What I’ve Been Doing – Episode 4: Gaming!

Yes! Back behind the GM screen once again. It’s been a while…

I started playing Dungeons & Dragons back when I was about 13 years old, when my older neighbor Matt got me to roll up a character with our neighbors Emit and his little brother Doug. Emit and Doug lost interest pretty rapidly that summer and I don’t remember playing with Matt again, but the interest was still there for me and no more than a year or two later I was playing D&D and being introduced to other games by some of the guys I started to know in high school. Actually, we didn’t play much D&D, but that’s what brought us together initially. We started to play all sorts of games, including loads of Battletech (yay, giant robots!) and I started a Blood Bowl team with another group of guys, but we never got too far with proceedings (I think that’s about when PC games were really taking off, I remember playing SimCity on a Mac!).

Fast-forward to college, when I got REALLY into RPGs (Role-Playing Games) when I should have been studying…I joined up with various people at the Science Fiction Fantasy Federation (or SF-cubed) group at the University of North Carolina Greensboro and got heavily into D&D, but also tried Champions, Car Wars, Palladium games like Rifts and many other games.

After I moved back to Texas, I didn’t game much for a couple of years, until I moved in with a few guys, a couple of which played D&D and we moved to playing mostly games like Talisman, which is WAY fun! After I moved out from there I got hooked up with another group that did D&D, and that was where I learned about the Illuminati game…which is awesome. We also played a lot of Titan, which I haven’t seen anyone else play, and the GURPS RPG – I’m actually listed in the playtest credits for GURPS Vampire, but it was my first time playing GURPS and we only played it one night.

Once I moved to California, I started playing with a couple of guys that were in college at the time, we did a lot of GURPS, D&D and a couple of other games. I introduced them to Illuminati and I think this is when we started playing Munchkin. That group broke up after a bit and we started playing at mine, with a few new people we met online. This group became a long-term partnership and we played for quite some time – mostly D&D, and before I moved to the UK, I DM’d the group through the entire Return to the Temple of Elemental Evil campaign module, which was properly epic! Unfortunately the very last session was very rushed and we didn’t get a proper end to the module but it was still quite fun.

Once I was in the UK I started posted on the Wizards of the Coast D&D forums and found a group not too far away, but it involved a drive. About a month or so after I started playing with them I started collecting Jack from his parent’s home not far from me, and Jack and I have been gaming together ever since. I think he was just 17 when we first met? The games started with D&D and we tried all sorts of different systems: Warhammer Fantasy Battle, GURPS, Risus, Buffy and Angel, plus different board games like Talisman, card games like Illuminati and Munchkin and plenty of others.

Eventually the original hosts of my UK group had to move away, and we’ve had a few people come and go over the years, and the other two people in the group now have been with us for the last 4 or 5 years at least.

So at the moment we’re a group of 4, where usually a gaming group has 5 to 7 people in it, but it’s a comfy group and we swap gaming locations so it’s not too much of a chore to meet up for anyone I think. We’ve kind of stopped playing the current version of D&D with the 5th edition playtest out now, but I think we’ve burned out on the current versions of D&D, not really sure. The last adventure ‘episode’ we finished was for the Warhammer 40K (far-future sci-fi) Dark Heresy game, which Jack ran and went really well, and the game that I have just started running is set in an old AD&D module, Castle Greyhawk, but using the Hackmaster 4th edition rules, which is an homage/parody of the old 1st edition D&D rules. It’s a perfect mix of snarkiness and arrogance that work perfectly 🙂 Much fun.

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