(Not) Gaming with Babies

I’ve not done much actual gaming since last report (in December!). I hope that will change a little bit with the latter part of 2017. As you also see from the title of the article, my daughter has arrived. These facts are not disconnected (though there have been a couple other wrinkles causing scheduling issues).

(Not) Gaming with Babies

The Kids

Sebastian continues to grow and mature. Now three years old, he has become fairly willful but never quite reached his terrible twos. Recently disruptions to his life like a new sibling and the house renovation seem to have retarded some of his development (such as potty training and sleeping) but we are slowly overcoming those obstacles.

On the other hand, he is incredible sweet with his sister. He talks to her, soothes her, tries to help out, and includes her in his play. He’s very creative with his blocks and train tracks. He’s also doing more and more pretend play which bodes well for future gaming. He still hasn’t grasped turns though he enjoys matching games. I look forward to more complicated games in the future.

Miranda, my other midnight child, arrived healthy and strong. After a short trip to the NICU (due to inhaled liquids) she has shown herself to be much more physically developed than Sebastian. While not quite large, she is a much bigger baby than Sebastian and her development with regards to gross motor movements has been equally advanced. She’s hitting or exceeding all her milestones and looks to be as smarter and social as her brother. She is also a touch more willful. Her twos might be more terrible.

While Miranda is a little easier to work with than Sebastian (she sleeps longer and we know more) and Sebastian is becoming more independent, the combination of the two is sucking up most of our time. I’ve found time to write but not to game and my wife is finding all her time vanishing (being a teacher does not help).

The House

Last summer we began planning an addition to our house. Specifically we are removing Sebastian’s room and expanding the upstairs to add new rooms for Sebastian and Miranda plus a master bathroom. The process has been slow and at times frustrating. Permits were held up by the slow and sometime inept city planning office. Most of the quotes were way out of our budget. Financing looked threatened by a weird drop in local home prices.

This summer however the real scary part began. Two thirds of the roof was removed and most of the walls had some of their interiors opened up. Only one room in the house (the downstairs bathroom) avoided being worked on.

Obviously the impact on our gaming was severe. We had to move out for the summer, halting all of our local gaming for a while. We did not go to DunDraCon or KublaCon.

But it will all be worth it. Now we don’t have to worry about outgrowing our house. Even better the expanded space (both from new closets and from the necessary shedding of unused items) means more space for gaming supplies.

I’ve removed a shelf’s worth of books (mostly splat books for D&D 3.5) so my books should finally all have a place. Even better, once I shift my clothes to the new closet, my wife will move her craft stuff upstairs (into the old closet). That will open room to move the board games from the drawers in the office to the more efficient closet space. The drawers can then absorb the currently hard to reach office and game supplies (pens, dice, paper, staplers and so forth).

Gaming Groups

Now to review how my various gaming groups have not been playing.

Online Group & Demon: the Descent

This been a bit of downer for me but with some positive elements.

When Miranda was born we went on a long hiatus. It started as just a case of getting our bearings but developed into the realization that with Miranda and Sebastian’s bedtimes, we couldn’t play until after 8 PM. The problem is that all of my players are on the East coast and I’m on the West coast. Between work schedules and sleep, we couldn’t find a time that would work.

We managed a few games over the summer and found to a reasonable transition point.

The group then surprised me with their enthusiasm and interest in a play by post model. I’ll need to work out exactly how I’ll be running it (and what the log will look like) but it means I can work through the long list of subplots I have.

Local Boardgame Group

Things are more positive here. We are on hiatus for summer due to construction but before that we were managing roughly monthly game afternoons.

The couple we play with also have a small child so we have a common problem and it works well to play together. We can’t play late or very long but with the game table to store things between get togethers we can manage longer boardgames well.

Now hopefully that game of Golden Wilderness wasn’t jostled too much by the construction.

Local Gaming Group

Another group that is on hiatus but which I expect to pick up in the fall. It helps that we were already playing after 8 PM on Fridays.

We ended in January wrapping up our Urban Shadows game. Hopefully in September we will begin either a Mage: the Awakening or a Night’s Black Agents game.

The NOOP

Last time I wrote about this, we had a private Minecraft realm that we were developing. That got pretty far. We opened up the End, connected the center to most biomes via a rail system, and build some large pretty structures.

Then we decided to create a public server and it sort of became work to me. Plus getting admin privileges took the feeling of risk out of the game. Without the initial community of most of the gang, I sort of drifted away. Now I’m just preparing a local game to share with my family down the road.

Other Gaming?

So what options exist for increasing my gaming past the Friday sessions and the occasional board game?

There are few options.

  • My friend Mike’s Play by Post may or may not be dead. The players seem interested in reviving it as long as they don’t need to do homework. That won’t be much of an Elder’s game then but it is still something.
  • Conventions are definitely still going to happen. Once Miranda is weaned Grace and I intend to attend at least one each year. So some of the stories in my head will see the real world eventually.
  • The local comic book store runs a weekly boardgame night. I have not snuck over there yet but it is possible I or Grace could attend occasionally. Once Sebastian gets older I can take him over as well.
  • Online Play (starting at 8 PST) is perhaps the most promising but also the hardest for me. It is hard enough for me to put myself out there for people I know. Recruiting players online and then weeding out the malcontents is a bit of work but if that is what it takes, then I will do it.

We’ll see how things work out this fall.