Kicking off a Role-Playing Game

A couple of weeks ago, I kicked off a new role-playing game.  I decided I wanted to use the Savage Worlds game system (alongside the science fiction companion) to run a space-romp in the Orion arm of the galaxy.  I was inspired to this after listening to the Openly Gamer Theatre’s production of Tower of the Ape, where they played Savage Worlds in the Conan universe (which introduced me to the Savage Worlds game system) and their even older Power of the Darkside which was a Star Wars Saga Edition game (which reminded me how much I love space romps)

While I’ve certainly role-played now and again over the years (either one-shots or short-term games), this is the first time in a while I’ve set out to play a long-term campaign.  To make this work, though, I would need to solve a number of issues:

First, I would need a group of people I could rely upon to show up every session, or, at least, more often than not.  This used to be very easy – when I was in high school/college, I had a group of friends for which that was our prime activity.  More recently, I started recognizing the difficulties inherent in identifying a gaming group and finding time that worked for everyone to game.  It turns out that in my adult life, finding a group of people that both want to role-play (and I want to role-play with) and have it high enough priority that they will show up regularly is a bit difficult.

The next hardest thing is finding a time when the group can actually get together to play.  The social calendars of my friends (and me!) are a minefield of work, social events, personal habits and preference that is more than a little difficult to navigate.  For me, the main struggle is trying to balance doing something on a weekday where working late can make already short evenings even shorter or a weekend where people like to make plans to do other things.

Finally, I needed an idea that I could stick with long-term.  This is the thing that I’ve had some trouble with in the past – I can usually come up with a good idea for an arc, but coming up with something that is sustainable is more difficult.  To make this work, I’ll need to save my big idea for a long-term arc, and have enough other great ideas for each session.

Ultimately, I decided on running a game over mumble on weekend mornings.  This helped get people together in that I could expect them to show up to game, without actually leaving their home.  It also leaves the afternoon to go and do things – sure, there will still be full weekend plans, but we’ll see how it goes.  Finally, I’m running it every-other-week in the hopes that I can recharge between sessions, and take the time to get that next great idea together and keep the gaming moving.

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