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When and why did you stop playing D&D and other TTRPGs?

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
The longer and more accurate question is:

If you ever quit or stopped playing tabletop RPGs for an extended period of time, at what time in your life did that occur and why? And why did you pick them up again (which I'm assuming you did, if you are hanging out in these forums)?

This thread is inspired by the conversation in the thread about D&D's portrayal in Stranger Things, Season 3.

In that thread people speak about their D&D groups breaking up when friends started dating, were old enough to drive, etc.

For me, most of my friends and extended friends were gamers. For some it was all consuming and for others it was just one of many activities competing for their time. But most of us played regularly with several groups though high school. I think one reason for this is that many of our girl friends also played.

Being able to drive just made it easier for groups to get together and play.

What cause me to stop is going to college. I got together with some gamers maybe one or twice in my freshman year, but most of my new friends were not gamers and school, work, and other activities took focus and ended up selling all my gaming material.

Then I moved on to marriage (to a non-gamer) and work, and spent a lot of time living abroad, and I didn't even think about gaming again until my 40s. I got back into gaming when I moved back to my hometown and started getting together with old friends from high school to play various board games. I bought 5e when it came out and fell in love again with the game and have been playing D&D and several other TTRPGs at least monthly for the past six or so years.
 

Eis

Registered User
I got married when I was 19 and didn't have much contact with my old gaming friends....I played a very little bit at a couple of jobs that I had and then nothing for a long time (I completely missed DnD 3 and 3.5)

about....oh....6 or 7 years ago I started playing again....with my old gaming friends! I was flummoxed by the 4e game that they were playing lol but I also played a few other one shots with them. Shortly after I reconnected with them 5e came out and now I am playing in a regular game of that every two weeks, DM'ing my 21 year old son and his friends on the opposite weeks and playing in a 3.5 game that sees a group of us getting together from Thursday until Sunday 3 or 4 times a year to play Rise of the Runelords. We also do some one shots on occasion and this year my son and I and a few of the friends will be attending GenCon (second time for he and I)

so happy to be able to play....what a great hobby
 

ccs

39th lv DM
The closest I've ever been to having quit D&D/RPGs was mid '99-mid 2006.

It was a combination of the RPG groups I'd been part of largely dispersing, work, & my gaming interests shifting ever more towards miniature wargaming.
During that period the only time I ever played RPGs were Th/Fr/Sat at GenCon each year.
(so I've never really quit:))

Mid-late 2006 a couple of us from the college days were back in touch & decided to play some D&D.
By 2007 we'd relocated the game to the areas newest FLGS (run by people we all knew) & by that summer I was back in the DMs seat.
 
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Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
After being introduced to gaming in 1977, I haven’t played since...2016? 2017? No significant gaps besides this current dry spell.

The why? Well, I sort of had a falling out with my game group of 20 or so years about communication. There were other factors as well, but that was the proverbial straw. I haven’t seen any of them in person since December or January.

And for a variety of reasons, I really haven’t felt like finding new players to game with. I know some, but I don’t think I would be a good mix with them, again, for many reasons.

I don’t consider myself as having given up the hobby, though. I’m just waiting...
 

Nagol

Unimportant
I've burned out a few times over the decades and took a few months to a year off from GMing. Sometimes I found a game to play in, sometimes not. I returned because I like it though I pace myself much more these days -- other aspects of life require more time than when I was young.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
I quit from about 2009 to 2012 when I was in graduate school. Then stopped for about a year in 2016?-ish. I found that I had other hobbies I was enjoying more (cosplay, model makings, etc.). It was all about ROI fun:time.

Then I opened back up Fantasy Grounds that I bought in 2004 and started using that after roll20 stopped being magical to me. Really used FG A LOT. Then quit again in 2018 to move across country, etc.

My Face-to-Face gaming trickled down to just about nil around 2016 (only con games) because the idea of getting dressed up, driving across town, invading someone else's home, etc. was just too draining when I can just plop down in front of my computer in my pajamas with coffee in hand and just... play.

So what it all boils down to is: RPGs are a hobby of mine and sometimes I find I have more interesting things to do. Now, I game more or less sporadically. I don't take it serious and I don't particularly miss it when I'm not doing it.
 

Xaelvaen

Explorer
The why? Well, I sort of had a falling out with my game group of 20 or so years about communication. There were other factors as well, but that was the proverbial straw. I haven’t seen any of them in person since December or January.
I'm genuinely sorry to hear this, Danny - having an old, reliable group like that is probably the biggest reason I still play. I hope things work out for you, sincerely.

---

The only gap I've had in playing, I mean an honest gap, would be around '92 - '96. I began playing in '89 with my cousin, similar in age to me, but it was mostly just the two of us with an occasional family member being interested, trying a game, and just not really getting the hang of it (or not really being interested). We eventually stopped getting to hang out as much when his parents moved more than an hour away, so that meant only seeing each other a few times a year, and mostly at family reunions - so we just did other things that were more easily done spontaneously.

Then I found a massive group of gamers (ended up being 12 or so of us, myself included) that played with one of the guys' father's being our DM. His last name started with a D, so he was named 'MR.D' (or Mr. D&D) when we played. That group there lead to my group I met in '99, who I'll have been with for 20 years this November.

D&D on Wednesday, Paintball on Sunday - met my would-be wife in that group, so never really had a reason to stop playing since. Even when college was hell, we'd promise to get at least 1 day a month to play.Now , we even all conform our schedules to have exactly the same days off a week from work - so none of that pesky reality stuff comes bothering us. We just get food and entertainment for the kids, have a nice comfy living room set up for them so they can have fun. The game brought us together, and by God we're gonna keep it together.
 

uzirath

Villager
I played pretty intensively from 1981ish to 2005. In 2005 I switched careers from IT work to being a 6-12th grade teacher (English, social studies, and computer science). I found that teaching was far more demanding (and rewarding, if not financially) than my prior career and I had precious little free time. Moreover, I was surprised to discover that crafting great lesson plans seemed to tap the same pool of creativity that I had previously reserved for GMing. After a week of teaching, which is sort of like guiding students through worlds that they haven't imagined, I just didn't feel the draw to build other new worlds. I did still enjoy occasional D&D, CoC, and GURPS games as a player, but I hung up my GMing spurs.

Then I started a family, moved to Minnesota, started teaching at a new school, and gaming slipped away for a while. After a couple of years at the new school, however, someone discovered that I was a former gamer and suggested that I sponsor a gaming activity for the middle school (unbeknownst to me, students had been clamoring for it). Pretty soon we had 50+ students signing up every trimester. I was generally just a facilitator, but did occasionally run games for groups that didn't have anyone interested in GMing. At this point, I had enough years under my belt as a teacher that I didn't mind the creative overlap. I learned D&D 4e and then 5e and GURPS 4e. I started running games for my own children and some of their friends. When the Dungeon Fantasy Roleplaying Game came out, I started an adult group again. One thing led to another and now I'm regularly running and playing in games, both with adults and young folks. The gaming activity for students remains incredibly popular and I've got a waiting list of adults who want to jump in. It's a blast.
 

aramis erak

Explorer
twice...12 weeks due to Basic Training (US Army).
about 2 months, when I arrived in Oregon to drive my dad while mom recovered from surgery. Just after I returned home, mom hit her head, so I had to return... but I made certain to find the local D&D AL...
 

Gilladian

Adventurer
I took a break for a year or so when I was in college, prepping for grad school. After grad school was underway I needed stress relief, so I dove in again. Never stopped playing again. It’s been over 25 years since I had more than a few weeks between games.
 

MGibster

Explorer
I stopped playing TTRPGs when I was in graduate school. I was working 40 hours a week, I had 15 hours of classes. and I was working on my thesis so I didn't have time to attend a game on a regular basis never mind run one. Once I graduated I got back to playing.
 

MNblockhead

A Title Much Cooler Than Anything on the Old Site
After being introduced to gaming in 1977, I haven’t played since...2016? 2017? No significant gaps besides this current dry spell.

The why? Well, I sort of had a falling out with my game group of 20 or so years about communication. There were other factors as well, but that was the proverbial straw. I haven’t seen any of them in person since December or January.

And for a variety of reasons, I really haven’t felt like finding new players to game with. I know some, but I don’t think I would be a good mix with them, again, for many reasons.

I don’t consider myself as having given up the hobby, though. I’m just waiting...
This post BEGS for a follow-up. Sorry that you've had a fall out with a group you've been playing with for 20 years. Sounds like it is more than just leaving the group, if you've not even seen any of them outside of gaming for over half a year.

Have your tried organized play, meetup.com, or Roll20 for one shots? Good way to try different games, meet new players, and if things don't gel, well, it's only one session.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
Well, like I said, part of the reason was communication. I have continued to text & email one guy in particular, but he has been very spotty about responding. I was invited to- and attended- the annual celebratory dinner in Dec/Jan. But that was the last time I saw any of them face to face.

The guy in the group that I’ve known since 1985 hasn’t reached out at all. My house phone number hasn’t changed since 1998, and my cell phone hasn’t changed in a decade or so.

As to finding another group or something, I simply haven’t tried looking for anything at all. It’s not like getting back into dating after breaking up with a girlfriend, but there is an analogous lack of inclination to get back into that social situation. The effort. The uncertainty.

Plus, I do have a lot to do right now. The inertia of an ongoing, active group was a key factor in letting me continue gaming.
 
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aramis erak

Explorer
As to finding another group or something, I simply haven’t tried looking for anything at all. It’s not like getting back into dating after breaking up with a girlfriend, but there is an analogous lack of inclination to get back into that social situation. The effort. The uncertainty.

Plus, I do have a lot to do right now. The inertia of an ongoing, active group was a key factor in letting me continue gaming.
The organized play option is worth looking at. It's usually drop-in/out on a session by session basis. Much of the fun, none of the commitment.

There's also the convention method of finding a new group...

I know D/FW has a local convention. NTRPGCon.com. (Several Traveller fans have mentioned it.)

PAX-South is in San Antonio - a bit of a drive from Dallas. BGGCon is in Irving, TX, no idea where that is, personally.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Moderator
Staff member
I appreciate the suggestions.

I used to live in Irving. It’s the Dallas suburb just south of Coppell- my current suburb of residence.

I’ve lived in the D/FW Metroplex since 1982: I know what’s available in terms of cons (not really interested) and game stores in several of the cities in our 4 counties. Even while gaming in a stable group formed in 1985- which in 1998 essentially merged with the group I just left- I found other groups to game with in San Antonio (college), Austin (law school) and even Irving (different systems) at some point or another.

But right now is just not the time to find a new game.
 

Zhaleskra

Explorer
Stopped? I've never really stopped. Long pauses, sure. With the sole exception of D&D: 4e didn't appeal to me in anyway, and while it may not be fair, I see 5e as "damage control" and "too little, too late". Additionally, I came to the point where I asked myself "how many times am I going to buy the 'same' game?".
 

jasper

Explorer
Stopped in 2004 due becoming parent to my parents, got tired of my group, needed more time with wife. Restarted around May 2016.
My old group was a mixed of SCA and just D&D players. Since I couldn't do SCA due to caretaker role, gaming was my only downtime. However old group wanted to move Sunday gaming, 30 minutes away. No problem there. But they wanted to do multiple systems; a little problem here. And not only were they always late to start they wanted to still play 4 plus hours once they started. This cut into my Sunday home time with wife. Since they wouldn't start on time, I got tired of them and quit.
 
Also when I first went off to college. I went to a place where I knew absolutely no one. Nevermind that playing D&D would probably have helped me make friends, for I was terribly shy at that point in my life.

In the last two years, I started running an AD&D game back at home during the summer and had a lot of fun. A bunch of my fellow musicians all discovered that we used to play D&D and wanted to give it a try again. But then that trailed off again until news of the Lord of the Rings trilogy being made hit. I can’t understate how just seeing that Quicktime trailer reinvigorated my love of fantasy again.

What cause me to stop is going to college. I got together with some gamers maybe one or twice in my freshman year, but most of my new friends were not gamers and school, work, and other activities took focus and ended up selling all my gaming material.
 

drl2

Villager
In the mid 80s the couple of small and occasional groups of gamers I played with just kind of drifted apart, pulled away by the usual stuff - jobs, school, dating, etc. Through college, marriage, career, and parenthood, I always kind of had it in the back of my head that I'd like to get back into it, but I never really took the steps to connect with a group. Then a little over a year ago my teenaged daughters said, "It might be fun to start a game of something like D&D," and I shouted, "YESSS!", and now we alternate between campaigns in two different RPGs in once-a-week sessions, and I've gotten fairly seriously into crafting terrain for the games.
 

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