Welcome to Geek Fight Club.
It’s more than a blog. It’s being designed to be the repository of knowledge for games of that I run and play in. It’s a place where we can talk Dungeons & Dragons. Where we can discuss D&D in a forum. A place where, if I get things going, you can listen to people playing D&D on a weekly basis. It’s a place that I created for more reasons than just being addicted to purchasing domain names that seem cool.
I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons since I was about eleven years old, so it’s been thirty-four years. I wish I could say that it was thirty-four years straight, but there are large gaps in play. It happens, as you get older. Friends fall out of the game, new ones might come along and then eventually fall out as well.
It started with a coloring book, (or coloring “album”, as it was called) of all things. I couldn’t even tell you who got it for me (I think my mom), all I can say, is that in-between the pictures of weird and horrible and fucking sweet monsters, were the bastardized rules for playing some kind of game that seemed awesome.
I eventually got the 70’s Basic Edition boxed set. I got it, opened it and colored in the numbers (seriously, that was a thing you had to do) on the set of cheap blue multi-sided dice with the black crayon that came in the box. I made a character. I can’t remember what he was but he was pretty damned cool, because I invented the dude.
And then for a couple of months, I read and reread the booklets that came in the box. Especially the adventure, “Keep on the Borderlands”. But I had nobody to play with. I tried playing with a step-brother, but I don’t think he was into it. I was living with my dad at the time. If I had been living with my mom and other brothers, they would have been down. Somehow, I got the second boxed set, the “Expert” rules, and I read the shit out of them too. And I was an expert. I knew those rules backwards and forwards and even fucking sideways.
Brother, I lived on the “Isle of Dread”, the module that came with the expert set. And then it happened. I found some friends who knew what the hell I was talking about, and who were willing to play Dungeons and Dragons with me. It was going to be awesome, because even though I had barely ever played, I was a gods damned expert.
So, what the fuck is this Advanced Dungeons and Dragons shit?
I was humbled. I had no clue. These zit faced geeks with the cracking voices were so far above expert. They were Advanced and they had these books with hard covers and so many rules that covered things I had never thought would need to be covered in a game where I could pretend to hit things with a sword.
A kid who felt sorry for me, helped me turn my character into something more “advanced”. And I just sat there and rolled dice with a bunch of nerds who were so much more awesome than I. I don’t think I said much. I think they just told me when it was my turn, and told me to roll dice.
I stole an Advanced Dungeons and Dragons Players handbook from my local library. It was a reference book, so I couldn’t borrow it like a normal book. I felt like a thief, which I guess I was, but I mean like a first level thief who got a good roll with his thieves skills.
I read the shit out of that book, and I read the shit out of the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual. I had my first argument with a Dungeon Master, who told me that since the text in White Plume Mountain said that “lose your feet” meant I literally lost my feet, rather than just falling prone. I had no feet, and lost no hit points. C’mon!
I eventually moved back to my mom’s and immediately became the Dungeon Master to my brothers and our other friends. I created dungeons in my sleep, and I had graph paper and college ruled looseleaf everywhere. I found a hobby shop that sold dice and more modules, so I wouldn’t have to make things up. And then I just made things up anyway, because I was really good at it.
I played with more groups of friends, almost always playing the role of the Dungeon Master. For a short time, we even went to second edition rules (which I hated then and probably hate now). There were months, or even a year, where play would stop, but it always picked back up. When I moved, I found more people willing to play. A third edition came out and I immediately loved the hell out of it and found a new group. We played for a while, then slowly stopped.
A fourth edition came out and I rushed and bought it.
And hated it.
I didn’t play the fourth edition, or any D&D for years. My kid and I moved, closer to my brother and his kids, and I brought my books with me, with no intention of playing. I figured my role playing days were over. Then one night, while looking for new podcasts to listen to at work, I stumbled across the Drunks and Dragons podcast.
A real play 4e podcast. It was so fucking awesome. So awesome that I dusted off my books, and recruited my family to start playing Dungeons and Dragons once more. We rolled up characters, I created adventures that involved no dungeons whatsoever. We killed things. It was…
Truth? I may not be any good at playing Dungeons and Dragons. For real. In all the years of play, I have probably played just a handful of times as a player character. Most of the time, I’ve been running the games. So I joined a group at meetup.com, that was looking for people to play D&D with. I figured that this would be the perfect way to play the game as a PC.
I’m the Dungeon Master there, too. Damn it. But at least there are new people to play with, some of whom may eventually DM themselves. My sister-in-law, daughter and niece have all expressed interest in learning the trade. So, there’s hope.
And the Fifth Edition.