Wednesday, May 12, 2021

love, dedication, or ridiculous gamer machismo?

I don't usually read the GeekLists on but this morning I stumbled across a nice one that is basically a collection of personal reminisces:

Longest Gaming Sessions Ever

Most gamers of a certain age (old enough to get started before the internet took over our lives) have at least one marathon session story. Especially if you got started as a teenager. Do the kids still get together for allnighter game sessions?

My marathon story involves running the entirety of T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil over the course of a Friday after school, all night Friday, all day Saturday, most of Saturday night (we all fell asleep at some point in the wee hours of Sunday morning) and then the party finally killing Zuggtmoy after lunch on Sunday. Then we all went to high school the next day. 

Man, youth is wasted on the young. Nowadays I can't play any game for more than three hours or so without kinda wanting to take a little nap.

Iuz got away, btw.


  1. I'm lucky to get two solid hours a week from my current players. I've tried to explain how, as teens in the 80s, we used to regularly play for 24 hours or more at a stretch (with power naps at various points), subsisting on a diet of Doritos and soda, with occasional runs to a fast food joint or a pizza order. It was glorious.

  2. These days, I need the nap BEFORE I sit down to game. No brain won't function right without it.

    I think beer is the main limiting factor for duration in adult games. Talking's thirsty work, and after three or four hours of pounding pints, the map starts to get blurry, the dice are constantly getting misplaced, pencils keep falling on the floor, and the DM starts looking for a quick TPK to end the session.

    (at least, that's how my games generally go)

  3. Most of my life I've had serious insomnia and a variant ADD that includes hyper-focus. End result: far too many 8-12 hour sessions and more than a few of them back to back.

    My Marathon was a FASA Star Trek game in which three connected campaigns crossed over. Three GMs, over a dozen players.

    Good times.

  4. While we did this plenty in my youth I can't stand playing for more 3 hours anymore. Life comes at you pretty fast.

  5. Yup... can't run a game for more than 3 hours nowadays and (probably) can't play for more than 5. Now, I got my marathon. Played for 20 hours straight, a wonderful dungeoncrawl through Undermountain, using AD&D 2nd, back in the 90s. That was awesome! (And at the time we played a lot, like 3-4 times every week, during the night... 20 years later I was the target of jokes because I could not stay awake after midnight).

  6. Back in high school we played as often as possible. During lunch (a teacher let us use an empty room); during study hall (ditto); after school at someone's home (usually 2 or 3 days a week, ~3:30 to 6:30); and all weekend, from after school on Friday to dinner time Sunday. Some of those weekend binges were full-fledged overnights, as one of the group had a basement where we could camp out the whole weekend.

    It wasn't any sort of machismo; we were the D&D geeks, and just like the jocks or the band kids, we did what we loved all the time, every time we could. When we were gaming, the jocks were playing or practicing; when we were gaming, the band nerds were practicing or competing or playing. D&D was our extra-curricular life, and we loved it. We loved playing the game, and we loved hanging out together. And cause we were young, footloose, and fancy free we were able to indulge that passion essentially full-time.

    Today, between jobs, families, and other responsibilities, combined with the fact that our bodies are some 30 to 40 years older (and not counting the miles), most of us are lucky to game once a month, and even then, for it to last (or rather, for us to last) as much as four hours. Heck, back when I was 30 years old we tried to pull an all-nighter, from 5:00 pm on... none of us lasted past midnight. For some, alcohol may have been a factor...

    I have been fortunate the last couple months to have a regular rotation of campaigns running every Friday for about four hours. But that's with everyone running full steam ahead, damning the torpedoes, and now, heading into summer, with many having kids with their own interests, we'll be lucky if we are able to play every other week.

    The soul is willing, but the body cries mercy, and Time just shakes its head and waggles its finger at the foolish dreams of mortals.

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