Thursday, September 08, 2011

Mourning the Friendship

The Saturday game has been on hiatus for several months, due to the pipe band competition season. It was due to restart last weekend, but that fell through. Then, it was due to restart this weekend, but that has now fallen through. It can't restart next weekend, due to another commitment on my part, so is now rescheduled for the 24th. We'll see if that happens.

The truth is, I really need to put an end to this one. I don't really have time for everything that I'm involved with, so something has to go. And Saturday afternoon is 'premium time' - it's the time that is most useful for other things, and the time that is least suitable to just being wasted. I really can't afford to tie up every single Saturday afternoon for a game that is almost always cancelled, especially with a wedding to plan, and double especially after the wedding.

(That said, Lady Chocolat is flying off to Kenya in a few weeks and for a couple of months. So, the time between now and the end of November is slightly more flexible...)

So, this spell between now and the end of March was always going to be the last hurrah for this game group. After that, we were going to have to adopt an entirely different pattern, or simply stop getting together for the game at all. It's starting to look like I have to call a halt six months early.

So, I know what I need to do, but why the reluctance? Well, this group has been together (in one form or another) for sixteen years, since my second year at university. Two of my three "greatest ever" campaigns have been with this group (being the "Rivers of Time" chronicle for Vampire, and the "Shackled City" campaign in D&D). We've had a lot of good times.

But we're not 20 any more. We're not even 28 any more, which was probably the last time we really had the numbers for reliable gaming. Martin left to move to the States. Andreas left to return to Sweden. Johannes left to move to various places to continue his studies. Molly just left. Craig's work schedule meant that he could no longer attend. Andy's ever-growing family likewise meant he could no longer attend... Gradually, we went from having too many players down to a group of four. And since the game really has a quorum of four, that created the major problems that I've been posting about on and off for the last two years.

Killing the group probably means cutting ties with the remainder of the group. We only really get together for the game, and although we might well say we'd continue to get together at times for other things, the truth is that it just wouldn't happen.

It also means cutting the last link to my university days. Since leaving, I've basically lost touch with everyone I met at university (again, some immediately and others over the years). So, ending this group means finally closing that chapter.

But then, this isn't the first time. I had a game group during school, and it ended when I left school. Over the years, I've gradually lost touch with every friend I made at high school (although, oddly, there are a couple of people who are now friends who weren't when we were at school together).

It's time to pull the plug. I just wish it wasn't so hard.

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