Monday, July 27, 2009


It was a quiet day around the house, yesterday. Up until, that is, the phone rang.

After establishing that I was who I am, the called finally identified himself. He's an acquaintance and fellow gamer. A while back he said in his blog that he was starting an AD&D 1e game, so I asked if he had room for one more player. He didn't.

But yesterday, four of his seven players couldn't make it. So he wanted to know if I was available.

I sure was! After checking with Herself to be sure we could swing it, I agreed and later set off to play. I was running somebody else's Halfling Thief, and I think I did okay. There was some talk of another guy having to drop out, and they might make me a permanent member of the group if that happens. So I might have another regular game to play in.

That would be nice.

Or, I could get references from past GMs and set up my own Gamer Temps service, like in Knights of the Dinner Table.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Seems like just a couple of posts ago, I was telling you that Fight On! Number 5 was out.

(Oh, hey, it WAS just a couple of posts ago!)

Anyway, Fight On! Number 6 is on the horizon -- I can tell, because I just got my comic strip submitted (that's The Education of a Magic-User, for those of you who missed it in earlier posts). I haven't hit a deadline yet, so I'm still on track there.

However, this one is different: Calithena, the guy to whom I submit the thing, said (and I quote): "This one is quite funny."

That's a good thing for a cartoonist to hear! It beats the heck out of no comment at all. Actually, other than people saying they're looking forward to it, I haven't received a whole lot of comments at all.

Which is still better than "It's not funny" or "I don't get it" I suppose. Ah, well. At least Herself believes in me, and that's really all I need. Because ultimately I'm doing this for myself; when I start doing it specifically for others (as opposed to for myself), then I'll have to quit, because it'll be work and not fun.

But right now? It's still a lot of fun!

Friday, July 17, 2009

A tale of two bands, and the gaming connection thereto

A few years back, my nephew wanted to see this one band live in concert. They were playing at the University, not too far from me. The problem was, the boy was just 18 and his mother didn't want him coming to the Big Bad Twin Cities all by his lonesome.

So she asked if I'd go with him. She'd buy my ticket; she just wanted a chaperone for the boy.

Well, it's family, so what could I do? I went.

We had seats at the very top of the arena. I was in the very last row, so I could hardly see the performers. But it was sure loud enough; I didn't have to worry about hearing them.

I didn't care for the band (they weren't bad, they just weren't what I like). It was crowded. It was smoky. It wasn't a pleasant experience for me. I could have lived without it.

Another time, many years before this, I went to a party with some friends. At this party, the entertainment was a band which contained the brother of the girlfriend of one of my friends.

Again, it was loud; this time so loud I just stood near a wall and felt it vibrate. The songs had no distinct difference one from another; they were just an assault of noise (although I later found out that one of them was supposed to have been "Johnny B. Goode").

Again, I could have lived without it.

Thanks for sticking with me through this! You're probably wondering what this has to do with gaming.

Well, it's an analogy.

The first band, the major label band, that everybody went to and we couldn't even see them, that's 4th edition. A helluva lot of people love it to death, and even though I don't particularly like it, I don't begrudge its existence. It keeps gaming alive after all.

The other band is old school, whatever old school rules you like (my preference is 3LB, but ymmv). It's not that it's objectively "better", it's just different. And part of that difference is that when the music was over, the musicians sat around and drank with the rest of us. I listened to their stories and such. They asked us what we thought and some of us (not me but those more musically inclined) told them -- even if it wasn't unabashed praise.

I felt like I was a part of it, not just a spectator.

And that, to me, is the whole reason I'm involved (even in my minor way) with the whole Old School Renaissance: I get to be involved. Directly involved, I mean.

Specifically, I have a contribution in every issue (so far) of Fight On! magazine. I'm proud of that. (My comic for Issue #6 is mostly written, so it should be finished this weekend.)

I really don't see any hope of me having such a connection with 4th edition. Not just because I don't play it, but because I can't see getting very deeply involved in such a thing. It's just not my cup of tea.

4E is a major label release, after all (in fact, the most major of labels).

I'm much happier with a local garage band.