About the Blog
All the cool kids (by which I mean +Douglas Cole and +Peter V. Dell'Orto) have gaming blogs these days, so I thought I'd start one. It'll be about my gaming experiences: mostly thoughts on GURPS Dungeon Fantasy, but also other GURPS games and Savage Worlds and whatever else springs to mind.
About the Blogger
I figure I'm often curious about the background of bloggers I read, so I might as well post a bit here. Skip on to the next entry if you don't share that curiosity - I'll get out of the navel-gazing and into what passes for substance soon enough.
I started playing role-playing games as soon as I could read enough of the words to understand what was going on (and on my first read, I thought "cleric" meant "circus" and was even more confused.) with my older brother's copy of the Moldvay Red Box. I got my copy of Star Frontiers as a Christmas present in 1983. I continued through Moldvay Expert D&D, 1st and 2nd editions of AD&D, 2nd edition GURPS (I still have a very battered copy of the 1st edition of GURPS Fantasy, the version that contained both the original GURPS Magic system and the Yrth world background), Gangbusters, Gamma World (4th edition), Marvel Super Heroes, Battletech, Paranoia, and more. I played lots of games in college, most memorably a long-running Vampire (mixed 1st and 2nd and revised and who knows what else) game, but also some Torg and Rolemaster and more AD&D. I entirely skipped over D&D 3rd edition, playing Heavy Gear and GURPS 4th edition instead, branching out into Mutants & Masterminds and Savage Worlds. My current group played D&D 4th edition until we got bored, experiments with various odd games, and mostly plays GURPS 4e and Savage Worlds now but we can be pretty faddish.
About the Blog Title
I haven't been playing RPGs since the very beginning, but I've played them for over three decades and that's enough, I think, to earn the title of grognard. But despite apparently playing the same games as a lot of the Old School guys, I apparently missed the Old School experience. The Caves of Chaos were not some grim slaughterfest of endlessly replaced PCs and hirelings: they were a straightforward experience of firepower and looting. I never played any of the Giants series, or Journey into the Depths of the Earth, or Tomb of Horrors (I didn't even own them until they came out on PDF in 2004 and I haven't read them all the way through). I never thought that dragons or mindflayers or beholders were part of the iconic D&D experience, and upon being told that they are, I tend to get rather confused. So I'm clearly not part of the Old School.
But I'm not part of the New School - assuming there is a New School - that grew up around JRPGs and D&D 3.0 and maybe the later parts of AD&D (2nd edition). Balanced encounters? 5 minute work-day? Railroad adventure full of narrative and dramatic turn-abouts and all that? I'm not interested in any of that, either. Most times the big monster goes down without a big dramatic fight and I'm okay with that.
So I'm a grognard, and of no particular school. And honestly, No School Grognard sounded better than "Unschooled Grognard", which I batted around for a few minutes. But I'd like people to read this blog for some other reason than a curious pity.
Speaking of, on to content.