From the Manager – Maybe Words Will Just Appear?

Some months, the blog is much harder to write than others. This is my 7th attempt at starting this (I’ve deleted 3 different starters and thrown out 3 I hand wrote on break at the day job). Weirdly, March should be easy. There’s multiple birthdays (my own included) and, of course, St. Patrick’s Day. That should be plenty of fuel for writing something. But not this go around.

As has been mentioned in past blogs, I’m a tad bit neurodivergent (neurospicy if you prefer, though I usually don’t). And my particular brand of that tends to come with something of an obsessiveness. I don’t do much in a small way. And instead of writing a band-related blog, or really anything related to music, my obsession lately is almost entirely D&D. 

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not exactly a new obsession. D&D has been one of my few consistent interests since I was introduced to it 22 years ago. The level of obsession has varied a bit, but it’s never really stopped being an interest. When I was first introduced, I could name the page and paragraph of any rule for 3rd Edition. My best friend and I would be on the phone most Friday nights until one of us fell asleep, surrounded by character sheets and books (thankfully, my body was far more forgiving then about sleeping in weird positions – there was many a Saturday my dad came into my room to get me for breakfast and found me half-sitting up and very much asleep on a bed full of books).

I’ve lost more characters than I’ve played, which isn’t exactly abnormal among D&D players. For many players I know, designing characters is effectively it’s own hobby, usually with self-imposed challenges like “just how fast can I make a character go”. I wasn’t driving yet, so without a car to pay for, my money pretty much went to D&D books (and way too much McDonald’s). I actually still have all of them (I think I’m technically missing 4 or 5 books from 3rd/3.5 Edition of the game, but that’s it). 

For a while in my early 20s I was living the dream for a D&D player. I ended up at a job with a bunch of friends who played D&D and managed a consistent D&D game because most of the players worked together on the same schedule. Every Monday we’d get together at 7pm and play until early morning, often with one or two players pretty much asleep at the table. At one point I was actually part of two separate games. I literally brought my books to each game in a suitcase (I love my physical books, but for ease of transport, I’m very grateful for tablets and digital works). I published a small supplement through a now mostly defunct company called Dreamscarred Press.

I took a bit of a break at 4th Edition (I wasn’t a fan of the rules right from the Player’s Handbook for that edition, which is the most I’ll say), at least from D&D proper. Instead, I swapped to Pathfinder 1st Edition, even helping Dreamscarred Press update the 3.5 psionics rules to Pathfinder. Unfortunately, my DM moved to the Pacific Northwest, and being that this was in the VERY early days of Roll20 and similar platforms aimed at TTRPGs, we chose to not continue. After that, life happened, and while I continued to follow the game, I went for years without playing. (I still haven’t actually played another Pathfinder game, which I’d jump at a chance to do, as long as they allowed Dreamscarred Press content – I want to do more than playtest stuff I’ve written; the almighty monster that is scheduling might get in the way though).

These days, I’m playing in a 5E campaign that I’m greatly enjoying, run by Brian. As is often the case for us gaming adults, we don’t really have it on a regular schedule yet, but we’re trying (and we actually did before a pandemic happened and completely re-wrote life as we knew it, including jobs and day-to-day schedules). I’m greatly enjoying my Warlock, currently using the playtest rules for OneD&D (or whatever they’re going to call the next one), but I have at least half a dozen characters built and ready to go when he dies. And yes, that’s when, not if. I’m no Wil Wheaton, but dice aren’t particularly fond of me. They don’t roll well in my favor, regardless of who’s rolling the dice (Brian’s dice consistently roll better against my character than anyone else in the party) – at some point that’ll get Draven killed. But when it does, it’ll just be a matter of who’s next in line (which will partly depend on the level of Draven’s death, not everyone I’ve built is at the same level).

When I’m not playing D&D or planning my next character idea (or redesigned my character notebook layout for Draven), Critical Role has become another outlet for my D&D obsession, and is strongly leaning on my potential desire to DM (which is also not being helped with the fact that it seems I have an entire party’s worth of people at work who want me to run a campaign for them). The real question there will be if my current level of obsession can hold long enough to catch up. I’m currently on Episode 59 of Campaign One, so the chances aren’t high, but we’ll see.

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