As a gamer I guess I could throw around any "credentials" I have, but I don't think it really matters, so I won't. But I've found the activity of assuming another persona from time to time to be cathartic and a great social experience since I started playing some time ago, in high school no less. It has taught some valuable social skills, among others. After some time I learned to GM and I have been told I'm not too shabby. The road was bumpy however.
I started back when I was 14 in a church youth group with a friend who had played 3.5 edition of D&D, when all of a sudden one night a small group leader and this guy broke out the Revised edition of Star Wars RPG. Sweet Zombie Jesus. The system was... um... nice? But that first session, well first few sessions, we're the best. The guy who introduced us all played an Ewok and we were supposed to sneak into a walled town that was way too heavily guarded for three level 1 PCs to infiltrate... or storm... or get inside. But we decided to stuff the Ewok in a duffel bag and use him to ambush the gate guards, they asked what was in the bag, I was a soldier and said it was a dead animal, then hit the bag with a sound smack of a rifle stock. It gets so much worse. They bought it somehow and wanted to see the animal and for us to toss it up. A two person strength check, and failed miserably. So it went all of 10 feet through the air and fell at the base of the wall. Then things went according to plan, except we got shot and had to run away. Through a sewer. And that was my very first experience with a role-playing game. We also played bounty hunters a lot, and everything was terrible. I was once captured, and was a difficult prisoner and was shot in the face, but I stayed conscious. With a melted face and all. And there was the incident where the Ewok got mad at an automatic door and tried to eat it with shocking results. And then Sith Temple living brooms. Disney style.
Fast forward a few years, we had gone through 3.5 edition and that was our bread and butter, we played quite a bit and had a bunch of guys in the extended group. I was a GM, we had a few, and I had gotten over my tendency for pet NPCs (yes, I was that GM for a little while) and the so called "Acts of God" where I had brilliant ideas like, sending a tank at them when they have to heavy weapons, concealment, or cover. But miracle orbital bombardments. Yeah, that went over after a time or two about as well as you can imagine. And as a player I had a quick foray into the world of power gaming (it usually involved a half-dragon fighter named Amaeus, or an elven paladin, later Ranger too, named Argen...) then once it got boring and I discovered role-playing in the sense of character investment. Then I was really hooked, but in a sane and rational way! And I discovered d20 Modern along the way. Role-playing and guns!? What is this sorcery? But, seriously, I was hooked. I saw the RE4 merchant in my dreams. Since then I've never played anything in the Star Wars setting.
College was different, 4e had just come out, and I avoided that like the plague. But one night I came across a completely random group of people. Well, I knew two of them. But I just sat down and quietly watched. I knew what it was like to have unwelcome/disruptive spectators so I tried hard not to do that. But I don;'t think I was 100% successful. But I made a group of new friends and soon played a game of 4e as a Ranger (my preferred class at the time I left my old group to go to college). We had a really cool game where we rode giant birds fighting a dragon. Awesome to the MAX!!!
In college I ran my up until that point greatest game ever at the end of my freshman year. It was a zombie apocalypse game. We used d20 Modern and I found some way to let them stat themselves in a way that wasn't fair at all due to the group member themselves, but it was more realistic and usually skills made that difference. It went well and before that I had never had players walk up to me and ask if I would run the game. None-the-less just tell me I was running the game that night after dinner. I lived on campus so after that things were usually freed up.
Sophomore year was roughly the same, a friend from my old group transferred to my college and we lived in the same building. This is the year I was introduced to Savage Worlds, GURPS, and the Burning Wheel. Savage Worlds is my preferred system to date, I've come to enjoy classless systems over the alternative (mostly). Junior year I discovered Deathwatch and pre-ordered it. I am a pretty big Warhammer 40,000 fan, and a chance to play as Space Marines was fantastic and I love that system almost as much as Savage Worlds. I rediscovered 40k my freshman year and kept up with it since them. Heck once Deathwatch came out I started a Play by post game six months after and it has been running for over three years. That my friends is hard to do, at times running with 16 players at once. It usually hovers around 8-13 however.
Now THAT is hardcore!
That same year I helped found an run a role-playing organization on campus, called the Indoors Club aptly enough, and it did way better than I thought. Plenty of people showed up. It came about after I ran weekly games in my room that were a bit on the loud side from my neighbors. But we were Space Marines! Why wouldn't you laugh and shout at the enemies of mankind!? The organization lasted the second half of that year and all of the next, I became the vice president both years. Don't know if it is still there though. But in that group I only played a few times, I usually GMed. I usually converted known media into a system, usually Savage Worlds, but sometimes Pathfinder or 4e was played as well. I ran a few Zelda sessions, a few of Assassin's Creed, a WWII game or two. I ran a lot of Deathwatch as well. We had everything from card games, 40k tabletop games, to RPGs, as long as it was non-electronic. Heck I once ran a game for one of my professors, which was awesome. Not even joking, we needed minis for a game and we walked to his office and got figures out. Then my four years was up.
So since then I have played a good bit, not at first, some Call of Cthulhu. Then about 4 or so months ago we started another group, and we currently meet twice a week and alternate between 2 or 3 different campaigns. A friend is running a retelling of The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, which has a session left, another is running Pokemon Table Top Adventures, where so many things have been killed, and I run the occasional game, currently a session into sending modern special forces into WWII to save history. But I'm working on XCOM, Deadspace, and a custom setting as well.
I convert a lot. I mean a lot. You should see my google docs folders and sheets of paper in notebooks just covered. And that is mainly why I started this thing up. So I can burden the rest of the world with my ideas and stories. And not to advertise anything I convert, that's all going to be free since they came up with copyrights.
Just replace "limes" with "conversions."
So what am I working on now? Here's a rundown:
- Savage Worlds Deadspace
- Savage Worlds HALO
- Savage Worlds Modern Gear
- Savage Worlds XCOM
- Savage Worlds Warhammer 40,000
- Savage Worlds Legends of Zelda
- A few adventures (modern, fantasy, and sci-fi)
- Plus my own setting, its a fantasy setting
Anyway, I hope that this is helpful to someone. Until next time I have a crazy idea.