The Long-Term Gaming Group

Plot Grenades. Immanuel Moments. “Hiyo, Tom here!” Most readers won’t exactly understand the meaning of any of these, but for a small group of people each one elicits its own strong reaction. That group is my gaming group, who I’ve been playing with in one incarnation or another for 16 years. Over that period of time we’ve developed our own lore, traditions, and yes, a thick haze of inside jokes.

In some ways, a gaming group is no different than any other group of friends who share a hobby. You could develop inside jokes, stories, and catchphrases about board games, or hiking, or motorcycles. The thing that’s different, though, is that role-playing games come with an immediate emotional engagement. That’s exactly why people’s preferences are so specific, and why people are so defensive about them.

If we assume you’ve done everything right, found a group of likeminded players and opened the lines of communication to help hone your shared experience, then you’re in a good place to have your fellow players become close friends through the experiences you share. But the reason this is an article is because I strongly believe that gaming with friends is an elevated experience, and that your core gaming experience should be with people who are your friends. So let’s talk about gaming with friends, and about the things that can make a ‘gaming group’ an entity stronger than any one session or campaign.

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