Being in the Main the Mouth of Olde House Rules

Tuesday, September 19, 2023

Autumn Is Gam(ing) Season...

No, not football. Tabletop roleplaying. It was autumn of 1977 when I fell in love with the Rankin/Bass Hobbit, and autumn of 1979 when I found out we were moving just as things were getting good with my local D&D group. More happily (and against the odds) it was autumn when we moved back (a different neighborhood, but with new friends) culminating in a season spent anticipating the Holmes Basic I knew Mom had gotten me because yours truly wasn't remotely subtle. Christmas 1980, the ending to a perfect fall... 

And so for me at least, autumn has always been (tabletop) gaming season; but why, beyond circumstance and random history, is it so? I suspect the following:

(1) Autumn is cooler. You start moving indoors for cozier entertainments. I'm sure this has changed, what with computer games and the mainstreaming of D&D; and, of course, I played over the summer months as well, although family vacations plucked various party members beyond recall, so maybe they weren't always the best months to be a roleplayer.

(2) October brings ghosts and goblins to every house for weeks ahead of the big night, and these channel the supernatural monsters in just about every dungeon.

(3) Christmas, the true culmination of autumn, brings many people's first gaming experience when not new additions to a pre-existing obsession. Birthdays and Christmas remain the perfect times to grow a collection. Games abound anymore. You can get a fascimile of early D&D for free (Basic Fantasy); but back then, rulebooks were precious comodities.

Of course, your experience may differ. Birthdays happen year-round, and the alchemy of circumstance means that everyone's gaming season has its own trajectory. 

And speaking of autumn, it's coming this week, and after a summer working on Mydwandr, finally available in hardcover, a break is definitely in the cards. Don't be suprised if Pits Perilous resumes a monthy format. Between Baldur's Gate 3 and Starfield, there's finally time to relax and explore some digital worlds. Not to worry though, autumn's fantasy bona fides won't be forgotten. There's an excellent chance the cooler (and shorter) months inspire more, not less, gaming goodness. In the meantime, have the best of all possible seasons... 


  1. Autumn has always been gaming season for me as well.

  2. For me, prime D&D season was at the big breaks, summer and Christmas. I always did try to get in a game or two around Halloween, though, and a lot of my adventures tended to have a fall feel to them, even during other seasons.

  3. agreed. Fall is always the start of some campaign for me. Which then continues thru the doldrums of super cold Canadian winter. Since we don't have much of a summer here, we tend to do everything but gaming when it's nice out for 3 months.