Category Archives: Fun

Thank you, Gary Gygax

The news that the creator of Dungeons & Dragons had died spread very quickly. And Geeks around the world have been expressing their feelings about his passing.

Order of the Stick had a nice send-off cartoon. Paul Tevis, Judd Karlman and others have shared their thoughts.

And now, a tribute song from Uncle Monsterface. Rock on!

Here’s my bit:

Dungeons & Dragons had a huge impact on me as a kid. I remember being in drafting class in seventh grade, and seeing a kid pull out the basic set box (red, I think, in 1981). I was immediately drawn to it, and asked the kid if he could teach me how to play. He said yeah, but I was new at the school and it never happened.

My parents were pretty hip, though, and got me the Moldvay Basic set and made an attempt to play with me, but I don’t remember playing more than once with my dad. 🙂 I did lots of solo play, and collected the expert set, and then some AD&D stuff. But I never found anyone to actually play with.

I didn’t actually play until college, when my friends Jim, Jeremy, and Brendan and I played through Castle Amber. I still have a crayon drawing that Jeremy did of our fight with a dragon. It was very cool.

Fast-forward almost fifteen years, and I’m married with a young son who taught himself to read when he was three. He loves stories, and we’ve read Harry Potter together. I still have a few D&D books and metal minis that I painted as a kid. NatureBoy is fascinated. Then I run across the 3.5 edition Basic set in Barnes & Noble.

The first day we had it, I ran NB and a very good-sport Beloved Wife through a few scenes. Then NB decided that he wanted to be the DM. Once he understood that the DM didn’t “win” if the monsters ate all the characters, he did a pretty good job.

Now gaming is a constant thread in our lives. We’ve been to several (very local) gaming conventions, played D&D, Faery’s Tale, Cat, and lots of board and card games. We’re in the third year of D&D group I run for some area young people. I’ve even made new adult friends and have grown-up gaming time, too.

All this is to say that the thing that Gary made had a big impact on me as a child, and now it’s enriching my adult life and my relationship with my son.

Many thanks and Blessed Be, Gary.

Town Meeting Day/GMs Day

Today is the first Tuesday in March, and thus, Vermont’s Town Meeting Day. I have already been to the polls and cast my primary ballot.

I Voted sticker

Today also is March 4th, as in “March Forth!!”, and has been selected as GMs day, the day when all of us should lavish thanks and praise upon those who run our games. 😀

Northeast Wars

Northeast Wars logo

I’ve volunteered to run two role playing games at the upcoming Northeast Wars gaming convention. These will be my first experiences GMing convention games, but I’m pretty excited.

The first game is Dogs in the Vineyard, by Vincent Baker. The characters are a sort of religious police watching over communities of faithful pioneers in a setting much like territorial Utah.

Whitefalls – Dogs in the Vineyard
Townsfolk were much relieved when the infant daughter of the Steward recovered from the fever sickness. Their joy soon turned to grief when the young son of the miller was found in the woods near town, beaten to death. Horror and fear have become suspicions and accusations that fester and threaten to tear the town apart. You’re there to protect the Faith and make things right — one way or another. You are one of God’s Watchdogs.

The second game is a scenrio for Faery’s Tale, a rules-light rpg where the characters play faeries in a fantasy forest; the kind of place where any “Once upon a time” story could take place.

The Magic Pool – Faery’s Tale
The Laughing Brook’s cool, clear water flows quickly from the hills deep in Brightwood Forest. And legends tell that the pool at the source of the brook has mystical powers. But recently, the voice of the water sings of sadness, its waters clouded with mud and filth. Already, the animals and plants near the fouled waters are grown sickly. What malevolence has tainted the Laughing Brook? Who will venture to its source and restore the Laughing Brook before this blight spreads throughout Brightwood? You are a faery, and you’re the only one who can. Soar.

I’m very excited to run these games. I have a lot of prep work to do over the next few weeks. But I’m looking forward to it.

Phun – physics playground

I just watched this video, which I found on WIRED’s GeekDad Blog.

This reminds me a lot of game that was like The Purple Crayon, but I can’t recall the name. NatureBoy was playing it just the other, though; I’ll ask him after his sleep-over is, well, over. [edit: the game is “Crayon Physics“; NB remembered instantly]

I mentioned to NB earlier this week that it might be fun to have a sleep-over some time during February vacation. He took that to mean last night, and invited three friends over. They have had a good time, and I think they’re awake now. They were chatting, giggling and game-boying until pretty late. We’ll see how the rest of the day goes.

CraftyMomma headed down to school early. I’m hoping the roads aren’t too bad.