Friday, August 18, 2017

#RPGaDay 2017 Day 18: Which RPG Have You Played the Most in Your Life?

Which RPG Have You Played the Most in Your Life?

Check me out! I’m one-percenter! (In the sense that I’m not in the 99% who will answer some edition of Dungeons & Dragons. (It’s probably not actually 99%, as I’m sure that a bunch of gamers who came of age in the 1990s will answer Vampire: The Masquerade, but it’s certainly going to be the majority.)

My answer is my own Play-By-Email game, the Mazeworks. It was founded on June 9th, 2001 in Yahoo groups. We had a database failure and then we started in the MazeworksII group in November of 2001. I actually considered just folding the game at that point and just walking away, because we would lose so much. Yahoo eventually restored what we had lost, but it was easier to stay at the second group.

I considered folding the group again in 2006 when I knew my daughter would be born. I didn’t think I’d have the time to keep up with the game, but another player convinced me not to. His name is Bob. More on him later.

PBEMs typically flounder after a while, but we bucked the odds, thanks to some really great players.  There were days with a hundred posts, and there was a nearly five-year span where we had at least one post every day.

It’s spawned a number of in-jokes as any long-running game will: The croquet mallet, “YOUR (sic) A LIAR!” “STOP CURSING AT ME!” I met my friend Frederick through the game. I made a number of friends whom I’ll probably never meet. One of them, the incomparable Bob from earlier in the post, handcrafted a beautiful rocking horse and shipped it at his own expense for Lily’s second Christmas.

We finally wrapped up the game in 2012. We had just come to the resolution of a major arc. I was out of ideas and I said so. I didn’t want to run on fumes and I decided we should go out on a high note. I asked everyone who was willing to pen their own epilogue to the series. To this day, I think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made regarding role-playing.

The players didn’t want to let it go, so one of them took over and put his own spin on it. I was a player this time, and that worked out. I wanted the Mazeworks to continue; I just didn’t have the passion to drive it anymore.

We played for a few months with Jason M. running the show until he passed away unexpectedly.  I liked Jason so much. I hoped someday to meet him. Who else shared my weird interests of PBEM’s, Roger Zelazny and Robyn Hitchcock. He was a stabilizing influence on the group and such a downright decent guy. I miss him and I’m sorry he’s gone.

We didn’t want the group to end with the death of a player, so someone else stepped up and began running it. His name is Jacob and he’s still running it today. We’re not as strong as we once were, but we’re still telling stories together and I think that’s something to celebrate.


  1. According to the #RPGaDay feed on the Twitterverse, less than half the participants list D&D or its clones as their most played game. There is an inordinate number of recent fringe indy games listed, so take it all with a grain of salt.

    1. That's interesting. It probably says more about the cohort that elects to participate in this kind of thing than anything else, but still.