This week I had met a milestone for this blog which is
exciting for me, 100,000 hits! Now I have no idea what other web pages get, and
I have a feeling that many are scoffing, but I don’t care, that is pretty
amazing to me, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t thank everyone for still reading
after all of these years, especially considering the niche subject matter that
I deal with here.
It never fails to amaze me, how many people (especially in
this day and age) are putting their smart phones down, and gathering around a
table with friends and fellow players, just to roll some dice and play a game
that involves pencils and paper . . . I don’t care what edition of whatever
game that you play, that is still old-school!
I owe so much to this game, that I think that it is fair to
say that I wouldn’t be who I am without it. I had a hell of a time finding
people to talk to. You see, I had to hide who I was for years and years; this
is before the trendy people started calling themselves nerds, and even as a
child I once got the crap beat out of me by a group of boys for watching Doctor
Who on PBS, nobody helped. I learned to keep my mouth shut. If people wanted to
talk about cars, parties, and girls then I would talk about cars, parties, and
girls; things that really didn’t interest me all that much.
Even at home, the
people who I love thought that there was something wrong with me; it was tough!
I am sure that even with the popularity of NERDS, this stuff is still going on.
People are quick to attack what they don’t understand, and perhaps we are just
easy targets. Who knows?
I didn’t find real friends until I graduated, but I was
lucky. Finding people who understand you is the greatest gift that one can
find! I remember not wanting to be associated with Role-Playing games, as they
still had a reputation at that point, and I had enough social problems.
Eventually, I did cave in and attended a game . . . I haven’t looked back
This game can do something that not even a therapist is
capable of; it can get us out of our shells, and help us heal. I can’t tell you
the delight I get when a new player shows up; last game they said that they
just wanted to watch, but I’ll make up an excuse to get them at the table with
a character, and at some point I look at them and ask, “What do you want to do?”
and I see it! That light shining in their eye, and I can feel what they are
feeling. That uncertainty and shyness is as thin as glass now and all they have
to do is break it, and I get to watch it the moment that it happens. I keep
them safe, when everybody is screaming at me, I’ll tell everybody to quiet down
because I want to know what the new guy thinks, and everybody at the table is
with me; we’ve all been there. This is an initiation. This is important! What
may look like just a group of people sitting around a table playing
make-believe is going to change this person’s life forever! This person is being drawn out, and shown
respect for his thoughts and ideas; not just shown respect, but actually
rewarded for what he brings to the table! This game can do more in a month for
us shy people than years of professional help.
We need to remember that.
That is one of the most important things that we do. Through
this game we can learn social skills, we can learn how to cope with our insecurities,
and we can find strong friendships that will last us through the years. We can
save each other! Is that all that this game brings to the table? Hell no! This
stuff is still fun and worthwhile. While a therapist tells you that you need to
work, this game does all of the work for you. . . Well, most of it.
I talk a lot about stuff, and I know that I can be bossy. I
don’t mean to be; I try very hard to provide a positive place for all ages. I
keep my cussing down to a minimum, and while I know that most kids will be
playing current additions, I still want to keep this place as an open resource
available to all ages. On the other side of the token, I come from a different era
of gaming. I value direct and critical thinking. I was not born a Dungeon
Master, I was groomed by a group of players who knew exactly what they wanted. We
nerds are never all that good at beating around the bush, it typically doesn’t
work when we try because the other person just won’t get it, and simply stating
your thoughts directly, to me, is a good thing.
If, at any time I come across as a “My way or the highway”
kind of guy, or that I encourage this line of thinking, I don’t. I make lots of
suggestions about how to go about doing things, and often they may not look to
be suggestions at all, but they are. I’ve play tested these things unless I
state otherwise; every table is always a work in progress. If what you do is
the exact opposite of what I do, and it works for your table, then keep doing
I’ve also heard folks complain about us bloggers being to
gamey. To that complaint I second it, however one has to understand DMing or
GMing. The game master has to be aware of mechanics at all times; and then on
game day, it is his job to hide them in the back ground. We are illusionists!
I guess that what I am trying to say is that your comments
are welcome here. I do ask that you refrain from cursing, but all matter of
critical thinking is helpful. I think that it is important to debate and add to
an idea, or point out how something doesn’t work. Elitism is not helpful to
anybody, and just because somebody owns a blog doesn’t imply that we know what
we are talking about. This blog is here to help, and it has been helping for
years now, even when I wasn’t manning it personally.
I would also like to thank you again for coming here and
reading my drivel. I am out of practice with my blogging skills, but rest
assured that I am working on them. If you want to help make this place better,
then I welcome it. I am just a guy with a ton of books and a really old
We’ll get back to work again here pretty soon, but for now;
Thanks for reading :)