Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Dramatis Personae

Well, thanks to Jeff Rients's shill, I signed on with the RPG Blogger's Network. Which means, since I'll probably be bringing in a handful of new readers here, this seems about as good a time as any to do the post whereby I outline a bit about myself and those who feature (regularly or irregularly) in this here blog.

Main Players
Yours Truly (aka David, Dave, "that guy," etc.): My first true gaming experience came at the tender age of 9 when a sometime friend ran me through the solo adventure in the Mentzer D&D Basic Set. I received the Expert Set for my 10th birthday, stared at it for about a year, then finally bought a Basic Set of my own so I could start to make sense of the Expert Set. Convoluted enough?

I didn't start gaming regularly, much to my chagrin, until I was 14. I seemed to exist in a strange gaming wormhole--I knew of kids both older and younger than me who gamed, but no one in my own age group did so. And it took me a while to realize that I didn't have to join an established group, but could strike out on my own. So I forged my own group, one person at a time. And that's where Alex comes in.

Alex: I met Alex by chance the year before we started gaming together. Discovering a shared love of sitting in the back of Science class, drawing comics about futuristic assassins, we talked about forming a gaming group with a few other friends. Nothing came of it, so Alex and I eventually said "screw it" and started gaming anyway, just the two of us. Our first game was AD&D 2e; Alex's first character was a half-elf ranger named Arthur MacArthur who was rolled up using one of the more arcane methods from the DMG (I think it was the "roll 3d6 twelve times, keep the six highest and assign at will" method). I don't remember much about that adventure, save that he had a hireling named Patsy (natch) who managed to trigger a fireball trap in a kobold dungeon (natch) and that Arthur MacArthur took Patsy's charred corpse back to town and paid a druid to reincarnate him. The session ended with us rolling on the random reincarnation chart until we got something we liked (troll, if memory serves).

Unfortunately that was the end of Arthur MacArthur and his troll henchman (shame, really). Next week we played Rifts; Alex made an Atlantean Undead Slayer named--wait for it--Douglas Von Holsing. That character was much more a hit than Arthur MacArthur, and we were off and running.

We gamed, just the two of us, in countless "solo" campaigns over the next two-and-a-half years. Eventually, looking for a little variety, we started casting about for fresh blood. We even almost joined a game club. But then we ended up expanding our little group by one person. Enter Tim...

Tim: Our new player came via Alex, who met Tim in a Graphic Arts class. Or rather Tim met Alex, which is to say he saw Alex reading a copy of Rifts and, as he was interested in getting into gaming, made a point of striking up a conversation.

Once Tim came along, we shifted focus from Palladium games to AD&D--Tim's preference, and Alex and I were just happy to have a new member of the group, so we went along with it. Unlike Alex or me, Tim has never really taken to running games, despite multiple attempts (several of which continue to live in infamy).

Oh, and the arrival of Tim cemented a strange pattern with the people I game with regularly: ever since the early days, it's been all about (a) only bringing in one new player to "the group" (such as it is) at a time, and (b) always bringing in a gaming newbie. Oh sure, I've gamed with experienced gamers from time to time, but they never became "regulars."

This pattern continued even years later with Des...

Des: My girlfriend/partner. When I met her, she was a total gaming newb. She's since grown to love gaming (under my careful tutelage, of course...) and I get to have a partner I can game with (see my earlier post about our Pendragon gaming frenzy of the last few weeks). A win-win, all around.

Des has shown interest in running games, and has successfully run a Call of Cthulhu one shot, but due to her punishing academic schedule (being in grad school and all) the odds of her running a campaign of any sort are slim to none at this point.

Currently, both Des and Alex are "local" to me--I live with Des, of course, and Alex has a place about 5 minutes from mine. Tim is down in Southern California; we had maintained regular gaming with him up until a couple months ago thanks to chat-based games, but as I wrote about earlier, the decision has been made to focus on "meat space" gaming, which means that my gaming with Tim will be largely restricted to the couple times a year one of us visits the other. So it goes.

The "group" at the moment is effectively me and Des. Alex and I plan to play occasional pick-up sessions of Rifts or other games, but he's not really a "regular" at this point. Nor is Tim, for obvious reasons.

It's funny to have come full circle; back to gaming one-on-one. It was how I ran and played games for over two years in my formative gaming career. And I gotta say, it's nice to be back.

Cameron: After Tim joined the group, he went on to contribute to our strange pattern by bringing in his friend, Cameron, who was similarly a newb. Cameron was once a regular but has been lost to the dark side of gaming (aka CRPGs and MMOs). Every once in a blue moon he sits in on a session, but for the most part he's moved on.

Jen: Alex's girlfriend at the time, she was briefly a member of the gaming group before going down the same road as Cameron.

Juan: The head honcho of one of the "younger gamer" groups that we sometimes interacted with, Juan also sat in on a few campaigns in our own group. Your stereotypical White Wolf/stoner gamer, but a stand up guy and fun player all the same.

I'm not sure how much these "irregulars" will come up in the course of future posts, but it's good to have them here for reference nonetheless.

I'll add more names if/when I think of them and I'll try to keep things updated to reflect current gaming realties as well.
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