Not-So-Random Questions (or This is Not a Gaming Post)

Do you Blog, Vlog, or Podcast?

Which ones, if any?

Do you follow one or more of those media?

Which ones, if any?

Why or Why Not?

Is there another medium that is better or more interesting to you?

Which social medium or media do you use?

Which do you prefer?

Why?

I’ve cross posted this on Facebook, Google Plus, and Live Journal.  I don’t vlog or produce You Tube content, but I may try something in the Comments of my favorite collab channel, Vlogalogue.

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With a Humble Heart

Arrogance is not an attitude or a set of actions, as is defined in many a dictionary.  It is a place.  It is a place that Creators can often find themselves, if they are not careful.  We (those that write, design, sculpt, paint, and/or otherwise create) can, all too often, begin to believe our own hype and we move our way into arrogance.

I, once, heard Robert Jordan speak about “world creation as a writer” on a panel at large science fiction convention.  He was with another writer and they had drifted onto the topic of magic in fantasy worlds.  Jordan seemed to hold the belief that Clarke’s Third Law, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic,” was the truth of all magic; Magic is just Super Advanced or Non-understood Science.  When the female author tried to offer the idea that was true in his books, but not hers, Jordan reinforced his belief that there was no such thing as magic and called her stupid for thinking anything else.  That left a sour taste in my mouth and I’ve not been interested in reading any more of the Wheel of Time series, since.

During my college days, I encountered two instances of, what I perceived as, arrogance.  One came from Gary Gygax on page 64 of Dragon #67.

The AD&D game system does not allow the injection of extraneous material.  That is clearly stated in the rule books. It is thus a simple matter: Either one plays the AD&D game, or one plays something else, just as one either plays poker according to Hoyle, or one plays (Western) chess by tournament rules, or one does not.  Since the game is the sole property of TSR and its designer, what is official and what is not has meaning if one plays the game. Serious players will only accept official material, for they play the game rather than playing at it, as do those who enjoy “house rules” poker, or who push pawns around the chess board.  No power on earth can dictate that gamers not add spurious rules and material to either the D&D or AD&D game systems, but likewise no claim to playing either game can then be made.  Such games are not D&D or AD&D games — they are something else, classifiable only under the generic “FRPG” catch-all.  To be succinct, whether you play either game or not is your business, but in order to state that you play either, it is obviously necessary to play them with the official rules, as written.  Thus, when you get information in these pages which bears the “official” stamp, that means it can immediately be used in game play.

The other came from a fellow Game Master on the University of Southern Mississippi campus.  Doc stated before a group of people that, if anybody wanted to play D&D, they had to play in his D&D world and his way, since his game “was the only game in town.”  Both of these cases struck a nerve with me.  My response to Doc’s claim was to pick up my D&D stuff form my parent’s house the following weekend and start up a game that ran for multiple years.  I really didn’t do anything in response to Mr. Gygax’s claim that those who didn’t play by the “official” rules weren’t really playing AD&D, but were playing at it; however that claim did make me less willing to read anything by Gary Gygax and more willing to look to third party producers of FRPG content for my D&D game.

Now, I’ve got to ask myself, “Gregory, have you ever gone to Arrogance?”  I have been told that I run good games and over the years, former players who have gone on to play in other person’s games, have told me that I have ruined them, because my games were more interesting and/or enjoyable than others.  I’m proud of my work.  If I was not proud of what I do and create, then why would I want to do it?

Now, I must look and see, if I have become haughty and disdainful.  Have I forgotten that others can create, as well?  Do I always strive to be a better game master?  Are there things that I can do to make my world better and more enjoyable?  Do I still as +DKlarations says “Keep the Channel Open?”

Until I post again, Game On!

Not a D&D Post

Live long enough and you will get old.  It’s a fact…or, at least, as close to a fact as I can see.  If You are like me, You look back on your youth and those days past and most days, You wander in happiness.  There are other days, days, like today, where happiness is entwined with a bittersweet longing.  I am nearing my half-century mark and (though I believe that I have seventy years left after Wednesday) today is wearing heavy on me.

This coming Saturday, my wife, my best friend, and two other close friends (and maybe my brother-in-law and nephew) will be getting together to end a Dungeons and Dragons campaign that I have run, since May 2009.  I may also throw myself a birthday party.  (I started throwing myself birthday parties when I turned 18, because that way I got to do exactly what I wanted and it was done the way I wanted.  That said, Christina, my wife, has always gone out of her way to make my birthday special and I’ve not thrown a party for me, since we got together.)  Fifty years of living and the end of a long running campaign has gotten me to looking back into the past.

I’ve been trying to find the actual dates for CoastCon in March of 1979, because I’ve been claiming for years that the Sunday following that convention in Biloxi, Mississippi was the first day I played Dungeons and Dragons.  I think I was wrong.  CoastCon held its first convention at the Buena Vista hotel is 1978.  I went on Sunday of that first convention.  With that bit of knowledge, Davy couldn’t have gone to CoastCon in 1979, since I went to the 2nd one by myself for the weekend.  I must have been 16, when I started D&D and it must have been in 1980.  Oh, Well.

All of that is just preamble for what led me to start writing this.  I am feeling nostalgic today.  I look back at pictures of people I never knew and remember the days when I was young.  I remember the days when it was all new.  Everything had a sheen on it.  I remember being scared.  It was all brand new and I was (and often still am) terrified of being laughed at as I weeded my way through new situations…

Christina called and we visited for over twenty minutes.  During this conversation I talked my way around to things from the internet: a quote and a vlog.  They are relevant to the way I feel today.

Things change.  It is a part of life.  Day rolls into Night.  Seasons move steadily from one to the next.  That things are different than when I was younger is not the issue with my nostalgic sadness.  My sadness stems from the fact that those days can never be experienced again.

I spend much of my time these days watching my granddaughter discover the world.  I laugh with delight every time she sees something new and expands her worldview to make that new thing fit.  I love going to new conventions and taking Christina to DragonCon in 2006 was as fun as the first time I went so many years ago.  Every new person that I teach how to play D&D is a joy in my life.  Several years ago, I chose to live in the present; always seeking out new music, new genres of films and books, going to places which I’d never been before, and living as much as possible in world as it is today.  Even with all of that, some days I grow sad that life can never be experienced twice.  “The Moving Finger writes; and, having writ, Moves on.”

There is something profound which I am failing to say here on this page.  I do not seem to have the words to describe why I miss days which I never experienced.  I miss the days when my parents first met.  I miss the days when my in-laws eloped to South Carolina.  I miss the days when Nana and Papa were young and couldn’t go off Keesler Air Force Base, because Papa had been scheduled to ship out within the week.  I miss the days when Warm Springs, Georgia and Tallulah Falls, Georgia were happening places.  I miss the Sunday where Uncle Dale forgot to take up the Tithes and Offerings and his Uncle Fred called out to him at the end of the service that he “forgot to pass the plate.”  I miss the days when my parents were children and everything was new to them.

I miss the days, because we will always have them, but can never live them again.

Random Stuff That May Help My Game

Recently found DKlarations on You Tube.  DK is a witty, thoughtful, and enjoyable vlogger, voice actor, and stage thespian (I only know the last from his own admission, I’ve never seen him in a play).  He has a very neat little video on “The Truth About Dungeons and Dragons.”  I used his explanation to explain D&D to Brandon, an employee at Zaxby‘s, just last night, when I went and bought supper for the household.  It is a reminder to me about what D&D is at its core.

I have not written flash fiction, but I’m going to try.  This article on Five Common Mistakes in writing Fantasy Flash Fiction can apply to designing scenarios and game sessions in my own game world.

I found DK‘s first post on DKlarations.  It carries great depth and fills me with the will to keep creating.  Thank you, DK and Martha Graham.

I’ve found a really cool Google+ Hangout that had some of the GMing ideas that I use and some that I can use.  Here’s the one on Google+ and here’s the same one on DKlarations.  Be warned it is LONG.

I think I saw this when it came out in November of 2013, but I saw it reposted on Google+ and followed it to Cavalorn’s LiveJournal.  It’s not really helpful, but it is fun and reminds me of the excitement of new players.  “What are my options?”

Game On!

“Sunshine on my Shoulder Makes me Happy!”

Image

 This is a nice bit of happy.  Epic Heroes nominated me for a Sunshine Award, now it is not a Pulitzer, but in many ways it is better.  It is an opportunity to help others find new cool things in the blogshere.  Thank you, Tony Powers.  Here’s how it works.

1) Use the logo above in the post.

2) Link to whoever nominated you.

3) Write ten pieces of information about yourself.

4) Nominate ten fellow bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere.”

5) Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

Now, we come to ten pieces of info about me:

1. I started gaming on wet, Sunday afternoon in March of 1979; I was 15.

2. My world did not have a name until my players asked me, “What world are we playing in?”

3. My first dungeon was called Lungold, the Underground City of Wizards.  I got the name from Patricia McKillup’s trilogy Riddle of Stars.

4. Even though I was originally very excited about 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, I did not switch over to 2E for 4 years and I only did it then, because none of my new players had 1st edition books.

5. I switched to 3E the day it was released.

6. I like to change the spelling of my game world every time I run a new campaign.  It is always pronounced “RIL-more-in,” but can be spelt multiple ways in the same document.

7. Relmorrin has a 26 hour day, because I was being contrary.  I wanted my players to “get” that their characters were not on Earth, so I told them that Rilmorn has 2 suns, 3 moons, and a 26 hour day.

8. I am very disappointed in 4E.  All the powers seem to blend together and it there is very little to distinguish a “mage” from a “fighter,” a “fighter” from a “rogue,” etc.

9. I have run games in Rilmorin under each of the following rule sets: Basic Dungeons and Dragons, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D or 1E), Advanced Dungeons and Dragons: Second Edition (2E), Dungeons and Dragons: Third Edition (3E), Dungeons and Dragons: Fourth Edition (4E), and DnD Next.

10. I started this blog, because my wife thought I should have a forum to just talk about gaming and my world.

Here are my 10 nominees:

1. Frülingskabine Micro-Farm – Sarah was the inspiration that started my wife, Christina, blogging.  I, personally, think she’s a hobbit.

2. Coven Tree Micro Farm – My wife’s blog.

3. The Games Librarian – A great blogger with a vast array of role playing games, who posts great reviews and dissections of game systems, adventures, and adventure paths. (2014.06.14)

4. Inside the Shadowbox – Matt Harris is a passionate Gamer and Game Master, who also writes some astounding fiction. (2014.06.14)

…Sad thing is: I just started this game and the only other bloggers I know have already gotten this award.  I may try to add more later. Game On!