I have long enjoyed playing RPGs. My introduction to the genre came from oswulf, who was a big fan and had all kinds of systems; D&D, Gurps, and Star Frontiers are the ones I remember offhand. Starting from our pre-teen years, we would play whenever we could, which was unfortunately not on a regular enough basis to get a long campaign going. But it was still always fun, and led to, among other things, a life-long running gag regarding the dangers of chairs.
The first time I ever got involved in a regular campaign was during my college years -- not while I was away at school, but when I came home for breaks. D and S, the guys I was sort-of dating during much of that time (yes, at the same time; yes, they both knew about it; yes, it's a long story that's only tangentially related, and maybe I will tell it sometime, but not today) were both big gamers, and D invited me to join a long-running Advanced Dungeons & Dragons campaign that he'd been running since high school, and I gladly accepted, taking on an Elf ranger-type fighter who hated humans and didn't much care for other races, either. That campaign led to many others; some of the more memorable were a couple of Star Wars games (one in which I played a hotshot Imperial pilot who defected after Yavin, and another in which I was the daughter of a spaceship manufacturer who went into business for herself shipping X-Wings to the Rebellion -- she is officially my favorite player character ever), a few rounds of Call of Cthulu (to the GM's consternation, I decided to play a woman famous for writing books about organic gardening, which is not your usual Cthulu mythos character), a Teenagers from Outer Space campaign that sadly ran for only a few sessions but featured some of the most fun I've ever had gaming (I played a goth girl who drove a black VW Thing with the best stereo system in the known universe), and a one-night D&D one shot where I ended up getting myself and most of the rest of my party killed in the gladiator ring. I've also dabbled in Mage (the character I created for that game is one I've thought about resurrecting for a story some day), Champions, and Shadowrun.
After graduation, I moved away from that group of friends, and I've never been in a position to game regularly since. A couple of years ago, I was invited to play in a short campaign run by Jed, in a system he created himself, and that was one of my best gaming experiences ever; it was more like participating in an interactive story, which when well-done is something I love. I like a GM who can think on their feet and allow the players some freedom while still guiding them down the intended path.
I've done a couple of one-shot live-action RPGs also, run by my friend E, and they were a blast. I would definitely be up for doing something like that again. One thing I've never done is acted as GM myself, and I'm perfectly fine with that -- I think I'm much happier as a player, along for the ride.
Would I play regularly again if the opportunity presented itself? Probably, although making time for regular gaming sessions is tough, as we discovered during Jed's short-term game. That's the main reason I haven't sought out a gaming group -- time. That said, if another short-term gaming opportunity comes up, you can be sure that I'll jump on it.
Finally, no discussion of RPGs would be complete for me without a mention of dice. I love dice. I love how they look, I love the feel of them in my hand, I love the sound they make when they're rolled. There's something so tactile about them, unlike any other fidget toy. I have many more sets than I reasonably could need, just because I think they're awesome.
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In other news, I didn't quite finish the story. Almost; I could probably post it as is, but really it needs at least one more editing run to be presentable. Fortunately (?), Yuletide signups have AO3 running so slowly that we decided to extend the deadline by a week to save everyone the frustration of trying to upload, so I have a bit of a reprieve (and so do the rest of you!). Fingers crossed, it will be ready in the next couple of days.
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