Easy Question first...
The Citadel has a strong European presence, so we like to know where everyone is from. We're not stalkers, but with members from California to Singapore its cool to know where everyone is from.
That's cool. I'm from Seattle, WA, USA, so I'm quite adept at dodging raindrops.
What is your gaming experience, what games have you played, possibly run? Favorite games, games you never got to play but want to, and what games that might have been better if they had been made into charmin instead of books.
I started gaming with the D&D Blue Box. My dad bought it as a birthday present for my best friend. I listened to my dad describe this weird game where you pretend you're someone in a fantasy world, and immediately decided it was the dumbest thing I'd ever heard. I was 12 years old, FAR too old for things like playing make-believe! But... my friend thought we should at least try it since my dad bought it for him. He's a game designer now, and I'm a lifelong gamer.
There are a lot of games between then and now, so I'll just hit the highlights. In the early 80s, I discovered Metagaming's "The Fantasy Trip," and that was the beginning of my infatuation with lighter rules play. I ran TFT all through high school and for years after. I tried GURPS and didn't love it, though I LOVE and have collected most of their supplements. Gold mines for ideas, those books.
In the mid 80s, a friend turned me onto Chill. Now, I don't do horror well as a player OR as a GM, but Pacesetter's Chill as interpreted by my friend carried a pulpy, adventurous quality to it I really loved. I've played and run a lot of Chill since then, always with a generous amount of pulp in the mix. Mayfair's version got darker and at the same time more complicated, so I left it alone for the most part.
In the late 80s, this little movie franchise you may have heard of spawned a role-playing game, and I made whooshing lightsaber noises all the way to the game store! But I quickly got annoyed with playing B-roll character adventuring in someone else's d**n story, and I started making changes to make the PCs the REAL heroes. This was probably the beginning of my earnest writing efforts, too. I've run several games over the years, all set in alternate timelines, or before or after the rebellion, so the PCs would be the ones blowing up death stars and saving princesses.
In the early 90s I wrote some reviews for a local fanzine. Because of that I was given a copy of Everway to study, play, and review. Thinking I was seeing some sort of demented "collectible card RPG," I was eager to check it out so I could completely and utterly trash it. Instead I fell in love with it (are we sensing a pattern yet?) and it's been my favorite Fantasy RPG ever since. I love the mythic feel, like you're passing down legends instead of just playing a game. You'll see nearly all of my fantasy influenced stuff was originally built for use in Everway.
Then, in an ironic twist of fate, Wizards of the Coast deliberately trashed its own game. :/ Rubicon Games picked it up, but the damage was done and Everway was consigned to be one of those games people go "Hey, have you heard of this game?" forever. But before it went completely, I was lucky enough to work with the guys from Rubicon games, running demos and selling a few copies of the game. I got to go to Gen Con as part of the company one year. I ran a demo which lasted all day Saturday, with players rotating in and out, contributing cards and ideas to a story they helped me create on the spot. It's my best gaming memory.
I learned Everway's creator had worked on another game, so I checked out Over the Edge. The setting wasn't really my thing, but I loved the simple elegance of the system, and I loved the idea of creating my own traits. I still use it as my default system for much of my rules-lite game ideas.
Also in the early-to-mid 90s, I found the World of Darkness. Vampire was interesting, but a little too... "The Unbearable Lightness Of Being a Vampire" for my tastes. Werewolf was much the same. But then Mage came along and took my imagination for a ride. The ideas about consensual reality, and the idea of magic without spells, of players creating their own effects within the framework of the spheres, really got to me. I ran a lot of that for a few years, and one of my favorite play experiences comes from a mage game I ran.
In the late 90s, I worked days and my wife worked swing shift, and I had two kids to care for. That made finding gaming opportunities in the real world close to impossible, so I turned to the Internet. I found WebRPG Online in 1998, an AWESOME way to play tabletop RPGs online. I started my first online group playing Everway, and that group still meets every Saturday, although WebRPG is long gone and we're not playing Everway right now.
In the mid 2000s, I found indie games and became very interested in tightly focused mechanics, and in experimental mechanics, starting with Pretender and the rest of the "No-Press RPG Anthology." I've played, run, and loved Dogs in the Vineyard. I read and loved Polaris, but never got any traction with my group to run it. I've also tried to be more experimental in play, with shared narrative responsibility, though most of my group prefers more traditional player/GM roles.
Right now, I am running a solo Everway game with a long-time gamer friend, and a weekly supers game over IRC called Delta Factor (I submitted a piece of fiction set in that world yesterday.) Delta Factor has been running a while and has changed focus a bit. It began as "ordinary people who become Deltas, trying to get by in a world which isn't ready for them." In six years of play, it's become "Deltas taking on big challenges while still trying to enjoy their lives." The world has recently undergone a major upheaval, a real game changing event, and I plan to add new levels of challenge soon. Also looking for a new player to replace a player who left a while back because the real world made him.
So... this is what happens when you ask me questions about myself.