Role playing games have been a big part of my life. Since I discovered the basic set Dungeons & Dragons in the late ’70s until today — probably four decades and a bit — gaming has been my main hobby through multiple careers, moves to various different places, sets of friends that came and went, or stayed. It helped me make dozens of friends, meet women, get laid, get married, get jobs (true!) Until I discovered motorcycling in the early 21st Century, it was one of the only outlets I had that wasn’t professional. My first novel was inspired by some game research. Adventures I’ve run have become products for other gamers — shared on DriveThruRPG under the Black Campbell Entertainment brand. (And thus endeth the shameless plug…) There are still stories that I and my gamer buddies will talk about, “Remember that time Antae kicked in the door and the Great Evil was standing right there?” “Remember when that dipshit we used to play with asked the guard [who had missed one of his blasters in a search] if ‘he wanted the other one, too?’ ” or “how ’bout the guy that thought his character was ‘haunting him in his dreams’ because the player did something stupid, got the character killed, and we weren’t a respectful as he thought we should be. I wonder if he’s killed someone yet…”

Stories and characters and moments that still stick with you across a decade or more, and that were a hell of a lot more interesting than your job, or your marriage (or divorce), or your life in general. That’s something to be treasured.

So image my delight when my daughter asked me to run a Dungeons & Dragons game for her. She had watched her whole life as Dad had “nerd night” with his friends, playing games and telling stories. She would occasionally get to roll for the bad guys. Now, I get to share something that has been a delight for me for much of my life I now get to share with my daughter.

She threw together a ranger character because “she wanted to have a bow”, and I built a simple campaign set in Arthurian Scotland, so there was some connection to places and things she knew. She wanted to hunt “undead”, so we’ve had encounters with trolls, hags, and most importantly wights and ghosts. Her mother starting playing, as well, so now we get to have a family game night that is either board games or RPGs.  It’s lovely.