Over half a decade ago, a group of my friends piled into a car and drove to Connecticut. They asked me to come along. Said that crazy mod they'd seen at Dexcon was starting a game up there and it would be running every month.
Memories of friends not speaking to each other out side of a LARP because their character's power plays were more important than their friendship were fresh in my mind. Attempts to get involved in plot, only to be regulated to relationship arcs or buried in tragedies for trying.
They asked me to come and I said no. Besides, Connecticut was hours away and much too far to travel. I stuck to my one shot LARP scenarios at cons & NPCing at play tests.
For the last decade I ran charity drives, served on boards, managed teams, and set up rallies. I learned what it meant to host an event and have no one come. I learned how to deal with hosting an event and having everyone come. I put my blood & sweat into every project that came my way.
I found venues for LARPS when plans fell through at the last moment. I saw what worked and what broke during play tests, then made sure that information was put together for the event runner. Some of those games tanked, some of them are still around.
I built sets, tore them down, then found new props for the next event. I stepped up when game masters, story tellers, or event supporters disappeared at the last minute. And insisted that I was happy to just help.
I kept busy, kept moving, and learned as much as I could. But every week I managed to find a few hours to slip away for a tabletop campaign (or two). I never could resist building a story with friends.
Then two years ago my life changed.
In the summer of 2015 I attended my first Dystopia Rising event. After a weekend as an NPC, I found something I never expected. I found a community that put the player before the character.
Needless to say, I was hooked. I took the experience that I'd spent a life time gathering and began putting it to use helping my local game. For me this was a community worth growing and investing in. And I wanted to do my part to see it flourish.
Today I am weeks away from opening the New York Branch of Dystopia Rising.
Looking forward I can see long nights, unexpected bruises, and new experiences to be had. There will be friendships made, families built, and a new branch of the Dystopia Rising community. The next decade is filled with work to be done & fun to be had.
I can't wait to experience it with all of you.