

Earlier this week, I announced that we would give away 5 copies of Dungeons & Dreamers (coming in March 2014) for the best stories about playing Dungeons & Dragons, or MMORPGS, or role-playing games, or computer games in general.

The rules aren’t really important. Telling us a good story about playing games with friends is the key to winning.

You can see the entries and demo stories here.

This story comes from Marcin, who (I believe) runs this site.

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2012 was for me a year of roleplaying revival. Before that my tabletop gaming was on semi-hiatus for quite some time. I edited games, chatted about RPGs, attended conventions and played a bit of board games but that was all, mostly due to time concerns. However in 2012 I finally got back to roleplaying with gaming sessions taking place every week or even twice a week. I don’t think I had played RPGs twice a week even in high school, with the obvious exception of a summer break.

Our pack had two Game Masters. One was was running Savage Worlds. The other was F., who was a big fan of Star Wars and was running a Star Wars d20 campaign. I knew F. for a couple of years. He was a very modest, charming person, with a huge gaming experience and vast fandom lore as he was one of the organizers of the very first fan conventions in our city 20 years ago. Always ready to cheer you up, to tell a good story – and he knew how to tell them! A type of person you immediately become pals with. Before that we never had had a chance to play together.

I first joined the Star Wars game, and later the Savage Worlds one. We were all a band of friends, who had met in a (now disbanded) roleplaying club. Usually half of the meeting was gaming, the other half quick updates on what was going on with us, jokes and similar things. All of that was happening in 20 minutes intervals so after an intense firefight with smugglers or some other daring exploits of our characters there was always an anecdote, a joke, or some other “inappropriate gaming behavior” that ended in bursts of laughter, taking another 5 minutes from our short meetings (sessions lasted for about 3 hours, we were meeting in middle of the week so all of us had to go to work or school next day). But we didn’t mind. It was the best fun in the world.

In the beginning of December we started playing a Savage Worlds Weird War II campaign set during the Battle of Stalingrad (“Rattenkrieg” from PEG Inc.). It was four of us, including the GM. Only three of us had seen Enemy at the Gates movie, so F., the other player (who still had to create his character thus giving us time to chat and goof around) and me produced thousands of reasons why we should not play this campaign as our characters would immediately die shot by Nazis or NKVD, or while crossing the Volga river, or during an attack on central plaza and so on. We went through all the best scenes from the movie many times, laughing about how we would be given only one rifle and a handful of bullets for the team. When we were finally ready to play, the GM, who hadn’t seen the movie, naturally started with a wonderful narration about crossing the Volga under enemy fire (“it was all in the book” he said later). It was an immense fun. One of my best roleplaying moments.

It was our last game together. F. died suddenly two weeks later, shorty before Christmas.

We’ve never finished Stalingrad campaign and I doubt that we ever will. But that single session will be always reminding me why I play games in the first place: to be among friends.

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This newsletter is the outgrowth of The Downtown Writers Jam podcast. What that means is I will collect information about the authors I interview, book happenings around the Web, and other literary events that I find interesting. Without you, I'm just a crazy guy sitting in his office furiously screaming on the page for no reason.
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