I began playing role-playing games in elementary school during the 1980s, starting with Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (1e). My first game occurred at the end of class during some free time using paper chits; it involved me rolling a bare-bones character, wandering a forsaken moor for a bit, and running into a troll. Not knowing the conventions of the game, I ended up climbing a tree in desperation to escape this creature I couldn’t injure — while becoming increasingly exasperated with the Dungeon Master’s repeated (and apparently nonsensical) reminders that I carried a lantern. I died.
After that, I immediately went out and bought the books and introduced my other friends to the game. Contrary to the example set for me in my first game, it seems I developed into a passably good Dungeon Master quickly enough and rarely had a chance to play a character from that point until the sophomore year of high school when increasing homework and the looming prospect of college brought my early gaming life to an end.
During college I didn’t play games at all, tabletop or video, and it was only as a graduate student that I picked up dice again to run some third edition D&D games for my wife’s middle school students. That didn’t last long either, as work responsibilities and travel made any real-life gaming commitments impossible. With my discovery of Roll20 and virtual tabletop gaming, though, role-playing has once again become my hobby of choice. This blog reflects my rediscovered love of the greatest game I have ever played.
- I’m in my early 40s
- I’ve been married for over 20 years
- I have three kids
- I have a PhD in medieval English literature
- I work for an academic press on digital archive products