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. Besides D&D we would play Star Trek by FASA or 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 work, were playing the same game. She thought it was impressive that much younger son would grok the same game that older adults were into. However, I know there was a stigma attached to D&D, and 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 gamers and so I kept my appreciation of the game in the closet. Eventually I moved on and explored other areas of interest in my late teens and mid-twenties.
Fast forward to the early 2000’s, I rediscovered my love of the hobby. A group of us met to wish one of our friends well as he entered the US 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 of other games, I’ve also played or owned Powered by the Apocalypse games, other versions of Star Wars rpg, Spycraft, Star Trek, Dungeon Crawl Classics, Savage Worlds, Fiasco, Trail of Cthulhu, Nights Black Agents, and Shadowrun.
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.