Tuesday, January 22, 2008

How I Found Role Playing

Missing the first scheduled update is hardly a noble way to go about this. Unfortunately, last week had an undue amount of distractions. I’ll try to make multiple updates anytime I miss the normal one as compensation.

I was always a child with more imaginary friends than real ones. (Some are still waiting for me downstairs, and I’m in my mid-20s!) At some point around fifth or sixth grade I acquired a “chose your own adventure” type book called “Car Wars: Green Circle Blues” – based on the game Car Wars of course, though I didn’t know of the progenitor at the time.

The notable difference between this tome and similar books I read before was the element of chance and conflict. Rather than just turning to a numbered paragraph – the start of the adventure had you create a simple character with four skills – Gunnery, Driving, Mechanics, and Prestige. Throughout the book were various battles, fought with rolls of 2d6 + your skill. To this day I recall the car, “Jupiter”, had two recoilless rifles (linked, to front) and a Vulcan cannon (turret) even though the book was lost in a flood years ago.

After a while, I created a simple system to make my own cars, and during lunch I’d have “auto-duels” with my friends. This would eventually expand into assorted spaceships and robots made with a similar system.

Yet still, I never played an actual RPG until junior year of high school some 3-4 years later. Being a fairly shy person, I was reluctant to join the Interactive Gamers’ Club at my School.

“Rifts”, by Palladium Games, was the first true RPG that I played.

There’s an old joke –

  • The Engineering Student asks, “How does it work?”
  • The business Student asks, “How much does it cost?”
  • And the Liberal Arts major asks, “Do you want fries with that?”

Well, after substantially re-writing the rules for other games I’ve played I wanted to test myself, and what I was learning in college. Thus I began writing a game called “D.A.N.” – Dramatic Action Now (and a nod to my three friends named Dan) – correcting the faults in Rifts I’d experienced over the years.

Seven years later, DAN is still unfinished, as I have learned much about game theory and layout since that time. Yet I have completed other works, and still strive towards the goal of completing both that early system and its space opera XenoExodous setting one day.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

It Begins

I enjoy pencil and paper role-playing games. Perhaps a bit too much - I've got an entire book shelf full of 25-30 different systems, and nearly two gigabytes of free PDFs (totaling over 300 works) from around the net.

As you would imagine, I rarely find the time to play most of them. Indeed, a few were acquired just to read, and haven't been played in several years.

This has of course lead to a backlog of not only characters to make, but campaigns to run. Yet life goes on, and my chances of actually running these sessions diminish further.

My intention for this blog is to share my un-played ideas with those of you out there, and hope that my preparation will do, someone, some good.

With any luck, this should be updated each Tuesday, and be divided between articles on the featured games, sessions to run, and assorted thoughts on design of new games.