You Can't Go Home Again

Coming back to a long-lost hobby

gaming rpg dnd

I used to play a lot of AD&D back in the old days. Then I didn't for a long time. Now I'm trying to get back into it in a rather hardcore way, and I'm finding it a challenge.

Why is that?

Age might be an answer, along with its associated distractions and responsibilities. Yes, age, but not so much because I'm older, but rather, because I'm coming back to something that was a huge part of my life once, and finding it changed almost beyond recognition. Now I spend my time sifting through the sands for similarities, rather than absorbing it all as a new experience.

There's a sense of my own growing inadequacy as I investigate modern gaming. The gulf between what I used to know, and what there is to know now, is mighty. It's true that I've forgotten more about gaming than newer players will ever know; old school gaming. But aside from an historical perspective, who cares? They know more about modern RPGs than I'll ever know. It's the way of these things.

I'm sure there's a place for an early player's perspective, but what's the best way to overcome the feeling that I'm so far behind? Well, I think it's time I found a group. Only actually playing with other gamers on a regular basis can remedy this situation. I mean, it's really just the rules that are throwing me, right? I can role-play all day long, while the details can be picked up on the go -- which is how I learned them the first time around.

Now, where do I find the time to play...?

Image: Time, watch, vintage and pocket watch, by Andrik Langfield. Released under the Unsplash License Modified by David in Inkscape.

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Your move


You say you are sifting for similarities. Does that mean you are looking at all the new versions of D&D from WOTC? There are plenty of retroclones out there. Some of them even combine the best of old style play and open licensing. I also came back from a looooooong hiatus and was just in time for the retroclones but before the 1e reprints.

I think that you can convince plenty of players to try out the older games via things like the Old School Primer: or Principia Apocrypha

Plenty of rules to download freely are also nice to hook people:

I know you may know of all this, but it is always good to relink occasionally.

Full disclosure, I host the OSRIC wiki space (1e rules SRD in wiki form):

On solar day 08.2019 by PresGas (

PresGas: I'd be most comfortable with an OSR game, I'm sure. That's why I don't want to go that route. It's the fact that I don't know the new stuff that's throwing me, so that's where I need to put my focus. I don't want to play those old school games again. I did that. Loved it. Left it, and went to sleep. Then I woke up in a new world. (And anyway, I'm not nostalgic.) I had great, great times playing AD&D in the old days. But that was then, with people I don't see anymore. I can't recapture all that, and don't want to try.

I want learn something entirely new. I want to be scared I'll never pick it up. I want challenge myself. I mean, it can't be that the only answer to my self-doubt lies in going back to what was once familiar? Surely, I'm not too old to start again, with something new? I mean, maybe I am, but it's worth investigating, and I intend to.

On solar day 09.2019 by David