There was a long stretch a few years back when I had given up on roleplaying. I still bought books, I still read books, but scheduling was a complete nightmare. Because grown-ups are busy. We just are.
That's when Game Night really started to take off. In large part because you don't need consistency for a board game night. If this week is Jim and Dennis and Steph and next week is Wade and Brian and Aaron, it doesn't matter. Because there's no single over-arching storyline that runs from point to point.
On the role-playing front, I did a couple of one-shots and I played in a few. I joined a couple of campaigns that either fizzled or never made it off the ground. And then James started his D&D 4e game.
It was shortly after 4e was released, and we all wanted to give it a shot. It was James and his wife (Dawn) and John and Katie and Steph and myself. That's six grown-ups.
Here are the dates of our last few sessions:
Those, by the way, were all face-to-face games. Before that, we played online. Six sessions in 2013. Seven sessions in 2012. Seven in 2011.
But face-to-face, we're managing about two sessions per year. Because we are grown-ups, and life has really shaken things up. Gaming online is easier, but it's much less satisfying.
I'm not a social person by nature, but sometimes ...
It means that "Who wants to recap?" is an important question. It means that players (and the GM) need to keep notes of what powers and abilities have been used. Where we are hit point wise.
Because we are not cheaters, that's why.
Wade, our 13th Age GM, started using a program called Doodle to schedule our games. And it works. We're averaging about five sessions per year in his game.
Of course, Wade's players don't include two folks currently living in Canada. Which is definitely a factor.
I'm discovering with my Legend of the Five Rings game that Doodle combined with Obsidian Portal is a near-perfect combination. Doodle for schedules and Obsidian Portal so that everyone knows what's up. We managed seven sessions in 2016.
When scheduling, I work with Wade so that we don't screw one another up. Even so, I know we will have scheduling dead spots where one game or another will work, but probably not both. Most of November is shot. December is toast. January is an option, as is February. A hugely disproportionate number of my friends have March birthdays, so March is often messy. Most of us go to NorWesCon, which is usually in March as well. That kills another weekend.
Come summer, Convention Season kills off a weekend or two here and there as people prep for, go to, and/or recover from conventions.
But the tools let us schedule things far enough out that we're usually able to clear our schedules for game. And, while I'd love to game more, I will take what I can get.
Besides, on the (rare) off weekends, I get to go to Fantasium for Beer & Board Games.