Friday, April 8, 2011

G is for Gaming Group

G is for so many things, including my name... and the dreaded Giraffelich!

But today, I want to talk about my gaming group and how we got started.

My group began playing together over two years ago (February of 2009?). I got the idea to run a game of my own from my girlfriend. We had been playing together in a group that never really got rolling, and ended up falling apart. 

Well, in the fall of 2008, I started getting the urge to play again, and so we started searching for people to join us. We ended up convincing several of our close friends who had never played D&D before. The cultural stigma and stereotypes built up around tabletop RPGs can make it challenging to convince some people to take the initial plunge, but after some initial hesitancy from our friends, my girlfriend and I managed to convince them to join us because, "Hey, we're all friends. You like hanging out with us. Why don't we hang out, play games and have imaginary adventures?"

And so it began. The initial hesitancy soon faded and was replaced by a realization that tabletop RPGs are actually a lot of fun! The stereotypes about what makes an RPG player faded from our friends' minds. On the subject of countering stereotypes, I should also note that my group began with more women than men.

We soon added a fifth player, who was also a friend of ours, and that summer, two more players joined to fill in for one of the original members while she was busy with classes. When she returned, the group reached its current state.

The Players:
My game group is an eclectic mix of personalities. We have:
  • A cheesecake-baking woman who does tech support for a living (my girlfriend)
  • A teacher and budding educational theorist/reformer
  • A karaoke host and aspiring filmmaker
  • A Nordstrom-shopping student of Chinese medicine
  • A history buff-pizza artisan and aspiring author
  • A burlesque-dancing, hair model and nationally ranked rubix cube solver who blogs for a science think-tank.
  • A soccer-nut computer programmer
  • and me, A guy who writes museum exhibits for a living.
The Evenings:
Our game night rituals make things feel very different from the soda and Cheeto fueled games of my youth. First, we only play twice a month on weeknights and we always end by 10pm, so the game sessions are relatively short.

We also begin every game night with a meal. Lately we've been so busy that we just order pizza or Chinese, but we often treat ourselves to homecooked dishes from chili, to lasagna, to pot roast. The inclusion of an actual meal lends a dinner party feel to the evening, and at least some modicum of maturity... which seems to go downhill the rest of the night.

Anyway, my point is that I think one of the reasons my group is still going strong after over two years is that:
a. We're all good friends who genuinely like hanging out together, and who do so regularly away from the game table.
b. We all have productive lives and interests outside of gaming.
c. Game night is as much about being social and enjoying each others' company as it is about rolling dice.

This may not necessarily be the formula for every successful game group, but it sure works for mine!

Oh... G is also for girlfriend. We just had our 3rd anniversary on March 29th and our love is born of nerddom... Today, she sent me an email she found from when we were planning our first date... to Sakura Con, the local anime convention... it's that level of nerd! Anyway, here's an excerpt with names and numbers left out to protect the far from innocent.


I would love to keep you safe from the furry people on Saturday... meaning the March 28... 29th?, not today... because Sakura con is next week isn't it?

On the D&D note, my favorite classes are either rogues or rangers, though I am willing to play pretty much anything. I was the tank in the last campaign I was in and my DM liked my character so much that she prevented me from dieing twice after being killed stat-wise.


P.S. my number is (removed)... if I hear heavy breathing on the other end of the phone, I will blame you... which is not to say that's a bad thing? hrmmm...

On Fri, Mar 21, 2008 at 1:08 PM, E wrote:


I'm glad our relationship has progressed to the "next level". Hahaha :)

I'm planning on going to Sakura con on Saturday, but I don't have anyone to go with at the moment, which is actually pretty strange because a group of my anime-loving friends are throwing a big party in honor of Sakura con that night, though it seems none of them are actually going. Wow! Talk about your run-on sentences! I think gawking at all the cos-playing freaks is half the fun :) Except when they're balding middle-aged men dressed up as Sailor Moon characters...*shudder* Anyways, if you decide you'd like to go, I'd appreciate the company :)

I'm not a big gundam/mecha fan, though I do recall enjoying Evangelion back in the day. I also liked Ranma 1/2, though I haven't seen any in forever! I've never actually watched any DBZ for fear of becoming a 7 year old boy. I've heard the series is mostly animation of powering up for moves 3 episodes in the future anyways. Your research project analyzing apocalyptic imagery in Japanese animation sounds pretty kickass! It's too bad you didn't finish it.

As far as D&D goes, I'm in a campaign right now that could use another player or two. If you're interested (and after I've determined for sure that you're not a creepy internet weirdo, which I don't think you are, but you can't be too sure through email) you're welcome to join us :) Our DM is pretty cool. What types of characters do you usually play?

I am also a huge Firefly fan! Yay browncoats! :)

Transition sentances are overrated! I like ice cream!


  1. Awww! You're so sweet, baby! May our epic nerdy love live on forever in infamy! And thank you for protecting me from the furries at Sakura-con year after year :)

  2. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Creative Blog Award.
    Go to and pick up your award.

  3. Holy Socks! Thanks Deirdra! I'm honored! More exclamation points!!!

  4. One of the cooler things a DM ever did in a game I was in was to cook a "period-appropriate" meal. We were adventurers traipsing through the forest after a dwarven thief, so when we showed up to game, there was a stew with dried bread on the stove. We were impressed with the authenticity - the bread was unsliced (had to be torn) and it was pretty good stew.


Follow by Email