My roleplaying friends fall into two groups. The first are people that I was friends with first, through other circumstances. At some point I started a game, or they did, and we ended up playing together. The second are people that I met through a game group, and became friends with outside of that context. I think this is pretty normal, and most people in the RPG community have friends that can be sorted along these lines. No matter how you met, though, there’s one sure way to kill a friendship. All you have to do it make the relationship more about the game than about them.
How to Kill a Friendship
I know that mismatched expectations exist. You think you’re friends beyond the context of the game, but that’s not how they see things. It’s awkward, but it happens. What I’m talking about is when it’s clear that roleplaying isn’t the sole common interest. You hang out for other reasons. You do non-game things together.
Then the campaign ends, for whatever reason, and they ghost you. I’ve had that happen to me more than once. I know other people that have experienced this as well. It doesn’t seem all that uncommon, even though it feels like it should be rare. They wanted you around because they wanted to game, and needed to fill the ranks of the group. After things disbanded, they stop taking your calls.
Maybe you have a disagreement over something roleplaying-related. You don’t think it’s a big deal, and it’s certainly not worth fighting over, but they take it quite seriously. I’m not talking about deep, philosophic differences, where they’re a narrativist and you’re a gamist and you can’t find a middle ground. I’m talking about quarrels over whether that +1 bonus should have applied in that situation, even though the roll succeeded anyway and it made no difference to how things worked out.
Under no circumstances should the game be more important than people. I say this thinking that this is common sense, but I’ve also seen how people behave on the internet. There are far more important things in life than roleplaying. It’s not on the base level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs with food, clothing, and shelter. Creativity, imagination, and escapism are important, but nothing, absolutely nothing, should be more important than friendship.
About Dancing Lights Press
Dancing Lights Press publishes story games that embrace a minimalist aesthetic in design and presentation. Our print books are affordable, at $10 or less. The 6×9 digest format makes them convenient to carry around. The spotlight belongs on the creativity of the players as they converse and collaborate on plot, worldbuilding, and character development. Roleplaying is an activity, not a book. Our titles are merely part of the delivery system.