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
There are plenty of games out there that kill people. Those of you who read my my recent blog post on “The Future of Gaming” or who caught my article “Proud to Be a Roleplaying Gamer,” in connection with Speak Out With Your Geek Out last year, know which games those are: games like football, hockey, boxing, and ... good gosh ... even competitive cheerleading. If you aren’t killed, maimed, or paralyzed during the actual playing time of the sport, itself, where an ambulance sta