Trains and Games

As I write this, I’m sat on a train just south of Doncaster, on my way to the Dragonmeet convention in London. I’ve been listening to The Smart Party podcast say that everyone who’s been a guest on their show will probably be there, and they’re probably right. I’m helping on the All Rolled Up stall selling gaming accessories and Cthulhu Hack goodies, but I’m most excited about the chance to catch up with lots of friends.

Indulge me while I talk about my dad. My dad liked trains. He liked traveling on them, he had lots of books about them, he built little model kits of them. He’d go to model railway exhibitions held in community centres and hotels and wander round stalls and buy models of locomotives he probably didn’t need. He had mates that he would go round to and look at their models and talk about obscure branch line developments. He had hundreds of train magazines, some in languages he couldn’t read. He had more model kits than he could hope to build, and had prized models of locomotives and carriages that he’d display on bookshelves next to his stacks of books about trains.

As a kid I remember traipsing across cities every holiday, in search of model shops he’d heard about. When he died, a specialist second hand bookstore held an advertised event to sell his railway books, “from the collection of an enthusiast.” It was a proper hobby, and he treated it as such. He must have spent a fortune on it, and I’ve no doubt it was all money well spent.

Does any of that sound familiar? Hobbies are ace. Don’t feel bad about investing time and money in games you might never play, or accessories you might never use at the table, or reading blog posts about the best ranger builds in Pathfinder. If it gives you pleasure it’s enough. You can always flog it on eBay. Treat it like a proper hobby, and cherish the friendships that you make over a cocked d20.

I’ll be on the All Rolled Up stall – pop by and say hello.


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