Mission statement and other introductory remarks

Hello, my name is Pat, and two things I love are writing and role playing games. This blog is an attempt to combine those two loves. Specifically, this is a place where I intend to delve into the medium; to analyze it, talk about my experiences with gaming, and explore ideas and concepts and relate them to role playing games.

In mentally preparing myself to start this blog, I’ve come up with several topics, some specific and some more general, that I want to write about. As the blog progresses, many of these topics will probably be revisited and referenced in discussing other topics, because they all seem to be related. But to make some broad terms about my goals with this blog, here’s a list of some general ideas I’d like to discuss:

  • Role playing games as a medium of artistic expression
  • Game mechanics; their purpose and importance
  • Things I’ve learned to do right in games, and things I’m still working on
  • Fun stories about games experiences I’ve had

… and maybe some totally off topic stuff will come up from time to time as well. I should probably mention that I don’t believe there is such a thing as a bad word, and have no intention of censoring myself. So, y’know… cunts and shit.

Still here? Ok.

I think now would be a good time to talk about my history with the role playing games. First off all, let me just come right out and say that I’m not an expert. Though I dabbled a bit as a high school student in the 1990s, I didn’t really get into role playing games until the early 2000s, (so I never had to deal with that whole thac0 thing I’ve heard so many horror stories about) and for a long time I was very focused on one game, Vampire: the Masquerade. After a while I started looking at other games, and very intently studied the d20 system, but it was mostly academic. I was only really playing Vampire. Then around 2005, when the classic World of Darkness was ended and the new setting was released, I suddenly found myself without people to play with and kind of got out of the hobby until I began to miss it around 2011. I got a group together and ran a new WOD game. That group is still together and over the last few years we’ve played several different games, mostly WOD but we do branch out occasionally, and I’ve also had two side groups playing, so far, exclusively non WOD games. I’ve spent most of my time as a gamer as a GM. It’s the role I’m most comfortable in, and the one I enjoy the most, though it is fun to focus on one character as well.

It’s been during this resumed activity that I’ve begun to realize that role playing games aren’t just a hobby for me, they’re a passion. They’re a creative outlet and a means of looking at real world things through a fictional lens or by breaking them down into game rules. And I know there are a lot of people, some with more experience than me and some with less, who feel the same way. If you or anyone you know is an avid gamer you’ve heard real life ideas, emotions, and even events explained as “a failed save” or “a crit”. We describe people in terms of D&D alignment, or what their Dexterity rating is. To a non-gamer that might seems silly, but we know that these games aren’t just pastimes or hobbies, they’re art, and like all art they give us a method for defining our world.

I’m going to end this introduction post with some credentials. I’m not an expert, but maybe this will show that I’m not totally talking out of my ass. Here’s a list of games I can say I’m truly familiar with, either by playing or studying (that is, if I haven’t actually played I’ve at least read the core rulebook). In no particular order:

  • Vampire: the Masquerade (Revised Edition)
  • Werewolf: the Apocolypse (Revised Edition)
  • Wraith: the Oblivian (First Edition)
  • Hunter: the Reckining
  • Dungeons and Dragons (Editions 3.5 and 4)
  • Star Wars Role Playing Game (WotC’s version, first and revised editions)
  • Vampire: the Requiem
  • Werewolf: the Forsaken
  • Mage: the Awakening
  • Changeling: the Lost
  • Promethean: the Created
  • Star Trek Role Playing Game
  • Mutants & Masterminds (Third Edition)
  • Doctor Who: Adventures in Time and Space
  • Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangness
  • Marvel Superheroes (The old TSR game)
  • Battlestar Galactica Role Playing Game

Thanks for checking this out, I hope this blog ends up being something you enjoy reading.

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