March 4th is GM’s Day — “march forth,” geddit? — a time to give recognition to the hard-working game masters who put the time and energy into creating the imaginary worlds in which our characters run amok — and, in the convention world, care enough about their game of choice, role-playing, board or otherwise, that they’ll teach it to a table of strangers.
The idea for a day to recognize GMs came up back in 2002 on ENWorld. Gary Gygax‘s passing on the same day in 2008 cemented the date . Now it’s become not only an occasion to thank one’s GM — possibly with the purchase of role-playing books, as RPGNow would like you to do, given their massive sale; so massive, in fact, I’m having difficulty finding anything I want amidst the torrent of niche material — but a day commemorating the role-playing hobby on the whole and remembering its proud parents, Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. The hobby wouldn’t be what it is today, or maybe even exist at all, if not for Gary, Dave and everyone else who participated in the conception of Dungeons & Dragons.
I plan to mark the occasion with game night in the traditional sense tonight: friends getting together at someone’s house for food and tabletop fun. It’ll be board game tabletop fun, in the shape of Age of Empires III, but still. And this weekend, a Savage World of Solomon Kane one-shot in Rutland.
One of these days I will get on the ball and have something really appropriate planned to run on GM’s Day, or get the local store involved or something. TARGA‘s International Traditional Gaming Week isn’t that far off. If I’m industrious and persuasive, I’d like to get some people together for an old school dungeon crawl. There’s no dearth of dungeons and retro-clones to utilize, after all.
Thanks again, Gary and Dave. You invented a truly unique hobby, which I and so many others love dearly.