Back in late 2012 I posted on facebook that the geek equivalent to getting the band back together was rounding up your old Dungeons and Dragons mates for a reunion game.
Soon after, my old friend Shaun Keenan and I started talking about making it a reality.
We sent out something like thirty invitations.
I started putting together an adventure with a dozen packets filled with pre-generated characters, backgrounds and story hooks, maps, and such.
Shaun lined up a venue — Ali-Caters in Marion — complete with a full bar and a prom-like dance floor with disco lighting, streamers, and sparkly things.
On January 5th, 2013, Steve Congdon, Michael Duncan, Doug Gentry, Shaun Keenan, Brent Smith, Joe Strunk, and myself rolled dice again, some of us for the first time in 30 years together.
It was an amazing experience… made even more so because what was supposed to be a one time reunion game turned into a monthly event.
We’ve added players since then. My son Connor and Brent’s son Kasey have become regulars. John Hall, and his son and daughter, sit in on occasion.
Earlier this year our club took a hit when Brent passed away suddenly on Tuesday, January 27th. We had played D&D the previous Saturday and it was an exciting game, with Brent’s wizard Delarius playing an important part in the adventure as our weary band of adventurers explored the depths under the Gentari Lighthouse.
He is dearly missed at our table and his absence is felt every time we get together.
Of late, we’ve been gathering online, using Roll20 for our gaming sessions. It allows for Mike, who lives in Louisiana, and Steve, who lives in Chicago, to take part more frequently and easily.
It is convenient in that sense, but I do feel like something is missing when we don’t come together in person.
There’s a happy medium there somewhere, but as I recently said to Steve, D&D online is better than no D&D any day.
I love these guys like brothers and gaming with them fills my heart with joy each and every time… and, in a very real sense, it keeps Brent alive for me, because he loved this game so much.