©Stonie Williams

The Lapsed Gamer: Part 1

Guest Writer: Stonie Williams

©TSR Inc.

My name is Stonie Williams. I’m 32 years old on the outside and perpetually 9 years old on the inside. I recently returned to the world of RPGs after nearly a decade away from gaming. I’d like to share that journey with you.

I grew up on RPGs. My first roleplaying game was Prime Directive, set in the Star Trek universe. I was 8 years old. I played with my mother and her friends who roleplayed once every couple of weeks or so. I was so enthralled with roleplaying that my mother got my brother and I the AD&D First Quest kit. Complete with pre-made characters, spell lists, monsters and treasures guide, miniatures and an audio disk. She also began to collect the D&D Endless Quest books, a choose your own adventure series. It was 1994, I was the ripe old age of 9 when I started playing D&D and it’s been a huge part of my life ever since. I forever after wore the moniker of Roleplayer.

©TSR Hobbies, Inc.

My family was big into RPGs. Mom worked at a comic book and gaming store while I was growing up and the culture surrounded us. We played Shadowrun and White Wolf. 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons came out in 2000 and it was all my 15-year-old heart could to do to contain itself. We played as a family, I was the Dungeon Master for friends and for several years it was a reoccurring focus of my time. 4th Edition rolled around and we were getting older. We had lives that didn’t always intersect. We rolled characters one evening but couldn’t seem to find the time to get together. The interest wasn’t what it was. I started having kids, went back to school, working full time, and years flew by.

2015 and I had a gaggle of kids that were reading faster than I could find books for them and a couple still learning. My oldest son had grown up listening to the old stories. Games that went long into the night, failed rolls and parties that lasted and parties that didn’t. I decided one cold and rainy day to streamline the rules and play a game with the kids. We made very basic characters using my old 3rd Edition books. They had a blast. We spent about two weeks playing on and off and even the little ones were enjoying themselves. It made me nostalgic for those old gaming groups again. My brother kept up with it, playing with his friends at home. He had a game last 6 months and the stories he told made me miss our old games.

©Wizards of the Coast

2016 and my Dad gave me a copy of 5th Edition. We talked about doing a Skype game with some of us living further apart but once again plans never seemed to coalesce. Almost a year later, my brother got engaged. He’d asked me to be his best man. Money is tight, we’re getting too old for the bar scene and live over an hour from each other. I was racking my brain trying to decide on the perfect bachelor party when it hit me. Of course! Let’s do play D&D. He can invite as many people as he wants, we can do it on voice chat, I’ll set up a dice roller bot and off we go. Nothing but our imaginations and Discord for a group voice chat. Simple, right? Boy, was I wrong…

Watch the blog for the second part of my thrilling tale as I dive into what it took to get this adventure off the ground! Thanks for reading!

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