Sunday, August 31, 2014

Pre-history of my D&D career

Before Dungeons & Dragons, there was Colossal Cave Adventure.

Well, at least for me. I remember being in elementary school...can't recall which grade - maybe third...maybe sixth (sometime around 1980 - I think). Anyway, my aunt had a boyfriend that worked with computers somewhere. In 1980-ish, that rather impressed me. Somehow, it came up in conversation that he and his colleagues spent some time playing a text-based adventure game on the computer. He had my attention. He also offered to "run me through" the game - without a computer - just me and him, sitting in the living room of my grandparents' house, talking. He would act the part of the program, from memory, and I would speak my input commands.

It was my first RPG experience. There were no character sheets. No dice. No books. Just me exploring a fantasy setting with a "Dungeon Master." I don't know why this guy put up with me for so long while playing this game, but I will always be grateful. I remember the forest, the building, the lantern, the maze of twisty little passages.

While I would jump headlong into D&D soon after, at that point I'd never heard of the game. I just knew I was hooked on "Adventure" - as the boyfriend called it. And it was. CCA and Zork both influenced my gaming style and content for the first few years, and the early versions of the D&D rules tended to support this style for me.

Also, my father and uncle would play Outdoor Survival together. I would get to play too. Thus, my perceptions of "wilderness adventure" were formed - and I had no idea the same game provided a sort of playing surface for the early D&D game as well. It was like I was exploring a dungeon behind the greatest adventurers that ever lived - but never actually caught up to them to realize I wasn't alone.

Sometimes, I think I might have created my own version of D&D if others hadn't. All the pieces were there for me. And, all the drive to do so. I even delved a little into "miniature combat" with the game of Feudal my father gave me. I never played it with anyone, or by the rules, but spent hours in my own tiny medieval realm with my tiny plastic medieval armies and castles.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Gazing into my cracked and bloodstained crystal ball...

Well - another month has passed, with precious little to show for it.

I've been tapped for the editorial staff of & Magazine. And all I did was submit an article after the editor asked me to write it. Can you imagine the calamity?! I hope to be worthy of the honor. Doubts plague me.

Still no gaming group. Considered running an online game. Don't know that I could handle the workload. Possibly my own warped perceptions, but it feels that running an online game is even more work for me than DMing in my own home. I admit it could be just me. is a daunting proposition. I just don't think I handle it well. Maybe I need some pointers.

Because I have no game, I've decided to focus a little more on writing for publication. That just means that I'm going to do my best to format all of my gaming stuff for public consumption - even if it is just free PDFs for the hapless masses. If I can submit any of my stuff and get paid - so much the better...but I'm not going to assume. In any case, I think it will do me good to get in the habit of writing for an audience other than myself. It will be good practice as I seek more and more freelance gigs.

Planning to have more to share soon-ish. Possibly some brief reviews of some nifty adventures and products. Definitely some original content of my own. Still bashing out my OD&D project. Bits and pieces, to be sure - but still striving to contribute.

Game on.