Welcome to realms and lore

I was not the best student in elementary school. In fact, I was a bit behind in reading comprehension. It was far more interesting to spend time exploring the woods near my house or throwing rocks at plastic army men. Only problem, in rural Arkansas there weren’t many other kids to gather up into a war band to terrorize the neighbors. So, bored on a rainy day, I explored my parent’s bookshelf for anything to do.

It wasn’t terribly interesting, just a collection of hardback and soft covers. Mysteries for the most part, not that I looked much passed the titles and covers. But, one book stood out from the rest! A large hardback book with a golden cover gleamed on the shelf. It had a few simple words on the front. The Hobbit. 50. J.R.R. Tolkien. Even more compelling was the strange script on the book’s spine that looked like old runes. This was a true mystery!

Of course, I’d found a copy of the The 50th Anniversary Edition of the Hobbit sitting on my parents bookshelf. Being so different from the rest, I had to take a peak! I found a bunch of words. Shocking, I know. Then, as I flipped through the pages, I found a series of pictures that illustrated the story. There was a funny little village named Hobbiton. Even better, there were strange creatures called trolls. That was nice, but… wait! Is that a dragon?! I had no choice now, not after seeing that image of Smaug curled around his treasure. I had to know this story, so I started to read.

All it took was one amazing book to open up a world of stories. Within a couple of years, now ahead in reading comprehension, I’d devoured the Lord of the Rings and move on to many more authors. My parents were both gratified that I’d learned to love reading, and frustrated by my demands for additional trips to the bookstore. Today I remain a lover of fiction, fantasy and science-fiction stories.

Like many others, these novels were a gateway into role playing games. Why just read about Strider when you can BE him? Over the years, I delved into one-off adventures in Traveler, Battletech, D&D, and others. When I could not find players, which was often in Arkansas, I poured over player manuals and world guides to get my fix. Later, I found a thriving community of gamers in the military. This introduced me to more game genres like Call of Cthulhu (and Lovecraft in general), and set me on the path of running my own games.

And that is the reason for this blog. I hope to explore common role-playing questions and ideas, while providing great materials for you to use in your own games. You see, we’re having a resurgence of sorts with tons of new rpg releases and new players joining our club. Still, the competition is fierce. Other forms of entertainment and busy lives make it a challenge to play, let alone prep for games! In my D&D sessions, it takes roughly the same time to prep for a game as to run it for my friends. But, the ability to live a character and to create a world
outshines the alternatives, such as watching another Netflix series or playing another computer game. So, anything I can do to help new players and GMs then helps grow our community, and provides more opportunities to play.

Selfish, I know!

To kick it all off, I have a few posts on a favorite subject – creating characters. I’ll start off by comparing to options: roll-playing versus role-playing, also called min-max and role-play centric creation. Both are great options, but there is a bit of contention within the community on the subject. Also, if you enjoy fiction, I’ll be adding short stories and longer writings into the realms section of the site.

I hope you enjoy!

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