My first foray into Role Play was back in the 80’s during middle school. We had a week worth of rainy days and a couple of friends introduced me to AD&D (D&D 2.0) and I fell in love. But that friend soon moved away and we knew of no one else who was into role play. Not to mention, my mother found out and thought that Dungeons and Dragons was some occult thing, thereby nix’ing any further ideas I had of researching it. My parents, though, couldn’t stop me from reading “Choose-Your-Own-Adventure” books or playing Final Fantasy video games. >)
In high school, I met a couple of guys who played the BattleTech RP, but that genre just didn’t appeal to me. I’d watch them play at lunch, but I felt no inclination to join them. Then I met my friend Rogueswarm. My parents loved him, he and I were the best friends from the first day we’d met… and I found that he had an obsession with RP. I warned him of my mother’s aversion to the game, so he used the excuse of us going out hiking in the summer of 1992. While we hiked, he introduced me to GURPS and re-opened the world of fantasy adventure again. We got other friends and even my little brother (and his friends) sucked into Rogueswarm’s worlds and little by little my mother learned that there was nothing Satanic about the game and she even sat in on a few of our sessions.
As I left for a church mission for two years, our role-playing was put on indefinite hiatus, which continued when I came back and went to college. Rogueswarm and I still loved to RP, but we never seemed to have enough time to get our schedules to work out, so RP quickly fell by the wayside.
In my church, I was asked to teach the young men (10-16 years old). Somewhere along the way, I learned that they were interested in RP and in a stab to see if I could open the doors for other people I introduced those kids to a combination of GURPS and WarHammer Quest which we played for a few years, with a really intricate storyline. For the first time I tried my hand at DM’ing and found that I loved it, I’d found my calling!!! It was easy though, since they were all very young, knew nothing of RP and thought that I could do no wrong.
As those kids were growing up and going off to college, my new wife and I found ourselves without a role play group again. Then, one day, a guy at work showed up with a Beholder hat and we found out that he RP’d as well. Aerchon was looking for a group who would play D&D 3.5 with him, so I called Rogueswarm and one of the boys I’d taught who was now married and we all agreed to give 3.5 a try. Having survived some rocky starts, we were hooked, but after a year of playing, Aerchon announced that 4e was coming out and that we had to give it a try. With much trepidation, we allowed our DM to lead us into the updated gaming system… and found that we loved it and started a new campaign.
Half a year later, though, Aerchon’s responsibilities in the army led him away but our group was too addicted to RP and 4e to stop playing. They all looked to me to pick up the role of DM. It had been so long ago, and back then I’d been playing with young kids who didn’t know any better… but now experienced players (even one of my former DM’s) wanted me to fill Aerchon’s huge shoes. Nervously I ran out and picked up the DMG and we planned a weekend at a cabin to give my new campaign a test run.