jonathansample

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Behind the Screen

jonathansample's Bio

I am a man in the midst of his twenties seeking a life of excitement in which I might thrive on the use of my talents in writing and cartooning. I am married to a fantastic woman who loves me and who also cares for a trio of the strangest cats I’ve ever met.

My life as a gamer technically goes back to my early years when I would sit and play Monopoly, Parcheesi, Poker, or Rook with my grandma and great grandma. I was also one of those children born in the 80s who could hook up their own NES at four years old. It was that familiarity with video gaming that gave me my first taste of marathon gaming sessions with games like Mario Brothers, Ultima, Abadox, Time Lord, and Star Tropics, which I would play for hours and hours.

It wasn’t until middle school that I, coincidentally then a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, discovered fantasy gaming. I started in with Magic the Gathering (about the time of 5th Edition and the Tempest Block) having been gifted with a deck by, of all people, my middle school principal who would watch me during lunch as I observed the school’s resident gamers during their tournaments. From there I discovered a fantastic little gaming/comic shop called White Cap Comics where I got into several other CCGs (Decipher’s Star Wars CCG and the X-Files CCG) and received an invite to play in a game of 2nd Edition Dungeons and Dragons. That was the invite I had been waiting for my whole life, I just didn’t know it at the time.

After creating my first character on one of those sea green and white character sheets, a Cleric armed with a mere club and man-catcher, I finally discovered what all those ads in all those old issues of Marvel comics were going on about. I beheaded gnolls, saved party members, and made my first stupid player decision by rushing into a room of pulsing light to aid a fallen comrade without having the thief check for traps. Ah, first character death.

It was after that time that I converted to 3rd Edition and played off and on in many basements over the years. I eventually ended up running my own games on Saturdays around my mother’s kitchen table and spent Sundays holed up with my friends in our resident alpha-geek’s apartment playing Vampire the Masquerade.

I fell out of the hobby for a few years, those I refer to as “The Lost Years,” having only Knights of the Dinner Table to keep me in contact with my gaming past, but I found my way back in time to run a retro session of 1st Edition, a session of 3.0, and then to get a taste of 4th Edition. It was the mistake of diving into 4E that led me to a game reviewer named Kurt Wiegel and his show Game Geeks where I heard about an updated version of my beloved D&D 3.5 called Pathfinder. Ever since then I’ve been running Pathfinder sessions and playing pick up games in my friend’s Eberron campaign.

I am currently working on my own campaign world, which was first created about seven years ago now, for an ongoing campaign utilizing the Pathfinder rules set. I have a group of sorts which I’ve named “Tabletop Epics,” but I am always looking for new folk to try out my material.

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