Hearing The Call to Adventure when you’re over 40.

There’s a seriously delightful conversation in one of the LARP fb groups about adventuring over 40. Many of us aren’t 20 anymore, and it seems silly to have our characters not be our own age (or close to it). But they’re still starting characters (as it’s a new campaign), which implies they chose this path recently.

That thread is mostly joking around, but I kind of love the idea of hearing The Call when you’re not a teenager, and starting your in-game adventuring life later as some kind of mid-life crisis, religious epiphany, empty nest reaction, etc.

Which got me to some ficlets, and here’s the result.

“Well, your mother always wanted to be an adventurer - she was a hell of an archer when we were your age - but we got pregnant, and your grandmother needed some help, so we put that life off for a while. But now that you’re off at university, it seems like a good time to pick up the bow again, and go fight evil." 

“There was just something missing, y'know? I mean, I liked being a toymaker, but one day I realized - I really wanted to put on some plate mail, and go fight demons. So here I am, livin’ the dream." 

— 

“Sometimes, relationships don’t work out. She got the business, I get to start the life of adventure I’ve always wanted. Did you know I minored in alchemy? It’s good to get back into it again.”

“Your Aunt Maribel and I had always talked about doing this, when we were girls, but it just never seemed like the right time. But now that Uncle Haro has passed…Mari just wants to get out there and do it. I can’t let her go alone, can I? Someone has to watch her flank on the line, and remind her to keep her shield up.“

"What can I say? Sometimes you fall in love with a mage. When you do, you grab your hammer and you go where he goes. Someone has to keep cute Dukes from flirting with him. Back off, gentry! He’s all mine.”

“Kevin, you’re being ridiculous. I’m not going to fall in love with some Duke.”

“Whatever. I’m not taking any chances. It took me this long to find you, and I’m not letting you go without me.”

“I’m your Dad. If you’re going to go and fight evil, I’m going with you, ‘cause I support your choices.”

“Er…Mom’s heading off to check out some evil gate she heard about. Someone needs to go with her, ok? I squired for her last time, but I just can’t right now. It’s your turn. Make sure she does her exercises, ok? Her back is going to be horrid if she doesn’t.“

"Fine. I’ll handle the evil gate with Mom. But the next time she heads into the swamps to fight some lizard thing, you’re doing it. I freaking hate swamps.”

“His husband left him for an elf. He’s got some anger issues that he’s working through, ok? Better that he work through it on some bad guys.”

“What was that?”
“Undead again.”
“Oh, for the love of..look. They’re a freaking plague, and it’s getting worse. If we don’t want to keep dealing with this, we’re just going to have to go to the source.”
“But….the carrots…!”
“Hang the damned carrots. I’ll hire that nice boy down the street to take care of our field while we’re gone. Clean yourself up and grab your holy symbol. We’re not putting up with this for one more week.”

“Well, I always wanted to see the world. I got a small inheritance recently, and thought, why the heck not? No time like the present, right?”

“If that Sorcerer thinks he can just waltz in here and take over this town, he’s got another think coming!”
“Doris, calm down. We’ll write to the King, and…”
“I WILL NOT CALM DOWN. Sally, I swear, you drive me nuts sometimes.”
“I’m just saying - there’s diplomatic solutions to this.”
“The hell with diplomatic solutions! I WILL END HIM. ”
“Fiiiiiine. Do it your way. End him with fire.”
“Thank you!” *smooches* “Love you. Back when I’m back. He has NO IDEA who is coming for him.”

“What can I say? Adventuring pays the bills. I have a family to support, and turnip farming doesn’t make money like it used to.”

“Hey Phineas - for guys’ night, I have a thought. Rather than just going down to the pub like we usually do…I found a gate. No idea where it leads. Let’s go check it out. Could be fun, right?”
“A gate?”
“Yeah!”
“This is a terrible idea. I’m in.”

“Um….well, this is awkward. You know that Goddess who spoke to me last spring?”
“Oh yeah! Your whole conversion thing. Nice to see you found faith. It’s been good for you, I think.”
“Well, she has something she wants me to take care of.”
“What, like…a message delivered or something?”
“Noooooooo?”
“Seriously? You’re a florist. What does she want you to do?”
“Well, now when I sing, things blow up. That’s good, right?”
“This can’t end well.”

“We left for THREE WEEKS, and Barbarians razed our village. I swear, do I have to do everything myself? I JUST RE-DID THE ROOF, YOU JERKS.”

“He doesn’t think our family is good enough for him? I’ll show him who is good enough for him! My little girl is going to live in a castle, even if I have to conquer it myself!”
“I’m sure he didn’t mean it that way.”
“We’ll see what he has to say when I walk into Summertide with a demon’s head on a spike! Who’s good enough now, you two-bit merchant?!?”

“Your Aunt recently found out that Throgg the Destroyer is that brat she couldn’t stand at the Academy. She’s not taking it well, so we’re going to be off on a trip for a while…”

“So….funny story. You know that favor I owe the Countess? From like 20 years ago? She finally called it in. She remembered that I’m really good with Ancient Runes, and apparently there’s something she needs checked out.”

“I thought you said this adventuring thing was just a hobby, Brianna. Something we did on the weekends.”
“Well, but…y'know…I really like it. I think I could be good at it. I’m getting better with the spear, you know?”
“I don’t even know you anymore!”
“Can’t you just be supportive?”
“Well, but where does it end? First hobgoblins, now orcs…what’s next?”
“I heard about this cursed tomb…”
“Absolutely not. I draw the line at tombs. NO TOMBS.”

“I told you not to date that vampire. Didn’t I tell you? I told you!”
“Let me live, Sergio.”
“Let me unlive, you mean.”
“Ok, that’s just rude.”

“Oh, sure - one good healing spell, and you think you can conquer the world.”
“I can! I have the knees of a teenager again!”

“Grandpa, you’re embarrassing me.”
“What, I can’t visit my grandson while he’s adventuring?”
“Well, I love having you here, and everyone knows you’re a good healer, but…”
“I’ll be fine. I like it here. I think I’ll stay.”

“C'mon, let’s do it. We’ve always wanted to.”
“But…we don’t know what we’re doing.”
“We do! We’ve each read The Book, what….15 times? I know you basically have it committed to memory.”
“I don’t think 'To Catch a Rogue Lord’ was really meant as an instruction manual.”
“C'mon…how hard can it be? You’ve seen the adventurers who come through here.”
“Excellent point. I’ll get my herbs.”

“Honey? There’s a kid at the door. He says you’re the Chosen One.”
“Arrrrgh. We talked about this! Come back later!”
“He says the stars are aligned?”
“Not doing it! Tell him to go away.”
“Oh, and the seal broke. The seal broke, Stephen. It sounds important.”
“But…”
“I’ll pack you a lunch.”

“Call Sharon. She and her stupid birthmark are coming with me.”
“I thought you said that translation of the prophecy was incorrect? Something about a miss-translation of verb.”
“…well, at least if we fail, I won’t have to listen to Karl talking at Guild Meetings about how he was right.”