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Returning to Role-Playing after 20+ years away

Welcome. In this first post, I wanted to acknowledge the reason for this blog even existing, as well as document the journey to where I am now in terms of being back playing tabletop RPGs after 22+ years.

I don’t know when I actively stopped playing role-playing games. I think it was probably around 1992 when I last actively participated, although when I trawled through my RPG books in the garage (which have followed me from address to address since 1983 onwards), I know that I was at least still writing adventures as late as 1994.

But life got in the way. Work, partying, the fact that it wasn’t “cool” to play RPGs etc etc. I’m guilty of all of the classic neglect strategies that the modern 40+ gamer has probably implemented at one time or another in their life.

I recall toying with getting back into gaming around 2008 or so, and at that time I dug around to find updated versions of my favourite games but didn’t make the final leap to purchasing a core rulebook. Time was too short. I had a young family and couldn’t devote time to playing and finding a local group.

Fast forward to 2016 and my interest was peaked again when I purchased the D&D 5th Edition Starter Set for my (then) 8 year old son. Ultimately, I was drawn back in, and the Players Handbook, DMs Guide and Monster Manual were all ordered within the week. From there it was only going to end one way. I was going to play again.

And play again I did. Within a couple of months of picking up the core 5e books,, I was running the Lost Mine of Phandelver campaign from the starter set using the excellent intregrated module available on Fantasy Grounds. I can’t deny, I was nervous as hell running those first few sessions, particularly given that some of my players were old hands, having played every edition of the game. I’d skipped straight from 2e to 5e without a stop in the middle. However, soon I settled in and started to get better at DMing. I found my flow again. Our game has been running for around 9 months now and we’re well into home-brewed material at this stage.

My experience since last year has made me realise that I probably played D&D very little when I was younger. Sure, I wrote lots of adventures and read the books religiously but thinking back, I don’t recall ever participating or running a campaign on the scale of what I’m doing now. It really is a Brave New World, even if it’s a long term hobby of mine.

In time, I picked up a number of Pathfinder books (tried to get into it but just found 5e easier to run – especially as a returning DM) and also the magnificent 13th Age which I now run a play by post campaign for on Gamersplane.

I intend to use this blog to post musings, reviews and guidance for other players based on my experiences. It’s good to be back.


Return of the DM View All

I am a 40 something DM/GM located in Scotland. In 2016, I rediscovered the joys of tabletop role-playing games. This blog documents my journey back into the fold.

2 thoughts on “Returning to Role-Playing after 20+ years away Leave a comment

  1. I am with you. I’m 48, played in the 80s, and quit for all the same reasons. Now my kids are teens and I’m hooked again. I’m trying to find games on roll20 and Fantasy Grounds.


    • Hi Tom. I’m really slow at replying to these comments. Hope you found a game. Finding one on Roll20 can be challenging as they tend to quickly become oversubscribed very soon after they are posted. Fantasy Grounds is a lot better for finding games, although the LFG interface is more primitive.


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