Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Obligatory Autobiographical First Post

My story begins with a 1979 trip to the local hobby shop. In those days, in addition to the stuff you might find in one now (HO/N Gauge Trains, models and supplies, craft stuff, etc.) my local one carried board wargames (mostly Avalon Hill and SPI titles...with a little bit of GDW and other stuff thrown in). I was a board wargamer in those days (had been since picking up Avalon Hill's The Russian Campaign at the ripe old age of 12.

I had a little bit of lawnmowing money, and I went ostensibly to purchase another wargame, but stumbled upon the First Edition, Little Black Book Traveller boxed set. Like every other burgeoning 14 year old sci-fi geek, I'd read Asimov, some H Beam Piper, a bit of Poul Anderson, Harry Harrison, Heinlein, Herbert, etc. and so the idea of running SciFi games sounded fun, and on a lark, I bought it.

Yes, I was one of the rare late-70's gamers whose first game WASN'T Dungeons and Dragons, though that deficiency was rectified later that year, when my mom and dad hooked me up with the old red box D&D Basic Set for Christmas, followed by my own purchase of the AD&D Core Books (DMG, PHB, MM (the early version, with the Cthulhu Mythos stats that something of a collector's item these days, since Chaosium got medieval on TSR's a** about including Cthulhu Mythos creatures without permission.

Like everybody else, I recruited some of my high school friends, we rolled up characters, and a ran terrible SciFi games, and fantasy games. Other games I flirted with in the early years included TSR's Gamma World (First Edition), a GDW Age of Musketeers game called "En Garde", SPI's DragonQuest and Universe (I keep meaning to convert the setting from the latter to d20 Modern or maybe Savage Worlds some day), and a lot of First Edition AD&D.

Still, at the end of the day, the game that kept me coming back was Traveller. I collected a lot of Classic Traveller, everything published for the second edition of the game MegaTraveller, Traveller the New Era (which I never played, but did convert a lot of it back to MegaTraveller). I keep meaning to pick up the new Mongoose version, but never have.

The game was grim and gritty, the published setting was strong and intriguing to me, mixing feudal elements with megacorps and space travel in a unique blend. Eventually, in the late 1990's, I was given the opportunity to work on the ill-fated Fourth Edition of the game, writing for the first setting book, Milieu 0, and co-authoring with a variety of folks the new material for the hardcover version of Milieu 0, Psionics Institutes (still the go to source for Traveller Psionics), Pocket Empires (which effectively converted the old Classic Traveller board game Fifth Frontier War into an open ended system that could create a strategic wargame out of any Traveller setting), an Alien volume, and an unpublished Adventure.

That was pretty much me until the 1990s. I'd just about got out of the hobby, until the early part of the last decade, when I began searching for something to play with my own kids. Enter the video game Knights of the Old Republic. Built on a modified version of the first version of the d20 Star Wars system (Original Core Rulebook or OCR), it seemed like a fairly elegant system. Just as I hadn't started with D&D back in the 70's, my first entree into the world of OGL (Open Gaming License) wasn't with D&D either.

I never actually ran OCR, but I did pick up and run RCR, and later Star Wars Saga Edition. From there, I branched into 3.0/3.5 Dungeons and Dragons, d20 Modern, and more broadly into d20. I also scooped up Mutants & Masterminds, Savage Worlds, and most recently, Call of Cthulhu.

These days, I run a D&D 3.5 third-party Setting (Fantasy Flight Games' Midnight setting), a third-party d20 Modern post-apocalyptic setting, Darwin's World (currently on hiatus), a Star Wars Saga Edition variant campaign, along with the occasional Call of Cthulhu and Pulp-era one shot. I'm also working on creating stats for an unofficial Yuuzhan Vong-era Star Wars Saga Edition supplement as I have time and devotion.

I'm married to a loving gamer woman, with two children who also double as my primary gaming group. I may talk about gaming with family some from time to time. I may post character designs, adventure seeds, reviews, etc. as I see fit, as well as After Action Reports, if I see fit.

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