More Gaming Background than You Wanted

No, seriously, turn back while you can.

For those interested, my early history in role playing started with D&D basic. It didn’t last long, since I was attending a private school, and I actually had to hide my red and blue boxes in my closet, so that my mom didn’t discover that I was playing “Satan’s game”.

D&D Basic & Expert Sets

Ironically, I had purchased the box sets with money earned at the church we attended. The church and the private school were one and the same.

Being the owner of the game, by default, I was nominated as Dungeon Master.

Things came to a head in 5th grade when it was discovered that we were “meddling with demons” and my teacher called me in after school to have me explain what we were doing. Since I was DMing the group, I was obviously “their leader”, thus they chose to interrogate me.

Twilight ZoneMy mom is totally awesome, having taken me to my first rated R movie in 3rd grade, introduced me to the Twilight Zone at a young age, and indulged my imagination with the books she bought me and movies we watched. However, when she was informed that we were playing Dungeons & Dragons, she arranged a meeting with me and the Youth Pastor.

Mazes and MonstersI don’t actually fault her in regards to this. The influence of Tom Hanks, Dark Dungeons, and Patricia Pulling , were taken very seriously at the church.

Damn you, Pardeux!

Even though I felt like I put up a good argument with the Youth Pastor, we were no longer allowed to play.

The Youth Pastor also happened to be my best friend’s dad. I had been friends with his son since Kindergarten and so it wasn’t a situation were I could say one thing to the pastor and do something else with my friends, since I was always over at his house after church on Sundays.

Rifts - Not Dungeons & DragonsWhen we entered Jr. High, the private school we attended didn’t seem to make the connection between Dungeons & Dragons and other RPGs, so we played a lot of Robotech, TMNT, and Rifts. We also branched out with Paranoia and GURPS: Conan, while concocting our own worlds as well.

Gurps Conan - Jesus ApprovedIt was annoying how they didn’t notice, since, aside from the system mechanics, we were still role playing right in front of them. Simply because “Dungeons & Dragons” wasn’t on any of our books it was a-okay with Jesus.

Behold the Christlike covers for Rifts and GURPS Conan.

Again, I took up the mantle of the Dungeon Master Game Master. In fact, I don’t actually recall ever being a player character, even for a one shot. That was okay, because I was always excited to see how the story turned out based on what they chose to do. I think that’s what I find the most interesting about DMing, the unpredictability of the player characters after presenting them with interesting situations.

Flying Spaghetti Monster

Finally, in a public high school, I now had a bit more freedom. I could join the church of the flying spaghetti monster and I bought myself the core books for AD&D 2E. I also purchased the first book for Al-Qadim, Arabian Adventures, that had just come out. I ended up loving the setting and quickly bought every Al-Qadim box set that followed.

Al-QadimI never got into any of the optional rules for 2E, aside from the kits and rules present in Al-Qadim, and always just stuck with the core books with the occasional house rule.

In college, my friends and I started a new campaign, which they wanted to take place in the Forgotten Realms, even buying me the boxed campaign setting for it. While I recognize that Al-Qadim takes place in the Forgotten Realms, I set Al-Qadim aside, for what would be the last time, as we headed north to Faerûn.

When I moved to Los Angeles, 3E had just come out. I hooked up with a local group as a player and after a few games, it just didn’t feel right.

Even though most of my role playing game career was played behind the screen, it wasn’t being a player character that disrupted my enjoyment of the game. Without wasting this space to criticize 3E, which I realize plenty of people still enjoy in the form of Pathfinder or what have you, it just wasn’t for me.

Having played Palladium games may discredit my criticism towards 3E and other systems, but in defense, we played Palladium games when we were in Jr. High. Our mentality at the time didn’t really focus so much on the rules and we never played according to the books, we used the settings provided and made it up as we went along.

AD&D 2ED

I love the freedom that 2E provides and the flexibility it offers. It’s the system that I played in the longest, as a kid and as an adult, so it’s very familiar.

The Kids or How I Got into this Mess

No, this isn’t the part of the story where I tell you that I then got married, had kids and after drinking a shot of JD to make it through the day, force myself to go to work every morning. In fact, I don’t have any kids at all.

So who are my players?

I met my girlfriend in 2008 and she has kids. She’s also so hot that I totally overlooked the kids part in the beginning.

Kids? Whatever. Can we have sex now?

In fact, I remember telling her that I wasn’t worried about her kids being a problem at all. Wow, what a bunch of bullshit.

Anyway, it turns out that her kids happen to be awesome too. Although, I am definitely not upset about missing out on the this is how you eat, this is how you talk, this is how you shit part of their life.

I still don’t actually want any of my own, but I don’t want to be without the ones that are in my life.

That’s as sappy as I’m going to get, but they are awesome playmates and this site is about chronicling part of that.

Full Circle

At the beginning of 2012 we switched to Labyrinth Lord.

Aside from dead giveaways (like not having race as class) or when it’s explicitly stated (like the front page), I have written the Campaign Journal in such a way that you should not recognize what version of TSR D&D we are playing. I don’t believe you’ll be able to pinpoint when we switched from AD&D 2E to Labyrinth Lord by reading the Actual Plays. Without this paragraph, you may never have noticed at all.

Labyrinth Lord Poster


The Delvers Podcast B-side