I'm about as ok about it as anyone can be. Matt's friends and family have drawn together remarkably well, given the circumstances. Matt had a funeral for his family - I couldn't attend because it was at the same time as Passover - and also a geek-themed memorial for his friends, most of him knew him as a player, GM, and World of Warcraft denizen.
Matt and I didn't have exactly the same tastes in game. Matt had a wider hack-and-slash, beer-and-pretzels streak than I do (I am a filthy narrativist). However, the man knew how to run a good game, and I'd like to devote today's post to a few of the things Matt taught me that I want to remember.
- Everyone is a Star: Matt had an ability to make everyone at the table feel like their character was the star of the show. His Changeling: the Dreaming chronicle, Dreams of Rebirth, featured an incredibly varied cast of characters. We had a frighteningly bitter Unseelie Baron, his lovestruck pooka spymistress, a traumatized scout, a timelost sorceress, and the most vicious 12 year old terrorist you ever met. Somehow, each and every one of us would describe the game as "my game"; in truth, it was our game. I believe that Matt did this by combining careful preparation (as the Abigail has noted, "he remembered things about my character's backstory that I had forgotten"), a feeling for his fellow players that can only be summed up as love, and quick wits. It made for a stellar gaming experience, and it's something to emulate.
- There is No Drama: "Do not try to prevent the drama - that's impossible. Instead, try to remember the truth: there is no drama, only people." Drama didn't happen in Matt's gaming groups. People had issues, and people - led by Matt's love and patience - solved them. I wish I'd known how to do that in college.
- Always Room for One More: I've alluded to this before, but Matt was a kind, giving, accepting, and most importantly, inclusive person. I can be a real snob sometimes, but Matt wasn't. As far as I could tell, you liked what you liked - you played the way you played - and whether or not Matt wanted to play with you, that was still just fine.
In closing, I want to share this: at Matt's memorial, we divided up his spoils - his gaming books, his games, his toys - so that they would go to homes with people who would enjoy them in good health for years to come. I was conflicted about it at first, but it was what Matt's family wanted, and in the end, I think it was a good idea. I'm not ashamed to say that I ended up going home with a lot of stuff that I am going to enjoy, and every time I do, I'm going to think about Matt. Every time I struggle to live up to my best - to his best - I'm going to remember him.
Anyway, among the things Matt gave me are everything I need to start playing D&D 4th Edition.
I've been wanting a low-pressure beer-and-pretzels game for a while now.