It has been an odd 3(?) months for me.
I'm not going to delve into the boring details (work, personal life, blah) but, suffice it to say, I've been gone from being truly active in the world of D&D for several months now.
I think the real breaking point was when my FLGS, where I began an RPGA "chapter", has stopped offering in-store gaming. The reasons for this are varied, but mostly revolve around a lack of available space in-store.
What hurts is that the owner is someone I consider a friend. He isn't just "the owner" - he's someone who's house I've been to a few times, someone I've debated politics and philosophy with. He's given my wife and I a baby shower gift, when I've needed extra $$ he's given me a job in the store (admittedly a quid pro quo arrangement, as, come Christmas season, I'm one of his most reliable helpers).
So, I've been left in a conundrum - a quandry of sorts. What do I do with my organized play? I don't have the gift of time or space to run a home campaign. Alas, it's never been something I've been exposed to (as a player, OR as a DM), so without an RPGA playspace, I've been feeling more than a little adrift.
My group is splintering into smaller home-groups. We play RPGA content, but we do so at each other's homes now. We meet at the store, to follow the spirit of the RPGA rules, and in the (eternal) hopes that we'll pick up a new player or two "this week" - and then we break into smaller groups and go to people's houses, or to the community rooms at local librarys (or even coffee shops) to get our gaming in.
It works, but it's. . . not ideal.
Now it turns out that my FLGS is moving into an even smaller space. We've been told, point blank, we should start using another store as our home base for things like Game Day events.
While I dreaded such news, it's freeing in a way. I now know I can go setup at another local store, without fear of burning bridges at "my" FLGS. And so, with the delivery of that news this morning, I suddenly find myself somewhat reinvigorated. My gaming, my hobby, is no longer a source of stress.
Now? I have a new challenge ahead of me. Pull together the old group, pick a new store (I already have one in mind), and re-establish myself as the "go-to" guy in my area for RPGA events.
What's odd, to me, is how much I'm actually looking forward to starting over. It isn't a "clean start" as I'll be bringing most of the same guys with me once we get settled in, but . . . I don't know. A new venue, a new set of owner and employees to befriend, and a new player base to try and attract - it just strikes me as a great opportunity.
It's time I stop wallowing in indecisiveness, and time to take the leap again.
And I intend to do so full-force.
Welcome to my return to the forums, to the mailing lists, and back to the gaming community. I start again today, and I welcome all of you to come along for the ride.