Wednesday, April 16, 2014

I Think I've Found My Next Campaign!

There's even a cool sourcebook over at The Savage Afterworld!

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Mindset of an Idle DM


I know that my former players AND my current adventuring companions AND my current DM all read this blog.  Nothing in this post should be construed as criticism or discontent.

It is just a post about the feelings I have when I'm NOT DMing...


DMing is a funny obsession.  :)  There's something primal about creating stuff and there's something fulfilling when that stuff gets used.

When I was younger, I used to make stuff up "for the fun of it," but looking back on it now, I think I know why I suffered from so many false starts and incomplete projects.

There wasn't a purpose for it.  I didn't NEED it for something.  It wasn't for PLAY.

I told my wife one time that I was "addicted to imagination."  It was my way of telling her that my office was always going to be messy, I was likely to have a bunch of junk lying around, and that I'm generally a big nerd.  :)

In truth, that was a sincere and honest assessment of my personality.

I love inventing things.  Making things.  Building things.  Dreaming up things.

I find that I'm at my best, most creative, when I'm inspired by others.  There's a certain give and take that helps facilitate the creative process.  That's why tabletop RPGs are such a passion of mine.

It doesn't take a lot to get me going.  If a player mentions that they think they'd like to play X or wouldn't Y be cool or how about rules for Z or whatever -- I'm off and on a roll.

Case in point, most recently, I've been playing with 2.5D cardboard game tiles.  Here are a few pics --

I made a big set and they are great.  Fun to make.  Useful.  Light.  Cheap....

But sometimes the walls/doorways are in the wrong place.  Here's a pic --

So, one of my fellow players says, "What about double-sided tiles..."  So, I'm off!

The same thing goes for the game.  If someone is giving me some kind of feedback, something to riff off of, I can create all day.

My last campaign had A LOT of that going on.  The players were great.  They tried stuff.  They explored.  They experimented.  It was fun.

I miss it.  (Fellow players and DM, see DISCLAIMER above)  I am having a lot of fun playing Gorsen, Cleric of Lathander.  He's a hoot and my DM is great.  It's just that I don't think I'm a natural "player."

I guess there's something about my personality that drives me to be a DM.  I'm happiest when I have a game going.

I don't think that I'm a control freak or anything; I just think the creative cycle is most fulfilling for me when I have a bigger playground than just one character.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

My Respects for DAT

It appears that the funeral will be private and it is important that we respect that.  I want everyone who reads this to know that I am not advocating crashing the service.

It would be disrespectful and awful to do that.  :(  Don't do it.

Let's all take a moment to remember the man and respect his privacy.

I will be thinking about him today.

Friday, March 28, 2014


I don't have anything more to add to the memories.  I just have a sense of sadness.

I'll be lifting a pint to remember the man.  I knew him through his art alone.  Long before we lost him forever, I felt an abiding sense of loss that came from knowing he was out there, somewhere, but he was in a self imposed exile.

Now, I read, that he was planning to resurface into the RPG world at a con next month, and suddenly he is gone.

Here are some pictures to remember him by.  The group is not all inclusive.  Just do a Google search.  You'll be amazed.

So long and thanks for all the art!  You will be missed!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Tom Moldvay, In Memoriam

Please forgive me, but I'm a day late with this post.  :(

Yesterday marked the 7th anniversary of the passing of Tom Moldvay.  He would have celebrated his 65th birthday yesterday, if he were still with us.

I (obviously) didn't know Tom personally, but I know his work.

My first introduction to Tom was (probably) the Secret of the Slaver's Stockade.  When I learned about D&D in the summer of '81, I became obsessed with learning more and more about the game.  Of course, there was no internet.  No "how to" manual.  The game was scattered and I knew few people who played.

The Mesa Public Library, however, did have modules for checkout in the Young Adult area.  Pretty awesome.  One of the first (if not the first) I checked out was A2.

I loved how the module was organized.  I stole ideas liberally from it (mummies!)  I begged my DM Alan to let me have a boggle as a pet for one of my characters.  (He let me!)

Later on, I bought X1 The Isle of Dread.  I recap here my exploration of this adventure.  I think I have about 10 copies of X1 now.  Various conditions.  I just can't help myself when I see them at the used book store.

Later on, as a DM, I purchased X2 Castle Amber.  I recall fondly the exploration of this adventure with my friends.  I seem to recall that there were some cool animated statues (or similar) with magical powers that gave them fits.  Good times.  :)

I own the Lost City (a creative masterpiece IMHO) and I'd love to kick of a sandbox campaign with this as the basis.  I'd tweak the final encounters with the zargon, but otherwise I think this thing has a lot of fertile ground.

I also have a copy of Lords of Creation.  A cross-genre game that I'd love to run someday.

Thank you Tom Moldvay for being so prolific and for bringing such wonderful adventures to us all.

PS: I found out recently about a product called the City of Dolmvay.  Check it out!

Friday, February 28, 2014

Day 28: Single most important lesson you learned from D&D?

Most important lesson --

Be who you are, do what you love.  Don't let the bastards grind you down.

All these years later, I'm still the kid that wasn't popular in high school.  I'm still the gaming nerd.

Thing is, the world has changed.

The biggest blockbuster movies are nerdy.

Video games emulate the games of my past/present.

Technology rules.

The world belongs to us nerds.

If you just tough it out, you can make it.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Day 27: If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything different?

If I had to do it all over again, I wouldn't have had such a looooong absence from the hobby.

It's hard to put my finger on the exact timeline, but I had a 5 - 7 year hiatus in the middle of my gaming career when I didn't play ANYTHING.

It was Microlite20, the One Page Dungeon Contest, OSRIC, Labyrinth Lord, Swords & Wizardry and the OSR that brought me back.

Some notable names that deserve my thanks (in no particular order)  Jeff Rients, Michael Curtis, Zak, Chgowiz, James Mal, Norman Harmon, Tenkar,  Aaron Steele, and Christian.

Thank you!