When I was a teenager I recall having a dream where I had super powers and was part of a team of heroes trying to stop some dark power invading the land. It was one of the coolest dreams you could ever have. In the middle of the dream, just as things were getting exciting, I felt myself waking up.
I become somewhat lucid and felt like I was on a rooftop looking over a dark city landscape but I also knew I was lying in my bunk bed, facing the ceiling. I struggled desperately to fall back into the dream. I succeeded but the dream just wasn’t the same. It morphed into something else, quickly losing its flavor.
I spend the next few nights trying to get back to that dream. I set up my environment to mimic that night as the best I could: the same temperature, lying in the same position, and going to bed at the same time. When I laid my head down I tried to focus on nothing but the dream, playing it from start to finish as best as I could, over and over again. It was futile. The dream was gone.
I face a similar situation now. I recently moved to another state and now have a new gaming group. My old group was great… beyond great, they were awesome. I had even been gaming with a couple of them for over 20 years. I’ve only had one game session with my new group and it went well. But, it was definitely different. I missed the feel of the old group.
Something inside wants me try and shape the new group like the old group, use the same game system, same campaign story, and the same type of characters. I know it won’t work. Just like trying to recreate the dream, it will be just as futile to try and recreate the gaming group dynamics.
Each gaming group is different. Heck, even the same group will experience change as time goes on. The point I am trying to make is that no matter what you do you will never be able to recreate the grandeur of any gaming group, campaign, or setting. Don’t even try. Any attempt will never be as good as the original. It will feel forced and insincere. Stop trying to dream the old dream. Build a new one.
Once you realize that, you will instantly feel a sense of freedom. Realizing and recognizing change is liberating. You may find that things that didn’t fit before, fit now. Differing player styles is a breath of fresh air. Breath deep and live in the moment!
For me, the old dream that was my former gaming group, is fading into beautiful memories. I will still get some gaming in them from time to time. But my regular group is in the here and now. I accept this change. I choose to live in the moment.