Topic: Introduce yourself!

Who are you? Where do you come from? How old are you? What did you start playing these traditional fantasy RPGs (again)? What draws you to LotFP stuff, be it blog or commercial releases?


Me, I'm 34 now, I lived in the US (Connecticut, Georgia, Florida) before moving to Finland. I started gaming either in December 1983 or 1984, can't remember which it was, with the Mentzer red box. After moving to Atlanta to go to school in 1992, I drifted out of gaming since it just seemed everyone wanted to play Vampire or Magic and I wasn't interested.

In the early 00s I wanted to get back into gaming, but nothing at the local game store caught my interest. So I thought I'd make my own RPG. After most of the writing was done, I got online to find that, well, there were websites and forums dedicated to RPGs. Surprise! This was 2003, I think? Maybe 2004?

When I moved to Finland, I decided I was going to play old school D&D, so I re-bought the books and got a group. Aside from a 4-5 month HERO System game, I've been playing the old D&D versions, or one of the clones, since March/April 2006.

Also since that time, I've toyed around with amateur publishing projects, some to good effect, some which were ill-considered disasters. In July 2009 I decided getting a normal job wasn't for me so I started my own publishing company, hoping that I've learned from my earlier mistakes.

Things are looking pretty good so far.


Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm a 42 year old Australian, living in the island state of Tasmania (the only Tassie Devils I see are road kill). Started with Holmes back around '80 or '81 and quickly moved on to 1e. Dropped out of the scene for pretty much all of the 90s, then came back to a short period of 2e, followed by 12 months of 3e (only gaming groups I could find).

Moved from the mainland to an isolated rural area in Tasmania 6 years back, thinking that was the end of my gaming days. Became great friends with the farmer down the road, who has 7 kids. Introduced them to D&D about 4 years ago and we've been having great fun ever since. Been playing 1e, but recently introduced them to the joys of Basic (via Labyrinth Lord).

Online I haunt various Old School forums and am very excited by the retro-clone and OSR movement. I believe our little niche deserves to live and grow. I help out with Brave Halfling Publishing, mainly volunteering proofreading, and am the admin guy behind Dan Proctor's fledgling Labyrinth Lord Society. Although I have limited funds to throw around, I support the various OS publishers by buying their (mostly pdf) products. As a result, I probably have a life-time's supply of modules to play (but that won't stop me buying more).

I enjoy James' writings on his blog and elsewhere, finding his views thought-provoking and insightful. His enthusiam and willingness to try something new and different is exciting, especially in the face of the negativity and rigid fundamentalism so often found on the forums. The OSR is moving ahead because of people like James, and it will continue to grow by bringing in new blood, only if we get behind such people and their efforts.

Re: Introduce yourself!

Myself, I am a 37 year old living in Tacoma, Washington, originally from Massachusetts, but I spent more than enough years in southern California. I started playing D&D around '82 or '83 - a twisted hybrid of AD&D and the Moldvay (and eventually Mentzer as well) basic set, ended up playing mostly AD&D for a while, then drifting into all sorts of other games, boycotted 2E, played a bit of 3E, burned out on that and started digging up and thinking about OD&D when I stumbled across various Old School forums and sites.

I find LotFP to be a source of interesting and entertaining thoughts and I find it's driven me to experiment and consider things I may not have otherwise.

I'm presently hosting the Tacoma Public Library's D&D night, running a game with the Mentzer basic set and hoping to draw in some new players and lure back some old.

I haven't really gotten into the retro-clones, but I like the idea behind them (as I have been given to understand it).

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm a 16 year-old Californian, started gaming at six with AD&D core, the 2e Starter set, one copy of Blackmoor, and a few old Dragon Magazines. As I lived in the Sierra Nevadas at the time, not a whole lot of actual gaming, lots of Solo adventuring with the redbox once I got my hands on it though. I played third edition from 3.5 up after moving to Conneticut and supported 4e during development, but got bored with the system after a few months.
      I mostly game through my school, which has a large pseudo organized club but I don't enjoy the style of game or system (Walk across the room? Balance check). I play in a weekly Dark Heresy Game as an obligatory courtesy to a friend, but I have come to despise the Byzantine mythology and stultifying rules with a passion. My younger brother (12) shares my interest in retroclones, and at his behest I've begun refereeing a weekly game for him and some friends, and I've refereed a number of (to my eyes) very successful pick-up sessions of Stonehell for new players at school.
      Around a year ago I realized that I in no way enjoy the clash of imaginary numbers or making character build choices. I do not have any interest in writing a back story, or following a scripted sequence of encounters. I have Jeff Rients excellent "Under Xylarthen's Tower" to thank for reminding me of the fun of random tables and monsters stolen from Star Trek- after reading through it I reaized that that is the mode I'd like my games to follow.
      I follow LOTFP (as you might have guessed), Grognardia, Jeff Rients, Society of Torch Pole and Rope, Planet Algol, and Chgowitz as well as any others I forget, though I avoid most of the boards.
       I love Lotfp and while I sometimes think it skews to the bombastic, James has my utmost respect as one of the few OSR writers who is actively creating new and non-derivative material.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm Zak Smith.  I live in Hollywood.  I'm 30-something.

I played a lot of games when I was, like, 14.  Rifts, Wh40k, FASERIP Marvel etc. & started getting back into games about a year ago.

Me and my girlfriend are trying to get a regular gaming group going here but everybody we know is either a stripper or a porn star--which is a fine thing in many ways, but it does mean that they're pretty flakey and it's hard to get a regular game going.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm Yesmar. I'm 40. I've lived all over the world, but now call Seattle home. Currently I torture my friends with various old roleplaying games. I started playing D&D in 1978 with Holmes Basic, which I still love. I also love, in no particular order, OD&D, AD&D 1E, Empire of the Petal Throne, Call of Cthulhu, Gamma World, Top Secret, Skyrealms of Jorune, WFRP, Metamorphosis Alpha (1st), and loads of other stuff. I like to draw maps. A lot.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm a 34 years old Finn living in Espoo, Finland, with around 20 years of RPG experience. I started out with the Finnish translation of the "red box" Basic Set, but didn't get hooked on RPG's until the Finnish translation of Runequest. Since then I've played around a few dozen different game systems actively. A few years back I was playing White Wolf games almost excusively, and for the past few years now I've played pretty much D&D 3.5 and Pathfinder RPG exclusively. More on this rather egocentric topic on my blog. Recently, in my never-ending search for the "Perfect Game", this time motivated by the need to find a game with considerably less crunch, I've become aware of the so-called Old School Renaissance.

So far my foray into lands thus far unknown have included the purchases of pretty much all of the LotFP-stuff, an English language version of the red box, a whole bunch of AD&D setting material, and a print version of Labyrinth Lord, which should be on a shipping crate on a ship somewhere on the Atlantic Ocean as I write.

What originally drew me to LotFP was the article in the recently deceased Finnish RPG magazine Roolipelaaja.

Last edited by Navdi (2009-10-09 10:04:04)

Re: Introduce yourself!

I am 30 years old and live in Britain. I started playing RPGs by way of Hero Quest and Advanced Hero Quest back in the early 1990s. Went on to play War Hammer after that, then Dungeons & Dragons, then second edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, followed by a number of other RPGs, before losing interest in the published scene in around the mid to late 90s. I started a new AD&D campaign around the turn of the century, largely as a result of reading Knights of the Dinner Table, and became interested in the on-line community around 2005. I was attracted to Lamentations of the Flame Princess by the controversy surrounding the Insect Shrine.

Re: Introduce yourself!

37 years old.  I started playing Holmes Basic and moved pretty quickly to AD&D.  This would have been in Atlanta in, oh, 1981, maybe (I was an irritating young'un).  I started playing some Call of Cthulhu as well in high school.  In college (Houston) I switched to GURPS 3E and played it from 1990-1994.  In grad school (New Jersey) I found myself back at AD&D because it was the system that everyone already knew.  And then when my wife and I moved to St. Louis in 2000 (where we still are), we started a 3E game with some local friends.  We have stuck with that game (and a painless 3.0 ->3.5 transition) and it lasted long enough that one of the characters actually made it from 0 XP all the way to 20th level, legitimately, which I have never seen before.

We interspersed 3E with a bunch of other systems: some Call of Cthulhu, a little GURPS, recently some Spirit of the Century, and a stripped-down FUDGE game of my own design.  We tried 4E when it came out and didn't have much fun...and I said, "hey, this wasn't much fun," and got out Moldavy B/E.  We rolled up some characters, hastily advanced them to 4th level, and hit the Isle of Dread.  It was great.  A breath of fresh air.

I mentioned that to S. John Ross (I also do text adventures, and I am a huge fan of Treasures of a Slaver's Kingdom, which brought me to Encounter Critical), who then pointed me from EC to Jeff Rients' blog, and I followed links from there, and then went nuts on the retroclones.

So then I found Microlite 20, slid on over to Microlite 74, and we started in on the megadungeon we're currently playing...and one of my players is running Dragonlance (DL1, currently) as straight-up AD&D v1.  I am the only unspoiled Dragonlance player in the world.  I have also never played a World Of Darkness game, although I did play in a session or two of GURPS: The Sucking^W^WVampire.

Level 5 of my Microlite 74 dungeon won "Best Retro Use of 30x30 Space" in the One Page Dungeon Contest.  It's going to be 15 levels in total but I am currently stalled about 2/3 of the way through L7.  I'm currently working on a Mutant Future module called "Bring Me The Head Of Frank Sinatra!" for which I have expanded the AD&D Wandering Harlot table: … rlot-Table

Re: Introduce yourself!

34. From New Jersey originally, but I've been living (and gaming) in Arizona for over 20 years now. Started gaming in 1989 with the 2nd ed. AD&D Player's Handbook and a mash of old modules and supplements (Oe, B/X, 1E, RC, etc.). Been rolling with the same guys for all that time. We picked up 3rd ed. when it came out and that was ok until it wasn't and then we went back to 2nd. None of us were interested in the direction 4th went. I started thinking about going back further and doing straight 1E or maybe B/X about a year ago and that's when I discovered Jeff Rients' blog, which turned me onto Labyrinth Lord, OSRIC, etc. and the OSR in general. Also had a link to LotFP, which I began reading with interest. I'm constantly reading the blogs but mostly I stay off the boards. I manage one of those big box corporate bookstores and am eagerly awaiting the day when this OSR stuff is in stock at our warehouses instead of POD so I can get it in and stuff the shelves with it. I did notice LL is at least in the database now. So far we're still doing 2nd ed. because my players are unreasonably afraid of race as class, non-variable weapon damage, not being able to fight paired weapons and a host of other little fiddly bits. But we'll get there. I've had some of my poetry published and 1 of my short stories won a local contest sponsored by the public library - and of course I've written tons of game material and adventures, all of which are sitting in notebooks in my closet. I also have a BA in English, for whatever that's worth (not a decent salary, that's for sure).

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm 34 years old; grew up in a very small town on the Canadian prairie.  I started playing D&D sometime in the mid-80's with my older brother and a couple of his friends.  We had all the 1e AD&D books but looking back on it the rules we actually played by the most were the B/X D&D books.  Since the books didn't really offer much guidance on how the game was played, and we had no contact with any other gamers, we developed our own style of play.  We basically played it as an episodic fantasy wargame where each player controlled a single character (well, sometimes more) -- maybe this was because we were avid wargamers as well.  Things stopped in the early 90's and pretty much stayed stopped, with a few ill-fated attempts to get back into gaming along the way.

Fast-forward to the present day, and I am co-owner of a small software development company.  One of my partners had played a lot of AD&D, and we got talking about RPG's, which turned out to be harder than expected because we eventually realized we were  talking about totally different games!  Some further investigation led me to the "old school renaissance", and then this site.  There are two things that have made me want to play again -- first, having a chance to read over the OD&D books, something about them made everything 'click' in my mind about how things evolved the way they did.  And second, reading the LotFP blog entries and reviews of Death Frost Doom.  It sounds like fantastic stuff, I would love to find a group to play this style of game with!

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm yet another guy in his mid-30s who got re-obsessed with D&D after Gary Gygax died -- wait, I did run a game of Basic D&D in 2005. That was pretty fun. I'm not actually gaming currently, so I mainly just do D&D-related artsy-craftsy stuff.

Weirdly, I probably crossed paths with Adam (above) at some point since I went to U of H from '90-'95.

Re: Introduce yourself!

Bill Hooks wrote:

so I mainly just do D&D-related artsy-craftsy stuff.

Did you do that artwork yourself or just the graphic design?

Re: Introduce yourself!

I did the art, yes.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I go by screenname MutieMoe on english language forums and as JJKM on finnish ones. I am 30 year old finn and I started roleplaying games with the finnish translation of Basic Set D&D. I'm pretty omnivorous when it comes to roleplaying games.  I wrote some articles to very recently deceased magazine Roolipelaaja, last one was reviews on the LotFP products, DFD pretty much hit me with shock and awe.

Re: Introduce yourself!

54 year old Londoner. I started gaming with Empire of the Petal Throne in 1974. I still roleplay in Tekumel and occasionally explore the changed landscapes of 2nd edition Gamma World.
I`ll probably be using the LotFP material as background to a Call of Cthulhu Dark Ages campaign or adapting it for the Mythic Russia setting.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm a 45 year old from Denver Colorado. I've been gaming since Jr. High School (1976 or 77') and started with the an amalgam of AD&D and Holmes Basic with a group of about 4 guys. I still see and game with 2 of them about once a month. (a 30+ year tradition that I'll not willingly break.)

The games that I've played during that time are legion, and there's not room nor time enough to list them all. But the one to rule them all (and in the darkness bind them) ;-) is still Dungeons and Dragons. Of which, I've played nearly all editions, minus the LBBs...Even though the old DM that I started with way back when did in fact have them and reference them on occasion.

I suppose that I started thinking about "old school" games once 4E was announced. At that time I was running a game of 3.X and was getting completely burnt out on all the fiddly bits and the myriad skills, feats, and prestige class books being constantly released.  And with the announcement of yet a "new" (and improved? HA!) Dungeons and Dragons, my wallet, and soul cried out "Desist!"...and so I did. That started me on my search to find something more akin to what I had played for so long in my youth.

Castles and Crusades was my fist exposure to what could be done in regards to retro-clone games. I loved it. I played it with my daughters and a buddy of mine for about a year. And then I stumbled upon Labyrinth Lord and Swords and Wizardry, and and and... I've played nearly all of them for at least one session. But up until recently I wasn't able to convince more than a few of our current group that these old rules simulacrum are really quite fun.

The winds of change blow and now we're starting up a Castles and Crusades game, played bi-weekly, that's centered on Hommlet. With a few changes of course.

Now that I'm firmly ensconced in this OSR mindset I'm constantly on the search for fresh ideas and progressive work. There are many out there that fit the mold, but Jim is certainly on the cutting edge. I'm eager for the Insect Shrine and am heading out right now to pick up the PDF of Death Frost Doom, of which I've heard so much.

Anyway, Kudos Jim. Keep fighting the good fight.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm a 40 year old divorced father of two, I like puppies, sunsets and walks on the...whoops wrong forum. 

I live in the hot sweaty suburban jungle that is Central Florida.  I originally began gaming back in 1982 with Moldvay Basic set, moved on to AD&D and also played some Twilight 2000 and BattleTech Minis.  I gamed throughout high school, but then quite when everyone I knew either went into the military or moved away to college.  I was out of the hobby until about four years ago when I rediscovered a bunch of my old gaming material stored at my folks house.  Since then I've been on a tear to get reacquainted with the games I used to play. 

I'm definitely not interested in the newer editions of D&D, 4ed and even 3.0-3.5 are just not my thing, though Microlite 74 holds a fascination for me.  I like OD&D or 0e as it's called because it's so flexible, Swords & Wizardry for the same reason I'm also interested in Mutant Future and even a few story based hippie games like Spirit of the Century and Changeling.

Currently I'm working on a book of Fortean cryptids to drop into a campaign.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm 32, born and mostly lived in Wisconsin, recently moved to Minnesota. I started gaming around 1988. My friends and I played in some AD&D 1E sessions, then got our hands on a Mentzer Expert book. It provided us much material for our imaginations, but no idea how to play the game. I eventually saw an ad for Mentzer Basic in a comic book and figured out I needed to get it. I went to the FLGS, checked the price, saved up the money, went back, and it was out of stock. Ended up buying a Palladium game instead. After that we bought more Palladium games, AD&D 2E, and anything else we could get our hands on. Played half of everything out there, but quickly got the DIY bug and played our own homebrews more often than anything else.

After adolescence gaming waned. I remained interested, read game books, worked on game ideas, sometimes discovered new friends also gamed, played the occasional session every year or so. Finally bought that Mentzer Basic box, discovered I liked the history of the hobby, and got Holmes too. Read gaming material on usenet, then message boards, then blogs. Tried 3E when it came out, wasn't impressed. Read The Forge at first, drank the kool-aid, recovered and moved on. Tried 4E when it came out, wasn't impressed. Just purchased my first OD&D box recently, having only PDFs before.

Started reading Jeff's Gameblog before Grognardia started. Watched the OSR grow with mixed feelings. Focusing on the positive, I like: Jeff's Gameblog, Lamentations of the Flame Princess, and the availability of a wide selection of OSR publications, some of which are good.

I've been running a Keep on the Borderlands "sandbox" campaign for a couple of years. Sessions are infrequent, players change, characters change, the rules change, but the effects of character actions are persistent. Recent sessions have been with a single player and using heavily modified Moldvay Basic. In the most recent session I provided a hook to Death Frost Doom due to player request for something Halloween appropriate. Going to post actual play for that.

Last edited by giantbat (2010-11-10 07:43:06)

Re: Introduce yourself!

37 years old today (10/31, that is--not sure if the time difference means right now is yesterday or tomorrow or something elsewhere in the world), from the US, specifically western pennsylvania/northeast ohio. Started with B/X & BECMI in '84, almost immediately moved to AD&D1E. Burned out in the mid-nineties and mostly stopped gaming altogether, so my "return" to the old ways was because of returning from no games at all, not because of returning from newer games. Early mid-naughties I remembered something one of my high school art teachers repeated ad naseam (while trying to encourage students inclined toward abstractions to be less so inclined): "before you can draw a tree stump that doesn't look like one, you have to learn how to draw a tree stump that does look like one." So I acquired a copy of the the 1974/OD&D rules and started a campaign using even older-school rules than I'd used when I started out, just in time to check out the early OSR stuff on the oddboard, these 'blogs, etc (as a lurker, not a contributer). Originally drawn to the LotFP 'blog by JER's combination of in-your-face-ism and idealism, if everyone understands what I mean by that. Started buying the products after reading some very positive reviews of DFD (don't recall where, sorry, but I believe one of them was the pope's). While I like the other LotFP stuff I've bought, it was definitely DFD that hooked me. Best module ever, as far as I can tell without having run it yet (due to an unfortunate personal crisis in the lives of several of my players, our campaign is on temporary break). But I can't wait to experience how well it works in actual play, and will be sure to post summary of it in the appropriate thread, even if I otherwise stay just a lurker.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I'm one more 34 years old gamer. I live in Lahti area, Finland and also started gaming with Mentzer red box when its finnish translation was published some time in mid 80's. Since that I have played a variety of different games ranging from Hârn to Burning Wheel. Last year the group I play with ran a campaign with red box again and this autumn the DM decided to convert the game to 4e... Since we often rotate turns in running the games I'm looking for a chance to start a Hackmaster game sometime next year. You can read more from my blog I just started last week.


Re: Introduce yourself!

A 40 YO here, although I am not gaming again. Yet.

My first D&D game was the red box, camping in a cave. I was an elf. In my teens, I "played" and by played I mean my friends and I munchkined through the box sets and AD&D 1e. Played a little Tunnels and Trolls and Man Myth and Magic too. In college, I played Champions mainly, also Cyberpunk, ShadowRun, 1e and the occasional Call of Cthulhu and Toon.

After school, I pretty much dropped out of gaming. Now I find I want to play again and want to play the way we did back then. I'm in grad school and am a dad, so I haven't found time for a regular game. Hopefully I will soon.

Re: Introduce yourself!

I am a 36 year-old married-with-child guy living right in the middle of the US. I started playing RPGs  around '83 with word-of-mouth knowledge of the D&D game (we had dice and paper, and no rule book!).

Eventually we played a mix of Moldvay/Cook with 1e. Also, as a comic book fan, I got heavily involved in the Marvel Super Heroes RPG. I still love that game. I eventually moved from my home town to play in a band, so I left gaming behind for a while.

After 3e came out, I thought I'd give it a shot and joined a campaign ran by my wife's co-workers. I did not enjoy the game in the least (two and a half hours to kill a few goblins...yeesh). 3e put a bad taste in my mouth for RPGs, and I quit gaming...until the summer of 2008.

Last summer, my brother-in-law from Brazil was staying with us. He remembered watching the D&D cartoon as a kid and we got to talking about the game. This started stirring some interest in me, so I began doing some research online for old-school RPGs.

There I discovered a huge community who are still dedicated and playing old-school games. And the retro-clones!! Wow! I downloaded all I could find and then asked my co-workers (who are all movie and comic geeks like me, but strangely have never played table top RPGs) to come to my house for a game night. We've been playing ever since.

Influenced by the OSR community, I started publishing adventures under my Prime Requisite Games company for the Labyrinth Lord game. This has been a fantastic creative outlet for me, plus it's cool to contribute something to the OSR.

As for LotFP --  James, I discovered your writing on the various RPG forums - I believe it was all the complaining and moaning about the "Fantasy Fucking Vietnam" title. big_smile  I dug your writing and frank discussion (plus you're a metal fan) and found my way to the LotFP blog. Needless to say, I am a fan of your blog, especially because it can stimulate interesting discussions/debates.

Re: Introduce yourself!

AD&D hit me like a sledgehammer between the eyes in the summer of '79, age 14. Pure fun.

I've moved with the editions since then, and was sad when 3e vaporized my DM zen and my play skill. I began DMing 4e hoping I'd find my way home and, well ... wtf. Really. W.T.F. I've continued to game with friends who prefer new school but, man, I miss the zone. You know??? Yeah, if you're here you do. Bless the old school renaissance and this series of tubes.

I have no idea what they're like to play, but my favourite modules are the two I've DM'd many, many times: Dark Tower, and Tomb of Horrors a close second. They've both got That Texture, whatever it is, that thing that evokes your personal D&D. And so I'm registering here at LotFP because I just finished reading DFD and I'll be damned if this witty Raggi bastard isn't channeling Gygax and Jaquays.

So, James, success! I wish you God's speed.


"If the character touching the gem survives alignment shock, the gem will fly up and embed itself in the forehead of the victim."
- Jaquays, Dark Tower, (p.7).

Re: Introduce yourself!

Hi, I'm 41, live in Newcastle in England and have been roleplaying since the mid-80's.

I started with 1e AD&D, Maelstrom, Dragonquest and Dragon Warriors, then bought loads of shiny new games in the 90s that I never played, leading me to turn to short free rules-lite RPGs for a while. I arrived back at Holmes D&D, then Swords & Wizardry.

I like the LOTFP blog and bought Death Frost Doom - pure class.

Good luck Jim, keep at it !