I have been playing roleplaying games with the same core group of friends for 25 years. Maybe 26—I will have to double check—but I think I started with these friends in 1989. A few old friends dropped out over the years, and a few friends joined, and there are quite a few who came in late and left again after a few months or years. There was a period of a few years when I was living in Wyoming and was not a member of the group, and there have been a few long stretches when for whatever reason we were not getting together to play with any kind of regularity.
The past decade has been a struggle because people have kids and other family obligations (not to mention some health problems, business travel, family vacations…), but I feel like things are sort of on the upswing again as kids get older and members of our gaming group are able to spare a little more time away. It is still hard to meet more than once a month, but I have confidence that we will keep getting together.
We started playing 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons in ’89, then started in on Shadowrun in the mid-90s. There have been forays into other interesting games over the years (the most significant being Earthdawn, but also a couple of short starts into Star Trek and Star Wars RPGs whose rules bases I cannot remember, and a few other short-lived games), but different versions or editions of D&D and Shadowrun have been the mainstays.
Here is a photo from this past Sunday night, when I was able to get together with Keith, Paul, and Aaron. A few other of our main players could not make it, but our game proceeded nonetheless.
Certainly, the appearance of the players has changed over the years. A few of us have a lot less hair on our heads, and we generally weigh more. The games are still pretty much the same, though. One big difference here is that there is no Mountain Dew on the table. We’ve mostly moved from almost exclusively drinking sodas to beer, water, coffee, and tea, depending. Another big difference: laptop computers and smart phones have largely taken the place of rulebooks.