Copied from the final LRPG newsletter:
Greetings Guild Members, Guild Friends and fellow gamers,
Happy New Year to everyone! May all of you have a wonderful, prosperous and healthy 2022! It is my sincere wish that each and every one of you is able to hold a steady course over the next twelve months in order to close the calendar in a better position than you started. (And may this brand-new year be at least a little bit less of a poop-fest than the past couple of years have been.)
This installment of our e-newsletter marks the official end of the original model and format of the Lakeland Role Playing Guild. For over twenty years, we proudly and successfully waved the banner for the greater adventure gaming hobby in Central Florida. We accomplished this through our regular twice-monthly Guild Game Nights, a few dozen convention appearances, a good handful of activities in area game stores and dozens of issues of our own magazine filled with characters, adventures, gaming tips and original fiction. We were able to get our club into local news media (for good and positive reasons!) and showcased what the hobby represents and what it has to offer. Every one of these endeavors highlighted the passion and creativity that you, our Members, have for this hobby as well as your dedication to promoting and improving the games we all love.
The LRPG formed at the dawn of the D20 Era in the role playing genre. We have run in parallel to a wide range of changes: constant progress and regression in gaming theory; the rise and fall of game systems and publishers; disruptions to content creation and product distribution; the contraction of the hobby retail segment; major shifts in the social awareness impacts within the greater hobby community; the growth of boutique self-publishing; the maturation of digital support platforms; the dawn of the "live play" streaming phenomenon and the sudden wide awareness and acceptance of the hobby; and, obviously, the appearance of a worldwide pandemic that changed everything. Our club was able to ride through those changes while also having our own inevitable internal disruptions with leadership personnel, membership fluctuations and the expected time and energy drains caused by real world life. It was an amazing run.
But all of those changes took a toll and the most recent ones caused by the virus' effects on social gatherings and its kickstarting of already-present new trends caused damage that was difficult, if not impossible, to overcome. All of the alterations and changes in the tradewinds & currents of the hobby have brought us to a different landscape than the one from which we started. The typical modern gamer is a different person than was present twenty-odd years ago. The expectation of what a game session can be is different than what it used to be. Even the means of participating in a game session has become so much different than what we knew. The old traditional standards still exist of course but more and more they are being overshadowed by the new standards which are well on their way to becoming the benchmark -- the modern tradition if you will.
Along with all of these broader issues, there are personal ones as well. I have spoken of those a few times in the recent past when I announced my resignation as Guild Master so I won't repeat them here. But let me just say that I definitely feel the years and mileage involved with helping to launch this club in 2000 and then taking the reins in 2006. AND I DO NOT REGRET A SINGLE DAMN MOMENT OF IT! It simply is time for me to walk away and, honestly, it also is time for the LRPG to walk away -- at least from how we always have known it.
I know that there are some Guild Members who are disappointed with this turn of events. The Guild has been an important part of your lives and I truly understand that. The Guild has been a major part of my identity for two decades! Letting it go feels like cutting off a limb from my body so I appreciate your sense of loss. But look at what our event space used to be like and what it has been recently, then look at the hobby and all the things about it that I delineated above. Our "live event" model simply isn't sustainable anymore and none of us have the time, energy or skills to realign the LRPG to the modern paradigm. I hate admitting that but ... it is reality.
This e-newsletter that you are reading right now will be the last one for a little while. It will return in the near future with a slightly different format and new content. My hope is that it will be a successful way for our community to continue offering creative work and guidance support to the greater hobby. My other hope is that through this new venue we can keep the spirit of the LRPG's grander mission alive. (A few of you had previously voiced support for this idea when it originally was presented so don't surprised when you see me pop up in you email looking for articles!) It also will be a way to keep the local Guild community informed of hobby news, area conventions (some of which still we see LRPG-branded games) and the activities of our personal home tables. (Plus, we will be keeping our Facebook page active as well.)
This installment of the e-newsletter also will be the last time that you see me address myself as "Guild Master." From now on, I'll just be "Game Master" or "your fellow hobby gamer."
I love the LRPG. I am proud of everything that we have done. I am happy that I met all of you and I look forward to seeing you, or at least communicating with you online, in the future. I am so incredibly appreciative of everything that all of you have done to support the Guild and to help the club achieve its successes. Without you, there simply would not have been a Lakeland Role Playing Guild. You ARE the LRPG and it is through you that the community will live on. I love all of you.
Peace, good health and great gaming to you all,Scott M. Presley