338 The Regular Game Group

Not to be confused with being irregular.

The benefits of having a regular game group, you know, the one you probably have at home or play every month, week, with.



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I have a “regular” game group that’s been running for about 25 years (holy crap… I’m old) and moved 75 miles. I still includes a number of folks from playing then, and keeps growing. The group is probably 15ish players, and I think right now has 4 or 5 campaigns of different GMs running different systems for different groups.


this reminds me of gaming with people on a regular basis

it’s different gaming with

  • new people
  • gamed with before with one of you as GM and the other player
  • gamed with before with both as players
  • with X person who you have GM for each other AND both been players too

people in the last category for me are less than 10 in number


My father was a marine and later a preacher, we moved around a lot. I joined the military in my early 20s and the trend continued. This made it hard for me to build the long term gaming group (anything more than a couple of years, at most). Post-military, I found myself living in the gaming mecca of Indianapolis and I embraced the gaming community here. Most people don’t realize it but the gaming community in Central Indiana is HUGE and has been going strong for many, many years.

Through the Indy community, I made many new friends and finally grew that group of gamers I play with on a regular basis. Now with tools like VTTs/Discord/Zoom, I have expanded that group to include friends from gaming earlier in my life. This group, who call ourselves the One Hit Point Wonders, have played several campaigns now (D&D, Pathfinder, Deadlands, Starfinder, Star Wars, Cavaliers of Mar, 13th Age, etc). Our seats at the table revolve as people are available and/or interested in a certain game.

On top of that, I still explore other games and I like to play with new groups of randoms at cons. That type of play is engrained in me as well and I feel like I get the best of both worlds.


I have young boys and all of my gaming friends are in the same boat with young kids. That’s impacted much of my group’s energy and availability, and after a year of virtual work, there’s just no appetite to tack on more hours in front of a computer, staring at my own dumb, tired face during a virtual game night.

But here’s a positive angle: My boys, age 7 and 11, have formed their own, regular game groups. At first, my wife and I discouraged so much screen time, but as isolation wore on, we found our boys’ gaming pods to be healthy alternatives to the in-person socialization they were missing.

My 11 year old has especially benefitted from the competition, collaboration and exploration that comes from being part of a game group. He and his friends are each making plans to assemble their own gaming PCs, a dialogue and vocation that never would have happened without the fellowship of gaming. My wife and I are thrilled he’s taken a shine to innovation.

As for our 7 year old, his vocabulary and reading skills have improved dramatically, in large because of his need to keep up with his big brother and his friends in a forum where quick thinking and improvisation are essential.

All this to say - there’s something so undeniably healthy about the common bonds we share through gaming, whether we’re 7 or 97 - and it’s also strengthened my bond as a father to my sons.


Showing up drunk to a game, yeah that ain’t cool, but I was kind of surprised when Brett said don’t show up high either. I may have misinterpreted that comment.

I think most of the people I game with (outside of the Forbidden Lands Yahoos) smoke weed before, during and after the game. That’s been pretty common for the last 20 years. (In Canada, though it was against the law for most of that time, the attitude towards it and consequences weren’t near as harsh as other countries.) Every table will have their own preferences. I don’t think it’s every been a problem with us, outside of players passing out around midnight! Saying that, by then we’ve probably already been playing for 6 or more hours, exhaustion is bound to set in!


Anyone who comes to my table in an altered state that inhibits their ability to think, function, etc. is kicked out for at least that session. I don’t enjoy being around folks who are high or drunk when I’m sober and trying to run a game for them. IMO it’s horribly disrespectful.

I put in this work and someone shows up fucked up one way or another and expects me and others at the table to have to deal with that is a jerk I don’t want to be friends with and certainly not anyone I’d want at my table.

If folks want to do that, I don’t care. But I’m gonna join you after the game for those shenanigans.


Are your tables 100% sober, Brett? I think there is an unspoken distinction in this conversation I want to highlight. If I am reading into folk’s words too much, let me know. I might be mistaken myself.

“In an altered state that inhibits their ability to think, function, etc”. 100% agree, we’re there to game and if someone is that far gone, that doesn’t work. It is disrespectful to the rest of the group.

If someone has a buzz and is enjoying themselves and they can still be IN the game with us, I am fine with that. I’ve had players in the past who don’t know their own limits and often drank too much. Those ended up being 100% sober “no drinking” games to preserve the integrity of what we were trying to do with our free time.

The group I am with now, folks may have a drink or two just to relax. We had one time (and I might have told this story here before), where one of guy who’d never had tequila before took one shot too many and we lost him to the couch. He felt awful about it, apologized to everyone profusely, and has never made the mistake since. So aside from that one incident, everyone functions just fine.

EDIT: Thinking back, I think most of our World of Darkness games were sober games too. Our subject matter was often more serious than a beer and pretzels D&D game, so we preferred to tell those stories sober.


I think it’s the sloppy disruptive drunk or unconscious high that we’re talking about. Hell, one of Brett’s player’s wives brews beer!


@Sean has it right - it’s the disruptive drunk type that I’m talking bout.


Okay, that’s what I thought you were saying but I wanted to double-check.


@Sean has it right in his note below.

Disruptive behavior brought on by someone’s inability to control their poison of choice is where I get cranky. I and many of my game group drink at most games, but we never impair ourselves.


Fair enough. I certainly didn’t mean Cheech and Chong high!

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As a chronic chronic, being some degree of high is par for the course. It’s a far cry better than trying to function with OxyContin in your system, that’s for sure. I had a GM with a zero tolerance for anyone who enjoyed a little of green gold in their lungs and didn’t understand how there could medical reasons for smoking cannabis. So I showed up to the next game without any in my system and let him watch me degrade during play. When he doubled down on his stance, that became my last game.


In 30 years of gaming we had exactly one game where people drank enough to actually get a buzz (or beyond). Everything fell apart. Of course we were 19 at the time. And renting a cottage in high summer - not exactly a string gaming atmosphere. But we never did it again.

My main group today (different guys) often have one or two drinks at most.

It’s odd but it’s never really occurred to me that anyone would even want to get drunk or high during a game session.