Amber Company 10th Anniversary

amber_companyLast week was my local group’s 10th anniversary! In early January 2005 our group started playing together for the first time. It is hard to believe that this humble group I started 10 years ago is still going strong today.

The Beginnings

I got back into gaming via PbP’s initially. It was easy to fit into a family schedule and it scratched the itch pretty well at the time. But eventually, I wanted more and decided to see if I could get a group started. Now – to gather a set of players when one lived in a pretty rural area.

The first member recruited as a former co-worker who had become a good friend. He’d gamed in the past and had a strong interest in RPGs. He was also willing to host at his place which was in a suburb that would be much more convenient for folks to meet at.

From there we started recruiting via message boards – primarily EN World and Wizard’s boards. The first hit from the Wizard’s board was someone that had recently moved to Ohio and was looking for a group. The two of us decided to meet this message board guy at a local restaurant as a meet and greet, sort of feel each other out. Good food was had, and he passed the “not a freak” test. So we welcomed him to the group!

I actually forget which source led to the other member of the group at the time. He only played with us for 2 or 3 sessions. The drive was a bit long for him once we started playing, so it didn’t really work out.

I also recruited a co-worker at my job as well. He was actually my boss at the time. In fact as we ramped up he used to call me over to his office at lunch to talk about his character and his plans for him. Good times!

And we rounded the group out with Crothian (a.k.a. Chris, a frequent guest poster here) from the EN World boards. We didn’t actually screen him. It was close to the game’s start and how wrong could you go with someone that had like a bazillion posts over at EN World, right?

The First Campaign

I DM’ed the first campaign. It was a Forgotten Realms campaign set in the Silver Marches running D&D 3.5. I remember I crafted my own first adventure, had this great map, I figured 2 sessions, possibly 3 sessions of play out of what I came up with. Chris had an uncanny knack for route finding and chose correctly at every choice, essentially made it s straight shot to the final room. Only managed to get one session from that adventure!

The initial player roster shifted a bit. One player dropping because of commute (we think!). One player moved away within the first 6 months. We filled those spots in with co-workers at that point.

The first campaign came to an end about 6 months later due to a TPK. (Who knew an arachnid mouther with 15’ reach and 8 attacks was too much for a 3rd level party!). The group didn’t let me DM again for several years!

Over the Years

We had some small group membership fluctuations over the years. Another person moved away back to sunny California. Some lost interest in dedicating time to RPGs.

But for the most part we’ve had a pretty solid core group. Currently, three of us are original members. A 4th joined for the last session of my campaign (so the 6 month mark), and another joined probably 7 or 8 years ago.

Over the years we’ve played and run many campaigns. Fantasy campaigns are our default, but we’ve done Star Wars games, Superhero games, some modern investigation games, and more. We’ve rotated GMing duties across several of us over the years.

Friends

For what started as a group of folks essentially gathered from co-workers and internet forums, we have become more than just a gaming group. We’ve become the best of friends. At his point over 10 years of life, we’ve all been there for each other in some form of fashion.

We’ve all supported each other over the years in any of the curveballs life has thrown our immediate group members or our families. Many cookouts, gatherings, and such that were non-game related. A supportive group that transcended our humble beginnings of just a gaming group.

What’s With The Mug?

So last week Chris brought us all a little present. Seemed a little odd, as Christmas gifts had been exchanged prior to Christmas. But each of us got a white box packed with bubble wrap. Inside was the glass mug/jar pictured above with the words:

Amber Company – 2005 – Have your heard of us?

What’s up with that? During the first campaign I ran, the group named itself the Amber Company within the first session or two. One of the players in the group’s character would always say to people the party met “We are the Amber Company, have you heard of us?” All. Of. The. Time. It was a running joke amongst the group years later.

Here is to many more years of friendship and gaming with the Amber Company.

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