I thought I’d start this whole “blogging” affair with some information on myself. I’m going to focus on my gaming history. After all, this is a gaming company’s site and I doubt you’d want to hear about my childhood.
It goes to my sophomore year of College. I had a real character of a roommate that year. Didn’t really like him, but he introduced me to the local board gaming club and my first gamemaster and game. I do owe him in that regard. He also ruined the first game I was ever in by rules lawyering, cheating, and downright unpleasantness. So, there is that.
The first game I was ever in was an “adventure in a new world” type of campaign. We were beta testing the Legend roleplaying system by Rule of Cool. The campaign started pretty well (my in-character voice making me hoarse for three days, notwithstanding), but fizzled out around the end.
The important thing was that I was hooked.
I went from there to playing Margaret Weis Productions’ Serenity RPG to Third Edition Dungeons and Dragons. From Sage Kobold Productions’ Dungeon World to Evilhat Production’s Fate Accelerated Edition. From Pelgrane Press’ 13th Age to Goodman Games’ Dungeon Crawl Classics. I was big on trying new systems and new games out. Kind of jumped into things.
Same thing happened on the gamemastering side. I began gamemastering a lot of games at once. College really helped facilitate that endeavor. I would often be playing and running a game almost every night of the week. Made quite a few missteps on the gamemastering side, but I feel I got pretty good overall.
The whole time I was tinkering on the side. Tinkering for tinkering’s sake, really. Started out doing homebrew for big systems like 3.5 Dungeons and Dragons. Mostly for the readily available feedback I could get. See, I always wanted to work on games and tabletop games were an option to explore that field.
A lot of what I made was absolute garbage, as most things are when you start out. To be frank, I never really love any work I make and constantly want to make it better. But, from feedback, I seemed to get better over time. A lot of it came down from figuring out design theory from experimentation. I would have read more on design theory, if more was available on the topic.
Eventually, I decided to move away from homebrew and into small games when I noticed that SomethingAwful.com hosts tabletop rpg design contests every month. Well, they used to, at least. It was a good transitioning phase. Not that I don’t still work on homebrew, but it was for the best for me to try new things.
As expected, my first small games were crap and I never really did win any of those contests, but I learned a lot from it. Like the importance of constructive criticism, how to filter it out in your mind, and how to wait till you got a completed first draft done before seeking it out.
Honestly, not much more to tell about this story, really. I made Friendly Neighborhood Gamer mostly on a whim to finally put some of the things I’ve been making out there. I thought the pressure would help me grow as a designer, it would allow me greater production values over time, and, ideally, it would be fun. Two out of three isn’t bad, right?
I suppose this all became a bit ramble-y around the end, but, hopefully, it was entertaining and helped people know me better.
Thank you for reading and happy gaming!