It started with this boxed set in 1981.

As I write this is it now 2014 – and I have been running the same over-arching Call of Cthulhu Campaign for Thirty-Three (yes – 33!) years.   I’m not sure if that’s a record somewhere or not.

It certainly doesn’t feel like that long , but when I look in the mirror and I see what time has wrought, it’s clear that days and months and years have passed and while I don’t feel any older inside my head . . . my joints in the morning tell me otherwise.

Thirty-Three Years.

 On anybody’s scale – that’s a lot of time.  For an RPG game – the SAME RPG game – well . . .  it’s hard to define exactly what that is – what it actually means.

With any relationship that lasts thirty-three years, there have been great times, good times and not-so-good times, when it looked like the relationship wouldn’t last.   I admit – I trifled with other games  on occasion – both home grown and professionally published.  But I always came back to running Call of Cthulhu.

Gaming – and the Call of Cthulhu game in specific – has taken me to and through places I never imagined I’d be.   I’ve become a writer, a dab hand at Photo Shop, a game designer, a director of theater, a playwright, a blogger, a website developer, a prop creator, a poet, a wiki programmer, an artist (of sorts – a rather bad one), a costumer, a producer/writer of LARP’s . .  . every aspect of my creative life and growth has been nurtured and encouraged by this game.  Gaming  has contributed to my own creative growth, and certainly to my ability to be confident and to take risks.

I would be remiss of course . . . if I did not speak to the most wonderful aspect of all of this.   The people.

People and their characters have come and gone, and sometimes come back . . . and then were gone again.  Not surprisingly, like the folks who come and go through-out the years of our life.   Many of them I miss dreadfully, and wish that we could find common ground to reconnect – even just socially.  Others, I am – all in all – happy to have seen the last of.   But every person who has passed through (and still remains) in the campaign has contributed hugely to who I am – and who I’ve become.

All of the people – now and past – have had a lasting impact on the person I’ve grown into – and have contributed collectively to the wisdom that I’ve gained.  During the course of this past thirty-three years –  the “gamers” saw me through life changes,  the birth of my daughter, family deaths, celebrations, writing/editing Beyond The Mountains of Madness, Weekend LARPS, and holiday celebrations.  And . . . so much more that could never be condensed down into a few sentences.

And all of them – past and present – still inspire the creative drive that keeps me coming back over and over again to my first love.

But it hasn’t always been an easy thirty-three years by any means.  There have been rough patches, and poor decisions, and stupid mistakes.  The types of things that happen over the course of rubbing along with a close group of friends for many years.  Some of these have been resolved . . .  some will never be . . .

The thing that brought us all together started thirty-three years ago.  It continues today – with most of us older, a bit grayer . . . and hopefully a bit wiser . . . with the shared experience of standing strong in the face of Unspeakable Horrors binding us together still.

Funny.   A little bit like real life.



Stay tuned for Part Two – How It All Began

Tesla Beam Seen From New York Skyline

Tesla Beam Seen From New York Skyline

Tesla Beam Sound

Twenty-Two Players.  One Uber-GM.  Three Co-GM’s.  Three extra pair of hands for random encounters, and background color.  Almost nine hours of non-stop play.

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