Recently my regular Thursday night group took a break from our long-running Rise of the Runelords Pathfinder campaign. I’ve been gaming with this particular group of guys (with some additions and subtractions along the way) for over 8 years. Of that time, we’ve been playing Runelords long enough that we started in D&D 3.5 and switched to Pathfinder. That may seem like a long time, especially since we aren’t done (currently a third of the way into Book 5 of the adventure path). But in that time we tried out other games, took breaks for summer holidays, missed nights due to work, illness, and “holy hell the rods are covered in HOW much snow and ice?!”. And our sessions, while fun, are generally only 2-3 hours long, so enough time for them to find trouble but not always enough time for them to finish it off.
But for all that, I really love gaming with these guys. There is something that happens, when you have a long running gaming group, that I’ve never been able to describe. I imagine it happens with any small group of people who share the same experiences over time. I feel connected to Ron, Scotty, David, Ben, (and now Matt) in a way that I just don’t get with a lot of my other players. Sure, friendship is part of it. But even though it’s imaginary, the experiences we’ve shared give us a weird common bond. And while we have had to put in some effort to make the group work, it’s nothing we’ve ever had to force. I’m not describing it well, but like I said, I have yet to adequately describe it to myself, never mind other people. If you’re in a long-running group you know what I mean.