Unknown Armies and Lost Time

So, I finally got to read Unknown Armies, 1st edition. I’d heard so much about this game and how wondrous/screwed-up it was. I know it has big feels both on the fanboy and hater side. Honestly, while I thought had some really cool ideas; there was a lot that was mechanically odd and a lot of burden put on the GM as the unfair hand of karma for the group. Overall, I didn’t get strong feels either way. I was tempted to even write that I didn’t understand the hype.

But I remember the time frame when it came out. I remember myself, part of the second/third generation of tabletop gamers and how excited I got about some games back then. And how that time, right at the end of the 90s and the beginning of the 2000s felt like a kind of golden age for RPGs. We all fell in love with games back then. Everybody was trying new stuff. Waves of games were coming out of left field and there was an “edgy, new game” on every street corner. LARP wasn’t a four-letter word yet.

Those were different times. I used to have a game 4 to 5 times a week on a regular basis. I used to have a lunchtime game on Saturdays. And then Battletech on Sundays. I ran games that lasted two plus years and then had sequels instead of new campaigns. We played Lunch Money whenever we had half an hour of downtime… I even wrote my own RPG and self-published it for friends.

Now I’m old, tired, and jaded. Most of the people I know have too many responsibilities to game on the regular. It’s hard to keep a game going for more than 6 months at a time. I’m so bummed about the whole experience that I quit gaming altogether for more than a year. Finding actual, new people to game with feels likes hiking uphill, both ways, in the snow. The wife and I have thousands of dollars worth of Malifaux and Battletech that just sits in minis boxes and on shelves. I sold off 30+ years of my gaming collection a while ago just so that it could go to people who’d actually use it instead of letting it gather dust in my house.

I envy gamers that are able to keep their enthusiasm throughout the years. I know people who are in their 60s and 70s and still playing Rolemaster. I hope that my enthusiasm for the hobby comes back. In UA terms, gaming used to be my obsession skill. Now I just feel like I’ve hardened all my stress tracks and can’t feel it anymore. It’s a real bummer.

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