Friday, September 5, 2008

Why I Play RPG's

Well, I finally did it.  

Chatty DM told me I could, in his excellent "So You Wanna Write and RPG Blog?" Primer:  Way to go on that, Chatty!

So I did the work (less than I expected), set up the website, and now I'm faced with the great challenge of any blogger... Content... (cue ominous classical music).

Thinking about what I had to contribute to the wide world of the RPG Blog, I hit upon something that my loved ones have known for a long time.   I read waaay too many fantasy novels.  I read em fast, too.  I can put down 3-5 full-length paperbacks a week.  Obviously, this rate of consumption is not financially sustainable, so it's usually more like 1-2, often second-hand or from the library.

What this means, though, is that I have accumulated a vast storehouse of fantasy plots, characters, scenarios and other associated goodness that I'd love to share with the good gaming public out there.

That being said, I thought I'd talk about the real reason I started gaming.  It was, unsurprisingly, a book.  Not a novel, though.  I was about 7 or 8 and I got a picture book that basically consisted of a party of adventurers going down into a dungeon and eventually fighting Demogorgon - anybody remember him?  Two-headed, tentacle-armed demon.  In any event, I read this thing about 50 times, and wanted more.  Lots more.  Next year I moved and some kids in the neighborhood were playing DnD and that was that.  The first module we played was Blizzard Pass.  My elf got eaten by a rat in a pit.  It was awesome.

Ultimately, though, it was Tolkien who really hooked me into gaming.  The Hobbit was pretty good, but I read the Lord of the Rings on a cross-Canada road trip a few years later and I was forever lost.   The line from the Hobbit that I used for the title of the blog has always summed up the experience I'm looking for in gaming.  

"Over the Misty Mountains Cold, through dungeons deep and caverns old, we must away 'ere break of day, to seek our long-forgotten gold."  

Heck yeah - if I can instill that much flavour into a game experience, I'm doing my job as a DM.  History, exploration, danger, the thrill of discovering the new, or re-discovering the old...  That's what I call the good stuff.

What about you folks out there?  What brought you to role-playing, and ultimately, what kept you at it?


  1. I keep meaning to do this, so. Finally:

    I got hooked by a babysitter, who would distract me with the Monster Manual while he made dungeons for his players.

    I was 6. I talked my parents into buying me the Basic Set, and it was all over from there.

    I quit in high school, sold most of my stuff (and I miss those early Dragon magazines) and moved west.

    Once Vampire: The Masquerade hit, I had a few false starts, then started up again in a certain low-metal, low-magic campaign that reminded me why I like the game (and why I enjoyed Elric as much as Conan *cough*).

    When I got back to Ontario, the nostalgia really hit, though. Unfortunately, I can't afford to snag the 1e stuff that I really prize.

    Anyhow, that's my story. ;-)

  2. What got me in--well, ignoring that creep who first introduced me to the game, what got me going was one of my cousins running a solo adventure, and the hijinks when his elder brother joined the fun.

    What keeps me in is one part getting to find new solutions to not-so-new problems, one part getting to live in someone else's world and all that that implies, one part getting to show off (I'm a writer both running and playing in online games, 'nuff said) and one part finding a way to be my own role model.