August 25, 2010

Quest Description

Purpose of this blog
Roleplaying games such as D&D are probably my biggest hobby. I spend much of my free time thinking about characters to build, adventures to run, rules to try out, or other aspects of game design. This blog is intended as a place for me to write down these ideas. Part of this is to give me a place to rant about things that I like or dislike in games that I play. Part of this is to give me a nice place to write down house rules and character designs for future use. Part of it is to create documentation about my thoughts and efforts in thinking about games (for future claims of "I do game design!"). Part of it is the slim by real potential that I can be part of the RPG blogging community that I've enjoyed reading over the past year. Basically I want to start writing down the stuff I think about, with the hope that it may be used by me (or someone else) in the future.

My goal is to try and update this on a regularly scheduled basis (say, 2-3 times a week), just to keep myself thinking about game stuff.

This blog will primarily be about the RPGs that I play--D&D 4e in particular. I am involved in a number of different gaming groups (both as a DM and as a player). These games generally play D&D (4e, after a relatively recent switch from 3.5), but I'm also playing in a few Star Wars Saga games. [Note that I tend to think of Saga as just another form of D&D, with a different setting and some custom mechanics. For me, almost all RPGs are really D&D at heart, making my idea of D&D pretty flexible]. I'm also interested in other systems--I'm looking forward to my next game of Fiasco, for example. So most of my thoughts about RPG play and design will be based on these systems.

I also might talk about video games if I play any that are interesting (I tend to enjoy RPGs there as well--for example, I'm a huge fan of the Final Fantasy series). Board games are also fair game (hah!), as is anything else that seems relevant.

Finally, in my day job I'm working on developing Persuasive and Pervasive Games, and so could use this space for thoughts about that (such posts might have a more academic flavor).

Who I am
I've been playing D&D for something like 14 years now, starting with AD&D 2e--indeed, AD&D flavors a lot of my base assumptions about the game, though I didn't know much about game design at the time. I settled into the DM chair about 6 years ago, and now consider myself a DM first and foremost (though I enjoy being a player of course).

I consider myself mostly a storyteller (per the DMG descriptions)--I'm most interested in telling good stories and coming up with things that fit into a larger narrative. I also minor in powergamer, messing with the fiddly bits of math that make up the current incarnations of D&D.

Otherwise I'm a graduate student studying computer science, researching the relationship and interactions between social systems and computer systems. I'm also married to a wonderful and beautiful woman who I love gaming with.

And what the hell is a majaether anyway?!
A majaether is the name of an artifact in the Pirate D&D campaign I'm running. Meaning "sky-stone" in the language of the dragons, these two-foot wide gemstones hold the key to potentially bringing about heaven on earth (or, as the PCs have begun to learn, hell on earth). It's also one of the few made-up words and world elements that my players readily remember. They thought that "sweet majaethers!" was such a great exclamation, that I decided to use it as a title for a blog.

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