- Blog: Check here every so often to read my ramblings and musings about gaming, nerdery, and the place were those two things intersect my life.
- Campaign: I’m running my group through War of the Burning Sky, a campaign set in a war-torn land on the brink of annihilation. As the campaign progresses, I update this section with notes, session summaries, NPC biographies, maps, and more.
- People: A little over a year old, my group is still too shy to put anything on the Internet about themselves. Maybe I’ll sneak something in sooner or later.
- Style and Rules: Between the biography of me that follows this table of contents, and the Style and Rules pages, you can pretty much tell whether I fit into your category of “gaming fun.”
- Photographs: Every gaming-related picture I take eventually finds its way to this page, complete with funny commentary and interesting behind-the-scenes notes.
- Extras: Sometimes I make useful things for my games. Sometimes I find funny nerd-related stuff on the web. More often than not, those things find a home here.
How it All Started
My journey began with Milton Bradley’s HeroQuest. My parents bought it for me one Christmas long ago and I remember staying up all night, marveling at the exquisite detail of the miniatures, the beautiful artwork of the game board, and the simple rules that even my six-year-old sister could learn. My first computer roleplaying game followed shortly after (Phantasy Star II for the Sega Genesis). Finally, a copy of the 2nd Edition Player’s Handbook found its way into my hot little hands when I was 15. Two decades later, Dragonlance is my favorite campaign setting, The Night of Dissolution is my favorite adventure, and Monte Cook is my favorite game designer.
One Game to Rule Them All
My ruleset of choice is 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons; it’s the best version of the game and the edition I was waiting for all these years. When asked why I don’t engage in MMORPGs like Everquest and World of Warcraft, the answer is usually the same: When the game is over, and all the dirty plates from our potluck have been put in the dishwasher, and all the empty Portland microbrew bottles have been gathered up in the recycling bin, the group and I can go down to a nearby karaoke bar and belt out a few tunes or settle in for a marathon of Firefly. That’s a little harder to do with a bunch of World of Warcraft friends.
It’s DM Magic!
Although I enjoy playing, I DM more often than not. For me, pulling off a game session is artistic expression at its finest; I get to be the writer, director, producer, editor, property master, composer, and special effects guy. Oh, and from time to time I’ve been known to act out a memorable NPC or two.
My campaigns have a cinematic vibe. Movies like The Princess Bride and Star Wars are good examples of how things flow during a game session at my house. If knights aren’t regularly jumping from balconies onto horses and swashbucklers aren’t routinely swinging from chandeliers into their enemies, then something’s wrong. Additionally, players are welcome to give rich and detailed descriptions of spells, attacks, and character perceptions; these are all welcome at my table, as are witty one-liners and hilarious, in-character discourse.
My DMing style fits well into the “storyteller” niche. I’m less concerned about the rules than other DMs, but far from ambivalent. I believe the the rules are there to serve the story and not the other way around. Though I discourage lengthy rules discussions, I also try to provide a place where everyone can have their say.
I believe each character should be constructed in vibrant detail. The amount of info provided can and does get a player and his character invested in the story. Have an idea for a character that breaks the fragile framework of the rules? Do it—it’s not as fragile as you might think. Have a wild backstory that you’re afraid may tangle up the carefully constructed weave of the pre-existing plot? Lay it on me.
A Fistful of Geekitude
Like many of my generation, I love Star Trek, James Bond, and the Transformers. I also do quite a bit of comic book reading and have spent more than my fair share of time devouring novels. Oh, and I’ve more than dabbled in web design since 1997.
I’m a huge fan of the standard geek television staples: 24, LOST, Battlestar Galactica, and Firefly. When I’m not cooped up in the house working on my anti-tan, I do a fair bit of theater and movie work; I was even Brad Majors in the Rocky Horror Picture Show for a year. Every three months I sign up for yet another three months of tossing around balls in the local Underdog dodgeball and bowling leagues. Most weekends I can be found at the local karaoke gin joint, rocking the mic with a few of my friends. Oh, and I even find time for a wife and three pets.