Why Another Blog?

My first role playing game was AD&D 2nd edition.  I was always interested in fantasy books and movies and I read about D&D and wanted to give it a try.  My parents had vague memories that this hobby was somehow associated with devil worship, so they told me to research it.  My mom was a big fan of true crime fiction, so reading William Dear's The Dungeon Master was considered appropriate research.  Although the book was kind of ridiculous, the example of play was absolutely fascinating to me and I was hooked.  I first picked up the core trio of the Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master Guide, and Monster Manual.  This was around 1995 or 1996, as the revised printing had just released.  I was 12.

Unfortunately, at the time I was living in a small town of about 2000 people and 0 other D&D players.  I could occasionally get my old brother and a couple friends to play, but it never lasted long.  Usually we'd spend an hour rolling up characters, then everyone would fight each other instead of doing any adventuring, then they'd proclaim this game stupid and go watch a movie.  Role playing games, for me, were a collector's hobby.

Birthdays and Christmases and any other excuse I could think of I collected everything I could get my hands on.  The Forgotten Realms, Planescape, and Dark Sun campaign boxes.  The horrible glut of splat books.  I checked out a few non-D&D RPGs as well.  The first editions of 7th Sea and Legend of the Five Rings were inspiring reads.  WEG's Star Wars D6 reinvigorated my love of those movies.  The World of Darkness books were a great supplement to my Anne Rice phase (everyone went through that in the 90s, right?).  With a few exceptions, RPGs were just for reading though.  And once I moved out, I didn't take that collection of books with me.  So I gave up that hobby.

Fifteen years later, in my 30s, I got introduced to the latest boardgame craze.  We started having boardgame nights with friends and the company I work at hosted a quarterly boardgame event.  Smallworld, Last Night on Earth, Arkham Horror, Descent, and dozens of others were played.  I definitely noticed that I enjoyed the boardgames with role playing elements the best, and I started looking into what's going on in the RPG world since.  I had never owned D&D 3e, and in the time since I'd been gone 3e had been replaced by 3.5, then split into 4e and Pathfinder, then reunited in 5e.  Meanwhile a rebel faction had worked backwards into 1e and before.  Immersing myself in the G+ RPG communities, it was the DIY/OSR side of the hobby that really jumped out to me.  This was gaming created by gamers.  Everyone was actually interacting with each other, not just collecting books and reading them alone.  I'd ask a question about an adventure and the writer would respond within hours.  It was pretty amazing.  Now through Roll20 I've been running games for a couple years now.  I've got a couple real life friends that have joined in and I've met a lot of new friends.  Some of those I've even met in person since and talk to regularly outside of our gaming.  It has become my favorite hobby and I spend a significant portion of my free time reading new material, preparing adventures, and talking to other people about the hobby.

Looking around at the OSR space, I felt that one thing that is missing is discussion of products actually put into play.  There's so much fantastic, creative work going on in this hobby, but it feels like the community gets excited about something, talks a lot about it a lot leading up to the release, take a lot of pictures of unboxing it, and then they might leave a review before having played it, but discussion fades and they move on.  I've done a lot of collecting for the sake of collecting, but I want to write about what I'm actually playing.

So that's what this blog is for.  Play reports on games I'm running and discussion of how material I use works at the table.  If there's something you'd like my group to try out, let me know, and as long as it fits at our table, I'll try to work it in.

I also enjoy whiskey.

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