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#57: The Beginning

This article originally appeared in the July/August 2022 issue.

I wrote last time about the end of The Traveller Adventure for our little gaming group but I also hinted that there’s a possibility we might continue. When the players realized that I was formally concluding the events of the book, and amongst other things for example, reporting that Gvoudzon was opting to stay and help the Vargr refugees of Jesedipere, there was a palpable feeling of ‘end of era’. Which was immediately followed by the expressed thought from at least two players that we ought to continue with the same characters. Well, maybe Gvoudzon – currently an NPC – can be persuaded to change his mind.

I reported last time on my sense of relief at a break after six years. It’s quite genuine and continues even now. So it was with some surprise that less than a month after our ‘loose ends’ session I found myself thinking about what we might go on to do in more than an ‘oh, that would be fun’ sort of way. (For the last half dozen sessions as I thought we were nearing the end I’d been collecting ideas for what might follow and had maybe ten serious contenders.)

Perhaps it was that I was already missing the ‘gang’. Perhaps it was missing the involvement with Traveller rules, setting and my own creations that each session involved. Perhaps it was reading a newly published Traveller campaign that was setting the neurons sparking. Perhaps it was thinking I could take the opportunity to correct errors or improve refereeing skill further. Perhaps it’s that after six years it’s just become habit. Or perhaps it’s become something of a juggernaut that’s out of control and can’t be stopped.

Initially I tried to put such thoughts aside and consider them a kind of madness, or at least a self-inflicted wound. Then I decided simply to embrace the excitement of something new – even if it’s the same old characters. I mean the same old characters round the table as well as the same old characters forming the crew. Although if you’ve been reading the after-action reports, you’ll know we don’t play around a table anymore but online. And it won’t be the same old crew quite as a new player wants to join us. He wasn’t able to make our XL session mentioned last time for family reasons but I’m sure by the time we’ve played through Signal GK and settled on ‘what’s next’, he’ll be firmly ensconced in our small, select band. Or will have run screaming in terror at the bimonthly madness that is the March Harrier’s normal style with us.

Clearly, I need to learn to simply live with the low-level pressure I mentioned because it’s also clear that whether it’s a rigmarole or not, the sheer fun and exhilaration of refereeing is not to be missed. Running a one-shot for TravCon or another convention is fun, but it does seem to be another step up in going the distance and marshalling a much wider canvas.