It’s a new year and a fresh start! It’s also time to revisit games once enjoyed but had fallen to the wayside because of adulting and life in general. After meeting up with gaming peeps over the holidays, we decided to schedule a Zoom session.

It was truly a Christmas miracle that five adults managed to seamlessly secure three free hours on a Sunday afternoon, since we’ve been having difficulty syncing up our dates. It helps that it’s January and that all of us reside in colder climates, so we hole up in our caves and roll dice in lieu of literal hibernation.

That meeting and the game session inspired me to write this article about getting back in the RPG saddle after a brief or long pause. (For us, it was a four-month hiatus.) This is from the player’s perspective since I don’t have anything yet to add on the DM’s viewpoint.

  • Clearing the Calendar

First things first. Nail down the date and time to meet and play. I use both a planner and an online calendar (Google) to ensure that I have both the date and time cleared for the session. Double-booking is problematic, so I increase my efforts not to have that happen.  We also try not to schedule games on a weeknight during the school year.

  • Deciding on the Campaign

Not all RPGs are based on just one campaign. In our group, there are several talented DMs who will run a one-shot or continue months or years long campaigns. The DM asked us which game we would prefer to play. Surprisingly, we opted to play the campaign where our characters were low-level (level 3); most of us chose to play another type of character. (I’m playing a charismatic and unwise bard named Ella. I’ve never played a bard before and so far, so good.)

  • Preparing for the Game

Because it’s been awhile since playing this particular game,  I try to add in at least an hour beforehand to prepare and review notes from the campaign. Also, I click onto the D&D Beyond website and pull up the character sheet, reviewing hit points and used spells.  I locate my trusty dice bag, pens and/or pencils, and blank paper for notetaking. (Your DM will be grateful for planning ahead. Our game ran smoothly because both the DM and players were prepared.)

  • Gameplay

The main points of playing are to have fun, venture through the campaign, and keep characters alive! Although we do our best, nothing is perfect, and sometimes the imperfect moments make the adventure more interesting. I’m happy to note that we played our game (5e). Our DM was kind and let our characters take a long rest so we were ready to resume gameplay with restored hit points and spell slots. Nobody’s character died, so it was a successful adventure so far!

What are your strategies for rebooting your campaign after it’s been on ice? We’d love to hear from you!