It's been a long time coming, but it appears that my primary gaming group is no more. As GM, you wonder if any of it was your fault. You review the facts and can't find fault with your actions. Sadly, the players themselves caused the problem.
Originally, I started with six players. Which is a pretty good size. It meant that if someone couldn't make it, it would be a problem. Or so I thought, but I'll get to that later. They were a diverse group of players. One player was my wife. One player was old gamer friend, subject A, who was asked by his last group to not come back. I took pity on subject A and invited him to play. Subject B and C, were a boyfriend and girlfriend time. Subject D was a friend of B and C. Finally there was Subject E, a nice quiet guy with little gaming experience. All in all, I've had worse groups.
A while after we started playing, we started to have to cancel some sessions. Subject E and D, both had jobs. This meant they sometimes couldn't make it. That was no problem, because I could still have four players. The problem was that sometimes Subject B and C couldn't come because of some odd sounding excuse, usually at the last moment. While bad, we still go to game more often than we didn't.
So things were doing OK, then Subject E stopped showing up, because he had to work. I actually understand that and bear him no hard feelings. Then Subject A couldn't come because he could afford gas. Again this is one I understand as Subject A is on a fixed income and with gas pricing getting high, he could no longer afford to come. I was now down to four players, but now there was problem, if B and C couldn't show, the session was canceled. (B and C were a package deal, you could have one without the other, so if one of them couldn't come, neither did). While I could have done something with just two players, most of the material I had was for at least of party of four.
The final straw came when B and C showed up to the session an hour late and then about two hours into the session, announced that they had to go. They should have told us about the time issues before we started. It wasn't fair to anyone. Of course now comes the Christmas hiatus that many groups suffer.
That along with B and C's attitude plus D's work schedule has put a lance into the heart of the gaming group.
So the question is what to do now? Luckily, I have a secondary group that I have been playing with, so I'm covered, but my wife isn't covered. Since my secondary group is a night game with some old gaming buddies and someone has to watch my son.
Well like all things, I have to go back to the beginning. It's time to form a new group. I have to recruit players to my game. I have to advertise my group and I have look at postings of players that need a group. I have to talk to other gamers I know and find out if they know of people that are looking to game. On the plus side, I've been in the cycle of recruitment for sometime now. Originally, I has thought I was just need to add a player or two. Now I have to completely reform the group. Of course this is a bit of an upside, there is no baggage for the new player to deal with since almost everyone will be new to the group.
So, I wonder how many of you have suffered through group vaporization and I wonder what you have done afterwards. Please let me know.