A Glimpse of Normality

It’s been a long and quiet summer here this year. With the ongoing pandemic, it hasn’t exactly been conducive to gaming, though I have tried to get in some board games in when I can. I still don’t have an ongoing Shadowrun campaign, scheduling for 7th Sea has been extremely difficult and I’ve run a few sessions of Ten Candles to help fill the void… the fact of the matter is, there is still a lot of caution and mistrust around regarding vaccination status and risk vs reward.

So, with the added caution, it was some reservation that I agreed to attend my favourite local convention, Phantasm when it opened its doors in mid-October. With all of the COVID precautions in place I opted to still attend. It was a very different vibe than past conventions… Phantasm has always been a smaller gaming con, but the main gaming room was downright spacious this time around, with tables spaced apart for social distancing. All players were masked and proof of vaccination at the door also helped to curtail the population. It was also only a single day affair as opposed to a full weekend event.

Whether it was just from being able to indulge in my nerdiness, socializing on a larger scale for the first time in over a year or seeing faces I had grown accustomed to only seeing on social media… it was great to go out and enjoy something that (for me) was normal. Sure, everyone was masked and many of the people I enjoy chatting with were unable to justify the long drive for a single day. At the same time, I got to sit down with a mix of old friends and fresh faces, play Shadowrun, 7th Sea and Ten Candles in an absolute binge of GMing, junk food and fraternization.

As an added bonus, I even won the convention’s Hammer of Plot, their storyteller of the year award. It’s nice to know that sporadically gaming over Discord hasn’t dampened my ability to busy a table with a crisis of the moment. It gives me hope that we can adjust to the reality we’ve been thrust into with this pandemic and return to a new normal.

I have plans for the future… a new Shadowrun game that will be mostly improv, low-prep and player-steered. I’m excited to try my hands at Blades in the Dark, which I recently picked up and have high hopes for, as well as blowing the dust off my board game shelf more frequently going forward. As we settle back into our new normal, I will need to find a new personal comfort zone. Before the pandemic, I was able to host game nights every Friday night. Since then, I have divorced, moved and seen my professional life change. My Friday’s are no longer feasible. With luck though, I will find a new way to regularly indulge in my favourite hobbies, that fits within my new life.

Once we’re out the other side of COVID, I have so much gaming to do…

~ by 1nsomniac on October 28, 2021.

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