Taking your ball and going home

If there’s one thing I hate, it’s people threatening to take their ball and go home. I think it’s immature and against the whole spirit of playing games. We should all be trying to have a good time, not letting one person or group of people hold the rest of us hostage to get what they want.

I’ve seen this in a lot of different contexts, and pretty early I learned the proper response when someone says “Do it my way or I’m taking my ball and going home.” I say “Go ahead. We’ll play tag.” This is a story about one of the times that worked out for me. Continue reading

Oh, you think you can do better?

I have been an ST (Storyteller, the Dungeon Master of the White Wolf world) for a long time. Not consistently. No one should do it consistently. But that’s another topic. This is the story about how I became one in the first place.

I was a freshman in college. I had started LARPing all of a few months earlier, and was voraciously reading all the Vampire rulebooks and other such things (I read game systems for fun. I’m trying not to be ashamed of that). While I was reading the written material, I realized that the game I was in was not being run correctly. Continue reading

“Hey, do you want to play Sisrael?”

In episode 3, we talked about dungeons and dragons. While we were discussing it, I started thinking about how I first got introduced to gaming. It didn’t seem like it would fit in the actual podcast, but I figured I’d write it up anyway.

It was the time before time, 1989. Before the Internet, before I was the towering inferno of nerd that you (don’t) see before you. I was nine years old, and I was at summer camp. It was one of those 4 weeks at a time deals, and it was more or less my first time away from home.

One day, I was just kind of hanging out, and this little kid came up to me and said “Hey, do you want to play Sisrael?” I had no idea what the hell he was talking about.

So naturally, I said “sure.”

I like games. Turned out this particular game was one where I got to play a character (a dragon, no less), and he would describe what was going on. I traveled through these magical dungeons, fighting things and solving puzzles.

This went on for four weeks. Every time we finished a storyline, he let me upgrade my character, and he picked some other nonsense word. I had a blast. We played basically all the free time we had. It was awesome.

At the end of the summer, he told me what we were really playing. We were playing dungeons and dragons. Should’ve known; I was playing a dragon, and we were going through dungeons. But I was 9, and subtext wasn’t really my ‘thing.’

I got home from camp and went out and bought the Dungeon Master’s Guide and the Player’s Handbook for 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. I started reading the books, and about three hours later (I hadn’t read very much), I was running across the street to a friend’s house. We made characters and we started gaming.

And that, as far as D&D is concerned, is how I got this way.

Because I wanted to play Sisrael.