I got my start as a writer by writing for shared worlds—and I don’t mean writing fan fiction (for my opinions on copyright theft, see my short story “Hell to Pay”). No, I started as a role-playing gamer. You know, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, Top Secret, Boot Hill, Chill, Timemaster, Paranoia, James Bond, Cthulhu, etc.), playing in the many convention tournaments put on by The Role-Playing Game Association Network (RPGA).
In my career, I played more than 600 different chara
Despite the fact that I am heading off to my 34th GenCon shortly and that I was the world's top-ranked player of Classic RPGA tournaments for fifteen years (1985-2000), I've never really thought of myself as an early player of Dungeons & Dragons and, by extension, modern roleplaying games. After all, my first Dungeons & Dragons experience was in a camper in the parking lot of University of Wisconsin Parkside the night before GenCon XII in 1979, after I had already graduated f