Dungeons & Dragons: 4th time around

Because I’m fast approaching old fart status, I’ve been playing roleplaying games (off and on) for over 25 years. It’s difficult to describe how they’ve affected me growing up. Hell, I have a hard time even figuring it out myself. I DO know, however, that playing RPGs with a close-knit group of friends in junior high and school almost certainly kept me (mostly) away from drugs and other sorts of stupidity that are all most kids had to stave off boredom in small-town America in the 80s. I saw plenty of my other classmates (and a few who peeled off from our gaming group) get wrapped up in drugs (meth, anyone?) or alcohol or crime. Some never recovered. Some died because of those things. So I owe at least a small part of my life to nerdy stuff keeping me off the streets on Saturday nights. Thanks, Gary.

But, today is about good stuff, specifically: the release of Dungeons & Dragons, 4th edition. Thought I tend to play mostly Burning Wheel these days (especially for high octane gritty fantasy) I’m liking 4e so far, and I’m looking forward to playing it with my gaming group when we want to bring the big-action high-fantasy awesome.

Burning fun

So, I haven’t blogged much about RPGs lately, but I HAVE been playing on a pretty regular basis, mostly Burning Wheel), of course. Tonight’s session of our Into the Wilds old skool campaign was especially awesome. I wrote a REALLY long actual play post on page 9 of that thread, so I won’t repeat it here. I’m working toward earning the “scheming” trait for my character. It’s fun!

What tha…?

So, I spend four of the best gaming days of my life at GenCon last week sorta immersing myself in the world of indie games and all this really powerful creativity from the game designers at the Forge booth. I bought a bunch of games, played some badass game sessions (including the supa-bad session of Burning Wheel), and really got inspired to play all these cool games and even put my money (and time) where my mouth has been all these years and WRITE a game.

All good, right? Right. So what did spend way too much of my time thinking about today? Starting a group to play some beer’n’pretzels dungeon crawling using Castles & Crusades (or AD&D) to run a bunch of those Goodman Games Dungeon Crawl Classics.

Crazy, huh?

Continue reading What tha…?


So, GenCon was a pretty momentous event. I’m just now starting to recover physically, and I may never recover mentally… which is a good thing. So, a few snippets of things that will eventually get fleshed out into full posts (or series of posts).

  1. Tim (no link) and I are finally inspired to get with it on our game design. We’ve talked about it on and off for a couple of years. Now we’re going to do it. Hanging out at the Forge booth and with a bunch of indie game designers gave us the kick in the pants we needed. We’ve both been involved in creative endeavors over the years (I’m a published writing in several fields and we’ve both recorded and released music). And though we’ve both roleplayed for over 20 years each, this will be our first true game design. Watch this space for more details soon.
  2. Everywhere I looked at GenCon, I saw pretty much the same-old, same-old. Tons of card and miniature games (99.9999997% of which don’t interest me in the slightest — except for MechaTon!) and roleplaying games that just rehash the last 30 years worth of RPGs. Except for the Forge booth. It was definitely the booth with the most energy, with its constant demos and enthusastic designers and supporters ready to talk up the awesome games or demo one (their own or another’s). It was inspirational (see #1 above).

Okay, maybe just those two things. And they’re mostly one thing, I guess. Oh, well…

GenCon '06 ROCKED!

I’ll have a more extensive post (or series of posts) coming in the next few days as I assimilate what happened to my brain at GenCon, but suffice it to say for now that GenCon was mentally and physically exhausting and one of the best times I’ve had a in a long time. Period.

There are photos from GenCon taken by Dro and Tim from a couple of the games I was in (Burning Wheel and Burning Empires). The Burning Wheel game was one of the highlights of my RPGing career. The Burning Wheel guys (Luke, Thor, Dro) were super-nice and really made us feel welcome at GenCon, going out of their way to include us in stuff. Thanks, guys!