Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Overcoming the Spousal Bait-and-Switch

Show of hands - how many of your spouses or significant others changed something about themselves that was important to you in the years after you got hitched or moved in together?  For me, it had to do with Football and Gaming.  Ah, those were the days, when wifey curled up on the couch during Monday night football and got excited for hot wings and a Broncos game, or (gasp) actually played in my RPG games.  I'm here to tell you, those days are long gone, brother.  Gaming happens in the man-cave far away from the main activities of the house, and the only football game we catch as a family is the Super Bowl (and that's just for the commercials).

In the interests of full disclosure, she's quick to point out that "someone needs to watch the kids while I'm off pretending to be an elf and playing with my little plastic orc-men".  Oh, and apparently I used to have long hair like a hippie, which she misses, and I cared more about theater and did more improv theater back in the day, as well.  Touché.

So there we were, enjoying a quiet moment the other day, when I popped the question.  "So, I'm thinking when M- (our new son from Ethiopia) can read and write pretty well, of starting up a family D&D campaign.  For the whole family".  That sounds good, she says.  "Really?  Because it would be the whole family - both boys, our daughter, and you.  The four of you can be your own adventuring party".  Okay, she said.  No problem.

I had no tape recorder and no notaries were nearby to witness an affadavit, so I'm doing the next best thing - I'm putting it on the internet:

On or about 4pm, on Sunday July 24th, while sitting around the dining room table and holding casual conversation with her husband, Mrs Beedo did formally agree to play in the family D&D campaign.

Once it's on the internet, it's true.  I figure the youngest will take about 2 to 2 1/2 years to get to gaming age, so I'm probably looking at late 2013 or early 2014 before the family game will be a reality.  Muhahaha.

Meanwhile, kid's gaming has been partly successful.  You may recall, last year I was running two games - a weekly adult game and a bi-weekly kid's game.  It was eventually too much to keep up with, and not all of the kids were really ready for gaming, so we brought two of the older kids (now 9 year olds) over to the adult game.  One of the other dads picked up running a second (just for kids) game a few months ago, so now we've got a Senior circuit and a Junior circuit running in the neighborhood.  And there's a crop of younger kids in the 4-5 year old range that are just biding their time until they get to play.  Some of them are fooling with the Dungeon board game.  Good stuff.  Like I tell my kids - read, read, read some more - turn off the computer, turn off the TV; table top gaming is a literary activity and kids that can read well will have the attention span and imagination to make it work.

I figure I have two years before I need to get a campaign together that my daughter will love - a mash-up of knights, princesses, witches, elves, and tough fighting chicks with big swords like Eowyn.  I'm sure it will have to be part Hogwarts, part every kid's series they've read - Prydain, A Wrinkle in Time, Fablehaven, Narnia, and Percy Jackson.  But Eowyn is far and away my daughter's role model of what an adventuring girl should be like.


  1. Just for lucky you HAVE a mancave to go to. Those things are life savers.

  2. Beedo. With you're kids groups and the horde of youngsters you've got playing Dungeon, you've probably done more for the future of gaming than anyone else I know.

    That should earn you an award.

    So I've giving you one.

    The "OSR Recruitment Champion" award. Give me a few days to rig up a suitable graphic and it's yours.

  3. Thanks for sharing the story, the whole family gaming will be cool. I've had about 3 different groups of students gaming now over the years at various assignments, two have gone on to be their own game masters. I've had a few adult groups running in tandem at the same time as life allows.

  4. "Eowyn is far and away my daughter's role model of what an adventuring girl should be like.

    Good choice! The only female character in LOTR with any depth or growth.

  5. Yeah, I have a man-cave that I retreat to. It's where I spend so much time "working on fake stuff, fake worlds" etc.

    I've always known the Wifey just puts up with my hobbies. I always tell her I could be out drinking and whoring instead. hehe.

    Good luck with the family game.

  6. Awesome! An incoming award.

    Yeah, I think we've had like 7 neighborhood kids / family friends pick up the dice and join the tradition, with 3 more definites on the way in the next year or so. Another kiddo quit D&D because all his time is now going to his home-brew Pokemon roleplaying / card game mash-up (which he's now recruiting other tweens for). I'm okay with that - future OSR blogger, right there.

  7. I sometimes forget how lucky I am to have a significant other who shares many of my geekier interests. She's not as into gaming as I am, but she's usually more than willing to roll up a character and jump in. We're both sci-fi and fantasy fans, and she's a published author in those genres. We met in High School, and one of the things that attracted me to her was the fact that her backpack was decorated with Dwarf Runes that she had painstakingly copied from The Hobbit.

    Anyway, not to take up this whole thing with how awesome my wife is (I can't help it sometimes), we're about to start a LotFP game with a few mutual friends, some new acquaintances, and my friend's 11 year old daughter (who's already reading Lovecraft and is obsessed with mycology), who's excited about playing her first RPG -- she's watched us in the past and always wanted to get in on the action. Before anyone freaks out, we'll be using the no-art version of the LotFP rulebook when she's there. I always had to hide my hobby from my parents (we were evangelical Christians and it was the 80's-early 90's)so for me it's great to see RPing as a shared family activity.

  8. I'm the odd man out, I suppose. My wife and I don't share any real interests beyond movies with lots of explosions. I kind of like it that way, really. She doesn't have any problem with me spending money on RPG junk, or going over to my best friend's place for long stretches of time to pretend to be a robot and junk.
    I do play D&D with my 8 and 10 year old sons, though. However, they insist on 4e.