A blog about games, gamers, and various and sundry geek culture-related ephemera and paraphernalia.

Friday, January 30, 2009

It's a... Aw, crap - we're out of metaphors for flying things

Yes, here's yet another superhero RPG character sheet.

I'm posting this sheet because, at this very moment, I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of an original-shrink-wrapped, NM condition Champions second-edition box set, and original-shrink-wrapped copies of Champions II and Champions III. I wasn't introduced to this game until later in my role-playing days (around '89, IIRC). As regular readers will no doubt already know (a cookie will be awarded to anyone who actually knows this without going to find it in my blog archives) I'm a Villains & Vigilantes guy first and foremost. And anybody who's been around the superhero RPG circuit for a decent length of time knows how well Champions players and V&V players usually get along.

I only played the game once - in fact, I spent about three times as much time making my character as I did playing him. I don't blame the game, though - I blame the GM. He threw a Champions FNG (yours truly) up against a super-munchkin villain whom the poor FNG's PC had zero chance of even scratching. Add to that the fact that the poor n00b (me again) knew zip, zero, zilch about how the system worked, and had zip, zero, zilch assistance from the GM or any of the other players who did and you have a surefire recipe for a failed game session.

That session, even more than the daunting character creation, turned me off Champions for a long, long time.

I tried the game again several years later, this time from the GM's chair, in it's fourth-edition form, as a mid-campaign replacement for a game I was running for my good friend Terry. (Sorry, I guess that's "Theron" now.) Unfortunately, his character, "Aegis," hinged on certain V&V powers that didn't translate well into Champions. The V&V atmosphere didn't seem to translate, either.

Strike two.

So, here we are again. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to grab these pieces of superhero RPG history. Even though I've personally had bad experiences playing and attempting to run the game, I still recall warmly and fondly the time I spent looking through Terry's (Sorry, I guess - well, you know...) Champions characters and listening to his anecdotes of his favorite character's ("Mellow") exploits. I still recall the awesome illustrations Terry came up with for Mellow, and just looking at pictures of these old books takes me to a warm, fuzzy, nostalgiac place. I'm hoping that the "third time's a charm" idiom holds true when I run this game for my family.

Wish me luck, dear reader.

Anyhoo, with the impending arrival of these pieces of history, I decided to dust off a character sheet I created while on a superhero kick a few years ago (inspired by the inspirational-but-not-very-playable Marvel Universe Role-Playing Game). This sheet is based on 4E Champions, so I hope it'll work for my 2E babies when they arrive. (I never even used this sheet to play 4E Champions, so I hope there are no glaring inaccuracies within...)

As always: enjoy!
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Monday, January 26, 2009

The Old Gang

Here's a bit of (personal) history...

I discovered this scan while poking through some old files: an illustration by my friend Terry (sorry, I guess that's "Theron" now) of our PC's and an NPC from a solo Moldvay/Cook B/X mini-campaign we played about 15 years ago.



The guy on the left is Terry's (sorry, I guess that's "Theron" now) PC, Subotai. The hairy hulk in the middle is an NPC, Olaf the Smith. (I don't recall Olaf being so hirsute...) And the guy on the right is my elf, Talisul.

I wish I was half this talented at figure drawing... /sigh
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Thursday, January 22, 2009

Map of the Frontier

A few years back, while preparing to run a Star Frontiers campaign, I decided I wasn't happy with the copy of the map of the Frontier I had, so I made my own. (Let's face it: I'm a tinkerer - I'm never happy with things the way they are. :P)

Aside from a couple of extremely minor changes at the edges of the map, I believe that this one is mostly faithful to the original. Enjoy!


By the way, for those of you who are into this game but may have been unaware of it, the Star Frontiersman Web site is the go-to site for the SF player of the New Millennium.
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Gameplay: Module B2 - A Revised Agenda

"No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy."

It seems the old military adage also proves true in day-to-day life, especially where blogging is concerned.

As it applies to today's post, it means that my planned series of posts regarding our game group's foray into the Caves of Chaos is about to take a slight shift in direction: Instead of covering the group's activities (with myself as a player) I'm going to be covering my family's activities in the same setting (with myself as DM). This is because I have good reason to believe that the group's exploration of the Caves will not extend beyond our first session, for a multitude of reasons.

It appears that the rest of the monsters infesting the ravine east of the Keep will fare far better than their kobold neighbors did, as Griswold (my fighter PC) and company decide to retire from the adventuring life and take up pursuits less hazardous to life and limb.

Of course, as so frequently happens, one group of adventurers departs the Keep, only to be replaced by another. In this instance, shortly after the departure of Griswold and company, another trio arrives: Murloc, a fighter (my youngest son's PC); Alaris Silverblade, an elf (my eldest son's PC); and Fiona Silverwind, another elf and cousin to Alaris Silverblade (my fiancee's PC).

Full of youthful exuberance, but steadied by a voice of maturity, the trio is set to make its mark on the Keep and its environs.

Stay tuned...
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Friday, January 16, 2009

Keep on the Borderlands Players' Map

This isn't part of our current Module B2: The Keep on the Borderlands campaign, but I thought I'd share it anyway.

A couple of years ago, I had every intention of running this module for my fiancee and my boys. I never got around to it (Whoa! There's a big suprise!) but I made this map as a player handout. I wanted something that was a little more vague and full of character, and a little less late-1970's-production-quality than the maps in the module. This is what I came up with.

So, for your gaming pleasure, here's my B2: Keep on the Borderlands players' map:



I also created a DM's version of the map, complete with encounter areas and a hex grid. You can download it here, if you like.

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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Growing Up Geeky - Part I: Prehistory

I mentioned in an earlier post that I would tackle my introduction to "The Hobby" (as it were) at a later date. Well, it's now a later date, and seems as good a time as any to do so.

I wasn't a popular kid. Nor was I an unpopular kid. To most of my peers, I was a complete non-entity. The only people who seemed to notice me were the bullies - they knew an easy mark when they saw one. Whether I was shy and quiet because I was constantly picked on, or I was constantly picked on because I was shy and quiet, I don't know. All I do know is that I kept to myself and had no real friends.

Until 5th grade, that is.

The year was 1976. It started out like any other year, and held no promise that things might improve from there. The better part of the year was spent playing alone with my GI Joe's (with King Fu grip!!) or Matchbox cars or Army men, or battling imaginary Commanches/Nazis with my imaginary cowboy/Army-men friends. What few highlights (birthdays, visits with my nephew, trips to my grand-father's house, etc.) the year held were fairly similar in shape, size, and excitement level as those of any previous year.

As summer faded into the oblivion of my memory and the new school year began, I faced the same old prospects: interacting daily with the kids I knew, but who were no more than acquaintances, and being tormented daily by the bullies. I can't say that I approached the new school year with a sense of dread, especially since I recall little of my expectations from the time; but I can safely say that I approached it with little hope or joy.

This was the 5th grade, and it was to be different from the grades before: Now, instead of being in the main school building with the rest of the kids, we were in "The Relocatables." I guess at some point the school's population had outgrown the main building. As a result, a small camp of outbuildings, the size and appearance of double-wide trailers (only with more windows) had been erected adjacent to the main building. IIRC, there were four of them; they each housed two classrooms - and the 5th and 6th grade classes.

Being in The Relocatables was a rite of passage at Memorial Park school. It was where the oldest kids in the school were (7th grade and up went to the high school), and for the last four years of my life, it's where most of my playground atagonists returned after the recess bell rang. Now I was a Relocatable kid, and only a 6th grade-worth of bullies (a precious small sampling, thankfully) remained at the school to cause me grief. But still I was a pariah.

I recognized most of the faces in my classes, kids I'd known for half of my life: Carl, Stacy, Michelle, Kenny, Jeff, Jane, Wayne, Benny, Tim, Brian, Terry, Tanya, Bob, etc. The usual suspects.

But this year there was a new face in the crowd.

He was a tall kid (well, taller than me, FWIW), quiet, and pretty much kept to himself. We didn't talk to each other, even though he sat in the desk in front of me in English class. I think we saw each other every weekday for several weeks without saying a word to each other. (It may be less - the distance of the memory has made the passage of time that year hard to determine.)

Then, one day, I noticed that he was scribbling on his paper while the teacher was doing something at the chalk board. I glanced over his shoulder, and saw that he was drawing on his paper - drawing cool stick-figure men shooting at one another in some sort of running gun battle in an underground complex. It was similar to drawings I'd been scribbling in solitude for years, but his stick men had triangular bodies, and were waaaay more awesome than my own poorly proportioned mutant stick men.

"That's cool!" I told him, in a hushed but enthused tone.

We then proceeded to have a quiet conversation about the finer points of drawing stick men having running gun battles in underground complexes. I believe we may have gotten "shushed" by the teacher and forced to return to our school duties, but it didn't matter.

I'd just met Brian Z. - who would be my best friend for the next six years.

Later: Growing Up Geeky - Part II: The Early Years

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Gameplay: Module B2 - Background, Part II (House Rules)

As I promised, here is a link to (some of) the house rules I'm using in my current Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert campaign. Most of these are a culmination/clarification of house rules I've used over the years, and they seem to work fairly well.

The newest additions are the Starting Hit Points and Serious Injury rules. We've only used these in one game so far, but I think they work very well. The combination of higher starting HP and serious injuries has thus far lowered PC mortality rates but still managed to keep the players adhering to the "Colonial Marines Approach to DungeoneeringTM." ("We come here, and we gonna conquer, and we gonna kick some, is that understood?" "They're coming outta the walls! They're coming outta the goddamn walls! Let's book!" "Maybe you haven't been keeping up on current events, but we just got our asses kicked, pal!" "We'd better get back, 'cause it'll be dark soon, and they mostly come at night... mostly." You get the idea.)

So, have a look. If you decide to try out any of these house rules, please let me know how they work out for you.
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Monday, January 12, 2009

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's...

... another character sheet! [The crowd moans a collective "WTF?"]

Following on with the theme of the last character sheet I posted, here's another sheet for a supers game.

Okay, so The Supercrew by Tobias Radesäter is by no means a classic game (and most of you probably have never even heard of it). It's been around for less than two years (as of this post) and its fairly slick production value belies the game's youth.

But it's arguably an old-school RPG at heart.

Presented in a comic-book-like format, The Supercrew is an uber-rules-lite game. It puts the focus squarely on the action of the story, leaving players plenty of latitude to contribute to the story. While it's definitely not a game for gamers who need rules to guide them in every situation, or for GM-versus-player groups, it's a fun little game that leaves a lot of room for players who like to have fun adding to the "story" of the game, and for those of us who like to tinker with house rules. I like it!

So, without further ado, here's my (house-rule-adapted) character sheet for The Supercrew:

If you're interested in the house rules behind this specialized sheet, you can find them here. BFD (Big F!%$ing Disclaimer): These house rules are mostly untested and in no way well explained. You are on your own!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

The Rule of Old's Cool

There's been a lot of talk (debate? ranting? wailing and gnashing of teeth?) lately about The Rule of Cool. Now, I'm not about to step into the middle of that mess (it would seem to me to be a lot like playing Frogger, and I really hate that game), but I will offer the rule I follow when it comes to games; a rule I call:

The Rule of Old's Cool

Simply put, the Rule is this: Gamers just want to have fun.

RPG's weren't created as a mental exercise. They weren't created as a form of torture. They were created to enhance the fun of a bunch of mid-west wargamers. These folks wanted to have fun - and this was a way they invented to achieve that goal.

It doesn't matter if the games are about monster bashing and treasure taking. It doesn't matter if they're about total immersion in the story. It doesn't matter if they're about imagining everything. It doesn't matter if they're about pushing miniatures around.

It only matters that they're about fun.

As gamers, we all come together to get away from the tedium of the day-to-day grind, to hang out with our friends (or meet new people), and to - most importantly - have a good time. Whatever style of play that fosters that is the style that works. Nobody outside of that group of people can dictate what that is, nor should they try.

So, GM's, find out what your players want; what's fun for them. Players, ask your GM what he hopes to get out of your games. Work together. Discover your own style. Play. Enjoy. Repeat as necessary.

That's my Rule. It's how I've always approached RPG's. I guess you could say, that's just how I role-play.

So this is what it's all about: Gamers just want to have fun. (Cue Cyndi Lauper track... "They just wanna, They just wanna, Ohhh...")

Friday, January 9, 2009

Look! Up in the Sky! It's...

...another character sheet! [The crowd cheers.]

Okay, so I still haven't had the chance to scan any of my old D&D stuff. I don't have easy access to a scanner anymore, but I'm giving serious consideration to hijacking my son's new scanner this weekend... I'll be sure to keep you in the loop. (/wink) I also discovered, much to my dismay, that much of the electronic stuff I had hoped to post is on the hard drive of my desktop PC - which is buried somewhere in storage.

D'oh!

So, I've been rooting around a bit, trying to see what I still have access to that may be of interest - and I discovered this lurking on my hard drive: It's a character sheet for Villains & Vigilantes, the fifth RPG I owned.

Back in the day, I made a ton of characters for this game, but never played it in it's pure form. However, my nephew and I did, at one point, use it and TSR's Top Secret to make a mash-up of a game wherein semi-superpowered heroes hunted the supernatural. We only played this mutant of an RPG once, in a Fright Night-inspired scenario, but it was an absolute blast!

A decade later, I ran a short V&V campaign for my friend Terry (er, sorry - I guess that's "Theron" now) and had a great time with it. Most recently, I introduced the game to my fiancee and my kids, all of whom loved it. I blame the fact that we didn't play more games on my own HADD.

This character sheet was designed after seeing a home-brew sheet for Jeff Dee's V&V successor, Living Legends. I don't recall now who it was that created that sheet, but if you see this post, let me know and I'll be sure to give you proper attribution herein. Anyway, here's the sheet:

I also created a fillable version of this PDF, which does most of the math for you - you can download it here. (Please note: You cannot save changes to a fillable PDF unless you have the full version of Adobe Acrobat, but you should be able to print it out with any changes intact.)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm an Old-School Gamer, and I Buy Products Too

I don't plan on using this point in the blogosphere as a personal soapbox.

I just wanted to make that clear. I'm not big into punditry, and I'm not very interested in attracting trolls (in the internet sense of the term - or in the fantasy sense, either, come to think of it!) or hosting flame wars in my comments.

That being said, there will be exceptions to this rule. (Note, re: the non-guarantee of consistency in my Statement of Intent.) This post will be one of them.

As most of you who read this sort of thing already know, there's been a lot of discussion on the interwebs regarding the disposition of Troll Lord Games' Gary Gygax's Castle Zagyg, and the overall destiny of Castle Zagyg/Greyhawk/whatever. (Hereafter, I will refer to this project as "Castle Gygax." It's easier, and, hell, isn't that what it really is anyway?)

This is a roller coaster most Gygax fans have been riding for years; some of us, for decades. It's a long, sordid tale of promises unfulfilled, pretenders to the throne, more promises and delays - all culminating with the meager hope of fruition ultimately dashed with TLG's loss of the licensing to produce/distribute Gary's IP. I'm not interested in reiterating the history or the timeline, or condemning some and defending others.

Let's just say there's been a lot of talk, and a lot of passions stirred - both good and bad.

It was in reading such an item in the blogosphere - lamenting that TLG's CZ product was not what it could have been - that I read a blog comment that - at the time - struck me as typically contrary, but didn't seem to be worth rebutting.

As time passed, however, the words stuck with me, and I began to become more annoyed each time I recalled them. Since that comment and its associated post are now far too old (in my mind) to return to and add my own comment in reply, I decided I'd do it here.

Here's the comment that ruffled my feathers:

"I would personally have to agree with Mr. Gygax that tailoring a product for a small segment of your most rabid hardcore fans at the expense of hobbyists in general is a big mistake.

Rob Kuntz's business model is perfect if you're talking about very narrow-interest collector's items intended to be sold at premium prices to a few hundred people at most.

Gary Gygax wanted something affordable, widely-distributed, and accessable, not a limited run museum piece for gaming scholars. I think this was a wise choice on his part."

If you read the original blog post and its comments, you'll get a better sense of the context of this comment. In the simplest terms, it was in reply to a group sentiment that CZ should have been more a product extolling the virtues of its creator and properly accepting and exploiting its place in the history of fantasy roleplaying.

Personally, I disagree with the commenter's point of view. I think that making Castle Gygax simply another megadungeon - albeit one created by Gary himself - was not a "wise choice." There are many megadungeons/campaign settings out there, several for each edition of D&D (prior to the most recent, which is still fairly new). By releasing CZ in the manner they did, all Gary and TLG have succeeded in doing is creating one more such beast in the wilderness. Despite having Gary's name (distinctly) attached to it, it's still just a megadungeon. (I know there are folks who will claim that CZ is different, in that it's a megadungeon for Castles & Crusades; but to them I pose this question: Isn't every megadungeon for every version of D&D prior to 4E a megadungeon for C&C? After all, part of the game's intent is that it can be used in association with all of those editions...)

So, I disagree with the direct statements of the comment, but that's not what has eaten away at my brain for the last few days. No, what has been slowly nibbling at my nerves is the underlying sentiment of the comment,which was captured in a half of a sentence:

"...not a limited run museum piece for gaming scholars..."

This is what I glossed over upon first read, but what has since gnawed at me. "Limited run?" "Museum piece??" "Gaming scholars??!"

This isn't the first time I've read comments like this. In nine words, the comment's author managed to capture a sentiment that I've seen running rampant since the old-school "movement" began: That those who choose older versions of D&D over newer ones are somehow a disconnected, limited segment of the D&D fan base. That we're the lunatic fringe, and the things we like should be placed in sealed jars and put on shelves for appreciation of those few who still find interest in such things.

I'm sure that with a little digging I could find many quotes of a similar bent on the interwebs. And I think it's time we stopped the merry-go-round.

First off, I'm not a "gaming scholar." Nor are most of the people I know who appreciate the older versions (to some, the "true" versions - but I won't open that can of worms here) of D&D. We are fans, just like the people who make these statements. We are players, just like them.

And, most importantly, we are consumers, just like them.

That's right - we have disposable income, and we buy gaming products. And I seriously doubt that people who appreciate older versions of the game and the roots of their hobby are as small a segment of the game industry demographic as these hand-waving naysayers would have you believe.

I don't have the financial statistics, but let me do a little "fuzzy" math:

D&D has been in existence for, what, 34+ years? The edition that spurred the whole retro/old-school movement has only been in existence for about eight of those years. The game's heyday was well prior to that edition's inception - arguably between 1979 and 1989. I find it therefore extremely difficult to believe that those who would be inclined to buy an "old-school" based product are a significant minority of the D&D and related fantasy gaming industry's demographic rather than a completely viable market segment.

Personally, I think that a comprehensive Castle Gygax product - including a well-produced, contemporary, and complete megadungeon/campaign setting, as well as original author's notes and maps, and commentary from contributors to and players in Gary's iconic games - would sell far better than people like the commenter above would have you believe.

I also believe that such a product is exactly what the game and its creator deserve. A product that serves simultaneously as a useful gaming resource and an homage to the man and his creation, crowning almost three-and-a-half decades of a game that - regardless of edition preferences - we all love.

So, that's it. That's my rant. Of course it's IMHO, YMMV, FWIW, and I'm sure a bunch of other netspeak acronyms.

My ultimate message is to you, my fellow "gaming scholars": stand up and be counted. Don't be fooled by a vocal, mistaken minority into thinking that you're a dinosaur or a relic, or that you aren't part of a much larger group. There are far more people who played RPG's prior to the old-school revolution than there are who have only played them after. It only stands to reason that there are at least as many players who cling to the old school as there are who do not.

You are not alone - not by a long shot.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Mythika

I realize that I've been remiss in providing useful resources, a fact this post is intended to rectify...

I'm a huge fan of Olivier Legrand's old-school classic game (/chuckle /snort), Mazes & Minotaurs. Some day, when the wind is right and the stars have properly aligned, I hope to run a campaign using M&M. To that end, I created a map of the M&M world of Mythika, which I now share with my devoted reader(s?).

Of course, as you may have already predicted, it's not the "canon" Mythika of the game, but includes a couple of locations of my own devising. Nothing that should be too upsetting, I think:

Gameplay: Module B2 - Background, Part I

Before I embark on extolling the noble exploits of our PC's in the newly begun old-school game (you'll see what a joke the "noble exploits" comment is when we get to that point) I think offering some background to the campaign setting, house rules, and game world is in order.

(Huge disclaimer: This campaign is about taking the best - in my opinion - that the fantasy genre, in both games and fiction, has to offer -- and mashing it all together, in a giant lump of unoriginal, unapologetic fantasy goodness. So don't be surprised to see liberal lifting of concepts from myriad sources.)

In terms of background, my overarching goal was to get back to my earliest days of gaming - and the days slightly before - when fantasy gaming was, in my mind, about expanding the imagination and exploring a world full of wonder and danger, not about making the imagination work within a set of game rules.

As such, my campaign world is full of myth, wonder, and all sorts of strangeness - some of which may be understood (or at least explained in a rational-if-completely-incorrect manner) by its denizens, but most of which has no reason or explanation. The boundaries of the world and its true nature are wholly unknown, even to the oldest mortals; its history is shrouded in the mists of time and legend; its gods and goddesses are at once both alien and human, and are active particpants in the day-to-day affairs of mortals; each race has a creation myth that is part of the greater mythology of The Realm (as my game world is known, in a nod to my firstest and bestest MMORPG) except humans, who sailed to The Realm "from the west, somewhere beyond the Worldsedge Mountains".

A few game-specific "laws," if you will:
  • The greater portion of The Realm's population is human, with halflings being familiar but generally remaining in a single, small region; dwarves and elves are so rare as to be considered long-dead races or even mere legends by most humans.

  • Magic is rare and frightening to most humans and halflings. PC's may encounter the occasional magic user or spell-wielding cleric, but these are almost universally of low level (4th level or lower). True wizards of great power are extremely rare, and are seen as beings of awe and horror. The only known high-level cleric is to be found at the Temple of the Moons, in the game world's central region. (No buying magic items "over the counter," and no hopping to the nearest city to get raised from the dead in my campaign.)

  • People who go about exploring long-abandoned tunnel systems, ruined castles, etc. (aka "adventurers") are considered dangerous by most common folk, as they consort with nefarious types, often wield strange powers, and generally behave in a manner that "just ain't normal."

  • Most non-humanoid (meaning not human, dwarf, elf, or halfling) "monsters" are rare, and all are considered dangerous at best. Few have normal "monster ecologies," being creatures of unnatural creation. The goblinoid races fall under this rule, being "elemental forces, born from stone and damp and darkness." Dragons (who don't lay eggs) and demons (who aren't part of a pantheon with "angels") are the most powerful creatures (insofar as anybody in The Realm knows) since their creators shared with/imbued in them some of the most powerful syllables of the Tongue of Creation (the "language" that is the physical representation of all magic in The Realm). All giants (aside from hill giants) are believed to be the offspring of a god and a mortal, and as such are rare and "named" beings.

I'm sure there's more, but that's all I can recall off the top of my head. (Please note: I haven't included a full-size version of my game map, because it's a modification of a well-known fantasy world map, released to the interwebs by a large media corporation; I'm therefore uncertain of IP issues, and am playing it safe.)

I'll cover anything I missed, and house rules, in a later post...

(Edit: In a bit of atypical interwebs synchronicity, I just discovered this related post via RPG Bloggers. Just thought I'd share.)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Gameplay: Module B2 - Intro

I have a confession to make: I've never played or run TSR's module B2: Keep on the Borderlands.

Yes, I know - this makes me some sort of mutant in the old school; a virtual D&D gamer geek leper. But before you judge me, please allow me to explain.

I grew up in the boondocks of central New York state. Although I technically "lived in a small town," my actual home was almost 10 miles outside of town. This placed two huge disadvantages on a burgeoning gamer geek:

First, the number of kids in my school was not, well, a lot. As any old school gamer will know (and new school gamer might know), the percentage of gamers versus non-gamers in any school population is generally significantly low. To make matters worse, many of us - at least in the days of "D&D leads kids to Satan" - didn't let on that we played these soul-sucking games to other people, making it hard at the best of times to locate fellow gamers.

Second, I did not have the luxury as many of my peers did of simply riding my bike to a friend's house. At the age of 15, I think my mother would have had a fit if I'd tried to ride my bike back and forth to/from town.

I won't go into the history of how I found my way into the game (we'll save that morsel for a later post), but I basically had three other kids to play the game with, two of whom lived in town. The third, my nephew, lived a few hundred feet down the road. Unfortunately, he was six years my junior, and never ran the game. This left me in a position where I seldom played (as opposed to DM'ed) a game.

To make matters worse (yes, they can get worse), I am the type of person who likes to do things my own way. Back in the day, I was not inclined to read through dungeons or adventures written by others. I instead favored creating these myself, as it was much easier for me to run them (due to my deeper understanding of the material).

So, all of these facts conspired to prevent me from playing (or running) B2 back in the day. (Aside from a brief, abortive attempt during my first-ever RPG session.)

Every year around this time (as it's around the anniversary of my first game) I get the urge to play D&D - especially old school D&D. This year has proved no different.

Fortunately, the game - in most of its incarnations (except Hasbro's latest miniatures game that bears the name but not the soul) - is one that my game group seems perfectly willing to fall back into. This is the direction we're taking of late, and I've managed to cajole the other primary game master in the group to take up the dice and run us - at last, huzzah! - through B2, using old school rules (Moldvay/Cook Basic/Expert) with an old school demeanor.

I don't know how long the "campaign" will last, but I'm going to dedicate a few posts to relating some of the salient points of our characters' exploits.

If you'll just bear with me...

Statement of Intent, Addendum

Okay, so I know I said in my Statement of Intent that this blog was going to be used as an interwebs distribution point for my home-brew game paraphernalia. And I am keenly aware that my last of couple of posts have strayed from that mission. So...

In an effort to keep things as accurate as possible around here, I'm adding this addendum to my Statement of Intent:

Addendum A
Aside from using this blog to purvey my game-related goodies unto you, my fellow gamer geeks (or simply gamers, as I know there are those out there who refuse to accept the "geek" moniker, however appropriate it may be), I may - at my discretion - use it to wax poetic... or nostalgic, or any other "ic" I see fit to wax.

(As I see it, putting up with a little game-related blather isn't such a high price to pay for anything else you might find useful around here. Right? Right?? I can't hear you...)