I live in Jacksonville, serving as an officer in the US Navy. When not gaming, beyond work I enjoy reading pretty much anything, my last big series being King’s Dark Tower series. Distance running is my personal stress relief, as it is far, far cheaper than therapy.
Started gaming my Sophomore year in college when I met an eclectic and crazy awesome group of gamers and got roped into it. Kicked off with a few campaigns using the Cyberpunk 2020 rules set before expanding to GURPS and 4th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. When we all graduated, we scattered across the country. On a whim from one of our GMs, we experimented with what was expected to be a combat-heavy short campaign played over Skype. The medium quickly proved much better than we’d hoped, and a full-fledged campaign developed. We’ve been gaming by voice for over 4 years now, and we’re still going strong.
Campaigns I’ve Played In
Fall 2006: Realpunk – My introduction to gaming. Using a modded version of the 2020 rules, our GM dropped us into Vietnam in the early 2000s. Using a ‘Nam-era UH-1D Huey our Techie had restored, we started as a mobile medical clinic until we intercepted an unknown package with radiological markings on it. That led us onto a merry ride throughout the country until we got the case – which contained perfect artificial diamonds – into the right hands. The De Beers cartel sent a merc team to stop us, which we spent six sessions dodging. My first character there was SOC Jake Hawkins, the group’s Solo and a former Navy SEAL who deserted after shooting his OIC in the spine after the idiot got half his team killed. Jake met his end in the last session, shot twice by the mercs De Beers sent after us.
Spring 2007: CalWest Auto – One of our better efforts, this full-up Cyberpunk 2020 campaign put the Party in Night City as the owners and staff of one of the city’s best chop shops for stolen cars as our resident gearhead got to show his stuff. Our party of criminals and other assorted ne’er-do-wells ended up in the middle of a Corp War between Arasaka and Mexican Metals. I certainly didn’t help things by playing Max Krieger, an NCPD Detective in a deep undercover assignment within the party. Max got shot in the head by an old enemy who the Party’s Fixer tipped off in our last session as we failed to have the slightest impact on the Corp War.
Fall 2007: Street Level the Second – The second foray into one of our GM’s homebrew settings using the GURPS ruleset. I had missed the first campaign set here, and it showed as I was one of two new characters brought in, with most of the party playing repeats from the first. While it had great potential, the disparity between old and new characters caused our GM to call it dead after three sessions.
Fall 2007: Decider – An experiment using Savage Worlds that we ran while our GMs gathered their breath and got back to writing. This was a straight-up sport, with us representing Humanity in the galactic equivalent of the World Cup, which had been used as a stand-in for war for many years, seeing how easy it was to destroy entire planets. Notable for giving us one of the best NPCs we ever had in the form of the Master of Ceremonies Jonathan; a hive mind insect who had almost brought the galaxy to its knees before he was stopped and disarmed.
Winter 2007: Magical Fraternity – OK, this GURPS oneshot was just silly. We were out of ideas, so we all threw down a few sentences as an idea for a campaign and threw it into a hat. This was the slip we pulled. We then threw down a few sentences describing a character and everyone pulled their character concept out of a hat, with one card marked ‘GM.’ Our resident mad genius pulled the GM card, and we all pulled our player cards. My character was a Napolean-complex wannabe Admiral, whose ‘fleet’ consisted of a 16-gun brig-rigged landship. Our Manticore House took down a rival fraternity who had accidentally summoned a demon during our House’s signature event of the year – The Big Party.
Summer 2008: Adventures in Fantasy – The only Dungeons and Dragons campaign I was in, our GM ran this right after 4th Ed was released. Our ragtag adventuring party flitted about the world, which had odd ties to the real world in the form of portals that dumped random bits of tech into the game world. I personally liked the setting, but when classes started back up several major players couldn’t make it any more and it ended right after the story got going in earnest.
Spring 2010/2011: Iron City Samurai – This Cyberpunk game was our first game together over Skype after we’d all graduated and moved away. Set where we’d all gone to school, our party was one of the few Solo teams running in Pittsburgh, which the Corporations had just noticed and moved into faster than you could say ‘gentrify.’ My character, Officer Paul Foley of Pittsburgh Police SWAT, moonlighted as the Samurai’s squad leader in his free time. In the spring, we managed to force Biotechnica to admit that it was cheaper to work with the City instead of take it over, only for their major Corp to be assassinated by Arasaka. After that, I was gone for six months, and our GM kindly waited for me to get back before starting the second half of the Campaign the next spring. We managed to convince Arasaka to settle with the City, although we’d come within a hair of declaring war on Militech to do it. We all managed to fake our deaths and got the hell out of there, and for the first time ever all the PCs survived.
Summer 2011: Island Paradise – The first time I tried my hand at GMing, another Skype game in 2020 that started barely two weeks after Iron City finished. Showed me just how hard it was to be on the GM side of the house instead of the player side, and how damn infuriating the players can be. I set the party in Manila and made them an information brokerage house, then tossed the them a short-term problem and a longer-term problem. The short-term was dealt with very handily and with a high body count as a boostergang tried to muscle them out of their homes. The longer-term problem dealt with their charge, an American researcher who happened to get around the DEA kill-virus that had wiped out every trace of natural cocaine on the planet. Roland’s Laundry Service managed to escape to the Crystal Palace in low orbit with the formula, and this was the second round where all the PCs survived.
Summer-Fall-Winter 2011: Murphy’s Circle – The first high fantasy campaign we’d run in a long time. Using the Exalted setting and giving us all a high power level, this one is our Long Runner, having reached eleven sessions already, with no clear end in sight. This one holds the distinction of being my personal favorite for both my character and the story as a whole. My character, Tepet Hugo, was a Gunzoshu Commando of the Imperial Army before he was ‘gifted’ with a Night-Caste Solar Exaltation. He turned to his faith for answers, ignoring the part of his faith that condemned him as an unholy abomination.
Spring-Summer 2012: Cyberpunk: Nexus – This wasthe Magnum Opus of our longest-running GM, Aaron. For this campaign, we tied together events and characters from across the entirety of our history in the Cyberpunk universe – the Rise of Novio, CalWest Auto, and Iron City Samurai – and characters from all three appeared. Even a few from the Realpunk campaign showed up. The setting was basic: every member of the Party got a message from an unknown benefactor who said ‘come work for me and make money or I’ll release your location to the assorted parties that want you dead’. I brought back Paul Foley from Iron City for this one, and a merry chase across Night City ensued. We attempted to break the hold of the MegaCorps on the world economy throughout the game… by replacing them with the consulting firms. In the end, Novio de Tejada had recorded himself onto an AI and was running things behind the scenes. After a failed attempt to assassinate the CEO of the world’s most powerful Corporation – Internet, Inc, CEO Mark Zuckerberg – we all ended up with loyalty implants and a mission to assassinate Novio. Hijinks ensued as we ran across Night City going after our former patron with every Corp in the City gunning for us. We all managed to somehow survive and prove that we were too dangerous to be allowed to remain on the board, but were just not worth the effort to eliminate. So instead, Novio and Zuckerberg made a deal with each other, and the entire Party got free rides for life in the ultra-rich zone of the Crystal Palace orbital habitat.