“So, tell me about this game,” said John. “You were kind of secretive on the phone. It isn’t like I have anything better to do this late on a Saturday night. I’m not about to go out and get wasted and I wouldn’t go to a party even if I were invited.”

Dave smiled and ushered his friend in the door. The two walked into the living room and Dave settled into his well-worn couch. John took the fluffy armchair opposite Dave and the coffee table and crossed a leg over his knee. He set the backpack he was carrying down on the carpet, leaning up against the chair.

“I brought my stuff,” he continued. “I didn’t know what I was going to need.”

Dave sat forward on the couch. “Well, I didn’t want to say too much over the phone,” he said. “You know how sometimes we get so excited about what we’re talking about that we can’t get off the phone?” John nodded emphatically. “Yeah, well, I wanted to make sure you actually made it over here so we could, you know, actually play.”

Both of them laughed.

“So, what are we doing exactly?” asked John. “My attention is rapt.”

“Well, that’s kind of up to you,” said Dave. “It’s been so hard to get anybody else to meet regularly lately, I thought maybe we’d just try a one-on-one game. You know, just your guy out adventuring. Or girl. Or unicorn, whatever. I have some ideas, but I figured if it’s going to be all about you, I’d get your input before setting anything in stone.”

John let out a half-chuckle, which was really more like an exhalation with emphasis added to express his amusement. “All right, then. What is there, really? I mean, if I’m going to be on my own, I really have to try and be as self-sufficient as possible. Like, I could be a ranger or something backwoods-y. A guy who can hunt and provide his own food.”

“Dude, you can play anything you want. We’ll build the game around you.”

“Just the same, some degree of self-reliance will be necessary. I mean, I’ll probably want to be able to provide my own healing, bandage wounds and whatnot. Or something magical. I could play a priest, like an actual healer or something.”

“Whatever you want. But also, keep in mind you long-term goals. What are you going to want to do down the line? Do you want to command armies? Fight demons? Slay dragons?”

John smirked. “All of the above?”

Dave chuckled, “All of the above works too. I mean, we can do anything, really. If you want to be a sorcerer’s apprentice, we could totally do that, too. Whatever you think would be fun, whatever you think you’d actually want to play. And let’s think long-term.”

“Long-term like how long?”

“Long as you want to play. We can start at the beginning and go all the way to the end.” Dave held his arms out and made an arcing gesture. “If you want, we can start you off in childhood, go through the teenage years, make you an adult, go through your whole adventuring career, and retire you at the end. It’s up to you, man.”