Start of the RPG Adventure!
Like many people my age, I started playing the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons when I was 13 years old. I remember it well. A group of older friends introduced it to me in junior high school. That’s when I created my first character, a human ranger. As kids with little to no responsibility, we played all summers long, often playing until the wee hours of the night and well into the morning. It was great. Other rpg’s we would play include Star Trek by FASA and TSR’s Top Secret.
Luckily for us, our parents didn’t mind us playing as long as it didn’t interfere with our school work. My mom actually found out that younger adults, in their mid-twenties, at her work, were playing the same game. She thought it was impressive that her much-younger son would grok the same game that older adults were into. I know there was a stigma attached to D&D at the time. Not all parents appreciated it as much as my mom.
I eventually got away from gaming as I moved from one school to another. Some of my social circles were not tabletop gamers, and so I kept my appreciation of my nerdy hobby in the closet. My late teens and most of my 20’s were rpg-less.
Starting Over, Taking It Further
Fast forward to the early 2000’s, I rediscovered my love of the hobby. A group of us met at a local watering hole to wish a dear friend ‘good luck’ as he was leaving to join the Army. Our buddy Randy suggested that we should get the ‘band back together’ and game again. It had been over 20 years, but we gave it a shot and started with D&D 3.0.
Eventually I created the gaming community website, GrumblingDwarf.com. It was an online forum that would bring local gamers together and share their love of the hobby. I met a lot of good people from ‘the Dwarf’ and still see many online, at conventions or at local game stores.
While Dungeons & Dragons has always been a staple of gaming for me, I started a new game group that played the d20 Star Wars’s Living Force campaign that spanned years. Looking to explore the mechanics and experiences through other games, I’ve gone on to purchase and explore Powered by the Apocalypse games, other versions of Star Wars rpg, Spycraft, Star Trek, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Savage Worlds, Trail of Cthulhu, Nights Black Agents, Mothership, Stars Without Number, Traveller, Pathfinder, Shadowrun and many more.
Deeper Down the RPG Rabbit Hole
In 2014 I ran into a local gamer, Brett, that worked at the same employer as myself. We would meet for lunch and talk about tabletop role-playing games. The two of us would go on to start the Gaming and BS RPG Podcast, a weekly audio show where we could take our lunchroom discussions and share them with other members of our gaming tribe.
Most recently I started a Youtube channel dedicated to role-playing game subsystems. Example topics that I talk about on How to RPG includes how combat, initiative, chases, social interactions, magic systems, etc work in a specific role-playing game.