Monday, August 7, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017 Day 7: What Was Your Most Impactful RPG Session

It's no secret that I squeal with delight once the #RPGaDay questions are posted a week or two before the start of August, and it should also be no surprise that most of the questions are answered and ready to go before August 1st.

Day 7: "What Was Your Most Impactful RPG Session?"  has taunted me up until the wee hours of this morning.  Day 13's question "Describe a Game Experience That Changed How You Play" could be construed as similar in many opinions, so I had to look harder and complicate things.

So I went to some of my current and former players and threw this question at them.  For them, the biggest impact wasn't a session, but fell into three categories:
  • My ability as a GM to run a living campaign, where NPCs mattered and previous actions could visibly affect their world aided into their immersion in a game.  If things went good or bad for these characters, the players had emotional attachment to them.   Thank God I didn't kill them all off.
  • When my college AD&D game, The Ballad of the Pigeon God , reached the end of the its first semester, everyone expected a lull over the Summer, but I managed to keep the available players active for those three months, while keeping the other players active and invested in their own right.   Episodes #15-30 will cover that Summer and what I did to get everyone back together on college move-in day in September, both players and PCs.  That seemed to affect players on both sides of the schedules and show them that everyone mattered.
  • I did get some responses that effectively were, "Things for shitty for me at the time, but the game was the one thing I looked forward to every week."    Right back at you guys....
I typed up something, but something was still stewing inside me.  What type of impact qualify?  Campaign implications (I've dropped some decent bombshells)?   Economic (Running/Playing a demo)? Or is it a session that personally impacted myself or my players?

I tried to go into the context of personal impact, but I really couldn't find anything.  No one has ever told me that if they hadn't shown up for the game, they were going to kill themselves.  No one has ever discovered the courage to express their true sexuality after a session.  No event had players going down the road to... waitaminute
He figured something out!
In my college AD&D 2nd Edition "College" game I managed to combine the sheer insanity of my old group with fresh meat, errr.. my new college gaming friends.  I'm in the midst of posting  the 19-year old actual plays on this blog with new episodes on Tuesdays under "The Ballad of the Pigeon God."

Tiny spoiler, but somewhere around Halloween, episode #30 will drop that will have Rolf Wolfsblood, Barbarian Warlord and his first encounter the naive young magic-user Mellandria.

And absolutely nothing romantically happens.

However, for their players, Phil and Jess, it was the largest impetus to eventually get them together and ultimately married.

It certainly wasn't the first meeting of the pair, as we made cross-chapter visits for the greatest Albanian fraternity of all, the Society of Neffs, but regular Saturday night game sessions helped the friendship grow, survive a series of bad decisions, and turn into wedding bells.
Session #30 was already an influential session and player favorite.  with this, it becomes legendary.


  1. I've now known Jess for 19yrs, been together for 13, and married for 10. And I still thank my lucky stars that I was able to play D&D with Eric because of where this all ended up!

  2. That's fantastic! A couple that I currently play with met playing D&D. It was years before. I met them, so I can't claim that as an impactful session that I ran...

    The funny thing is, I've also been posting my answers in a Facebook group I run (which they are also members of), and BOTH of them replied to my post with their impactful sessions, and NEITHER of them mentioned meeting their eventual life partner!?