Tuesday, January 12, 2016

New Year, new beginnings

As I mentioned in my previous post, this year will see me going on part-time, putting me on a four-day work week. I get every Monday off, but instead of just having an extended weekend every week I will try to build some structure into the day: two hours of reading on professional matters, two hours of housework and exercise, two hours of hobby time, and two hours of non-hobby-related reading, on top of things like running errands and helping with family matters.

One other new thing I am starting is the hosting of a Monday evening RPG session.

If you have read my Origins: post, you will know that I was a RPG gamer before I was a wargamer. This year marks thirty years since I first became a game master. Over the years I may have wargamed more than I played RPGs, but I have always kept an eye on RPGnet forum and bought modules on RPGnow once in a while, in the hope that someday, somehow, I will get a group together again.

Then last month, while taking shelter from a sudden rain, I went into a library. With perhaps an hour to while away, I naturally gravitated to shelf 793 - Dewey Decimal for indoor games. There, on the shelf, I picked up Of Dice and Men, and before I knew it I have gone through half the book.

When I got home, I bought the ebook and finished reading the remainder of the book. The book awakened something in me; like the author, I craved a game of RPG. My last campaign was in 2013 and it only lasted two sessions as the players had difficulty meeting with the regularity that an RPG campaign required. If I wanted to get a group together, I had to look elsewhere...

I googled around, and in the end found a local Meetup forum for D&D. After a couple of days looking for a game to join without success, I posted my own "wanted" post. There was silence for a couple of days afterwards, but in a week I had three players signed up, and the next two more asked to join, but I have decided to stop at four (the first three from the forum plus fg) for a start.

So over the last three weeks I have bought a new set of rules (Dragon Age by Green Ronin), a fluff book (World of Thedas Volume 1), created the player characters with the players over email (three of them wanted to play a Rogue - is this some sort of Assassin's Creed thing?), bought, printed, cut out and pasted to PVC foam boards twenty-two 10 x 10 terrain tiles, bought and read half a dozen modules, read two ebooks on game mastering (three if you count Of Dice and Men), ordered six more Gamescience dice (so I have dice in three different colours and we can roll for damage in the same toss when we roll to-hit... plus I can always use more d6s for Chain of Command), prepared Quick Reference Sheets in hard clear plastic cases for everyone, and even made an Initiative Tracker out of bits left over from materials I bought to make movement trays.

I am pretty excited about the whole project, and admittedly all this planning and preparation comes at the expense of my wargaming. But rest assured that I will continue to paint and play wargames and share my works and games with my readers, and when I can, I will get back to my monthly give-away again.


Simon Quinton said...

Gaming is gaming enjoy it and have fun!

danmer said...

That book is in my Wants list. I take it you'd recommend reading it?

SteveHolmes11 said...

A grand new adventure.
Enjoy it, and share occasional updates here.

captain arjun said...

Thanks, gents,

Dan, the book actually weaves together three threads: a history of D&D from its development to the rise and fall of TSR, a campaign the author played with his friends (to illustrate the collaborative process of an RPG), as well as his own (physical and spiritual) journey to becoming a Dungeon Master.

I will recommend it to anyone who is interested to find out how D&D came about, why there are so many different versions, and how TSR got bought over by WOTC, and what the deal was with D&D 4E and D&D Next (now 5E). It will make you want to take up the dice again, though...

Ubique Matt said...

Like Simon said, enjoy the aspects of the hobby that appeal to you. Looking forward to seeing how the project turns out.

Dai said...

I'll be looking for this book. As a roleplayer first and wargamer second, I can honestly say I'm rather lucky that I get to meet with my rpg group on at least 3 out of 4 Fridays a month to play. Without it, I would be a rather sad gamer-geek.

I hope your sessions bring back the excitement and fun-factor that you previously enjoyed!