So my gaming had taken a turn for the worst but my writing hadn't. It was this year I decided to have a serious stab at getting published and I did so by being featured in the British Science Fiction Association writer's magazine 'FOCUS' with a short story based on part of a huge science fiction roleplaying campaign I had done years before. It got some pretty good feedback and gave me the impetus to try some more. My League of Seven setting began to take form in a detailed novel, the first eight chapters I managed to complete, but this was abandoned and the chapters incorporated into the Lo7 game as short filler stories to help invoke atmosphere.
I found myself longing for the old days of my gaming. I wanted the 1980s back - not the music or style, just the gaming - as I missed the wide-eyed wonder of new games, discoveries and realisations about what I could do with the hobby. I missed dungeon-bashing, and those first few emotionally-driven games that I would throw my heart in to with abandon, and laugh and fantasize and not care about anything else except being there, in the game, as that character. Now I was working, I had responsibilities, I was much more self-conscious about the level of emotional involvement I had in the game, and was now very coy about expressing myself as wildly as I used to. I was playing at being grown up and I wasn't being very good at it.
I realised then, as I do now, that one of the things I missed the most about the old games was becoming invested in a character. It seemed I had gone full circle - the stats on the paper were just numbers to me when I first began in the hobby, and they were number on a sheet to me once again. The PC was a playing piece, not a character by any stretch of the imagination. I still think I feel that way and I still long for games I can lose myself in.
This was mainly due to the lack of gaming. The games were quick, one-off, simple, with next to no chance of blossoming into a larger campaign. I was becoming lethargic about the whole thing, cynical. I needed a kick, something that would re-ignite my passion for the hobby. I was spending my time writing and that was just fine, but I needed game time.