*Everyone in this campaign knows me pretty well, so I won’t go into how I was born in a log cabin that I helped my father build and that a double rainbow appeared at my birth atop a mountain in North Korea. Some of us have gamed together for over 20 years. I started in 1985 by playing a character someone didn’t show up to play, and I was hooked. Looking back on those early years, I realize now that we barely played by the rules (AD&D 1e). We took the “rules as guidelines” pretty much as far as we could.
Later, when I began running my own games, I started out this way, but evolved alongside my players as we adapted to each others’ styles and habits. Lots of people came and went, but everything anyone ever contributed by joining in our games has influenced how I do things. Some of it was bad and was quickly thrown out, some of it was good and is still with me today.
I still make mistakes as a DM, from not being challenging enough or not being rewarding enough in single sessions to over-reaching on a campaign wide scale and losing focus on it entirely and watching it die. I have run a couple of very long term campaigns that my players and I really loved, and I try to emulate those as much as I can. Not by copying the games per se, but by trying to capture the excitement and fun that wove all those individual game nights into the greater tapestries of long term campaigns. I’ve come close a few times, and I guess I’ll probably not stop.
I’ve heard and read so many stories of gaming groups filled with really horrible players and DMs, how groups disband and never get back together due to dying interest or are torn apart by rancor and anger. People also leave the hobby because they move on to concentrate on education, jobs, or family. True, not everyone I have ever had the privilege of sitting down with is still around or even still in the hobby, but I have been really blessed to have a group of friends (and I want to emphasize that we are indeed friends), not just acquaintances who are still able to get together as often as our adult lives allow and slay dragons, explore the unknown, eat bad snacks, and laugh until our ribs hurt. My teenage son and his friends play whenever their busy schedules allow, and even more of his friends want to learn the hobby.
So that’s my gaming bio. Now shut up and roll. :)*