Category Archives: D&D 40th Anniversary Blogging Challenge

One question a day for February, 2014 on your firsts with D&D.

Six Years!

Today marks six years since I started this blog, way back in 2009. I had 29 posts in July and August that year, most of my posts were about past experiences as a player, more of a player’s journal. I was reading blogs of all the various OSR bloggers, several of whom ceased to blog, and decided I wanted to record my recollections and ideas. I didn’t pay attention and only a few weeks ago realized that last year was the big 5. Lots of bloggers seem to do that – get surprised when they hit certain milestones of time or number of posts.

2010 and 2011 were completely ignored – no blog posts. I got divorced in 2010, and had a lot of other things going on for a while there. I managed to read a few of my favorite blogs, and some disappeared in that time frame.

In 2012, when I finally dusted off my campaign notes and started playing with my sons, I managed a post that mentioned it. I also managed a post about random directions. It even had some tables!

2013 was ignored again. I played a time or two with my sons, but was not in or running any other games, and wasn’t following RPG blogs much.

Finally in January, 2014, I read about the D&D 40th Anniversary Blogging Challenge, so I signed up. Something about it being the 40th anniversary of D&D and my 36th year since I started with Holmes Blue Box, lit a fire. I posted blog posts in every month except January and September. My posting slowed in the summer when I was outside enjoying the short period of warm weather and sunshine we get in southwest Michigan. 2014 saw 226 posts, that’s almost 62% of the year. I hit 100 posts on March 17th, 2014.

I managed 27 posts in November, 2014 when I also participated in NaNoWriMo and over 60,000 words on a first draft of a novel. When I drafted this article in late March, I still had not written the last few chapters so I can start the second draft. I slowed to 8 posts in December, as it is the start of my busy time of year at work. [I still have to finish that first draft….]

January, 2015 saw 10 articles posted, and I started posting daily on January 28th. I reached 300 posts on March 4th., and 400 posts on May 9th. I did not pay attention to what my 200th post was.

So here I am, six years, almost 480 posts, an infrequent AD&D game with my sons, a Wednesday night AD&D G+/Roll20 game that has been going since March, 2014, and have played the last few sessions in +Roy Snyder’s DCC campaign. I have made a few contributions to the OSR and participated in some contests, and collaborative efforts. I ran my first session at a convention, made some new friends. Some I see somewhat regularly, and others I touch base with online.

I look forward to more games, more cons, more friends, and sharing and learning online!



I write this at just under an hour until midnight in the Eastern time zone, her in Southwest Michigan.

2014 was a great year for RPGs and me.

I went to my first Con in thirty years or so at Marmalade Dog in Kalamazoo, and I did nearly daily posting and many days multiple posting for over half the year. There was a great start to blogging with the D&D 40th anniversary in January, and the April A t0 Z challenge.

I got involved in a weekly online AD&D game every Wednesday in March and it is still going, only the DM and three players with two characters are left from the initial group, we have added replacement players and look to add a couple more when we resume play after a two week break for Christmas and New Year’s. I have only missed a couple hours of one session and family interruptions for a few others.

I finally made it to GenCon for the first time, something I had wanted to do since the 1980’s when it was still in Lake Geneva. GenCon is too big and requires much more planning. In November, I participated in UCon and had a great time. UCon is much smaller, but has enough for everyone. I would like to do GenCon again, but don’t know if it will be in 2015. I will be at UCon and plan to stay in the hotel so I don’t have to chance driving on ice and snow for a couple hours or more to get there and back. There was AetherCon and another online Con the same weekend as UCon. If AetherCon is not the same weekend as UCon, I may participate in 2015.

A personal milestone, I finally re-built my original collection of AD&D manuals when the same day I ordered a Dieties & Demigods from Wayne’s Books, my son presented me the same volume as a belated birthday present. I also had several weeks in a row where I DM’d for my oldest son and his girlfriend and built up my long designed and little played campaign world.

I also participated in several Kickstarters. So far, I am not disappointed in the ones that funded, other than the D&D movie on hold due to litigation. Follow ups are planned for the ones yet to deliver in 2015.

I also jumped in to take part in the Tenkar’s Landing OSR design project, for which I need to wrap up my hex. I had planned to have my part done before today, but life happens. Thankfully, the milestone was moved to the end of January.

The triumph of over 60,000 words towards the first draft of the novel for which I had the idea back in college in 1984 or 1985 was sweet. I finally got my winner’s shirt this past week. I still have the last few chapters to do. Since Thanksgiving, things have been hectic at home and work. A complete first draft was my goal by now, so one more thing I didn’t think would bet delayed.

Last week, I volunteered to run one slot each day at the 2015 Marmalade Dog in Kalamazoo with The Village of Hommlet. Hommlet is one of the two modules I own, however, I have never ran it. I bought it for an example of a low level started adventure. I bought the PDF from DriveThruRPG so I can read it on my tablet on lunch breaks at work. I think I will have to recruit some people for a play test.

I support payroll and accounting software, so December and January are my busiest time of year at work. Every client calls at least once trying to either do the year end procedures or process their W-2s. It leaves me little time to sneak a moment to think about something else while at the office.

January also sees my youngest son, who lives out of state with his mother, turn 18; and my oldest son and his girlfriend expect a baby any day, making me a grandfather.

I turned 50 at the end of September, wow, where did the time go!

I did make it to Las Vegas in December, for the first time. I had a lot of people incredulous at the idea of me never going there before. I don’t know why that is so hard to believe, most of the world has never been there. I did try my luck with the one-armed bandit and roulette, and lost, but only the amount I set aside, so that I could say I did it. I bought two dice that say, “Fabulous Las Vegas.” After I got home, I realized I should have bought more, as you need at least three to roll up a character. the shop in the hotel where I bought them sold them for a pair for something like $1.99, so I should have bought another pair. Oh well, something for my list if I am every back in Vegas.

2014 was a good year over all and a great one for me in the realm of RPGs. I look forward to reading the musings of others, more playing, more DMing, and building more friendships with fellow gamers both online and in person.

The only way 2014 would have been better would be to have a woman in my life, but I want it to be the right woman, so maybe I’ll find her in 2015.

Happy New Year and Game On!

GenCon 2014 Goodies

I had meant to post a follow up to my GenCon 2014 post back in August, but time and the realities of life got in the way. Now that I am back on an even keel and have a couple days off work, I am getting caught up.

Of course there was a lot of information about D&D Next (AKA 5e). Pathfinder also had a huge area and people were packed into a hallway to get in when I went by. People were afraid you were after their spot in line and were slow to let you pass.

There is an area with old cards that anyone can use to build anything. At the end of the con, it gets knocked down.

City of Cards - Better than a  mere house of cards.
City of Cards – Better than a mere house of cards.

Lots of different street performers. Lots of food trucks outside.

The group is called "One Man Band" Three women and one man.
The group is called “One Man Band” Three women and one man.

Here’s a scary one, a selfie….

Me at Gen Con 2014!
Me at Gen Con 2014!

I peaked in at the auction. No spare cash to get anything.

The Auction - I just peaked in.
The Auction – I just peaked in.

Lots of artists present. I got to speak to Jeff Easley when I bought this print. I need to find a frame to better protect it.

I bought a cool Jeff Easley print and he signed. 28/1500.
I bought a cool Jeff Easley print and he signed. 28/1500.

I have a set of Game Science dice that I have had for 20+ years. I picked up another one. Not the color I wanted, but I wanted a full set. Sadly, no d30’s until later.

I bought a new set of Game Science Dice.
I bought a new set of Game Science Dice.

I spoke to two different people at Inkwell Ideas and each one gave me a Sample Adventure & Encounter Deck. I also bout the RPG poster. It won’t lay flat and I don’t have help to unroll it to get a picture.

Inkwell Ideas Sample Adventure & Encounter Decks
Inkwell Ideas Sample Adventure & Encounter Decks

There are five creatures and three traps.

Inkwell Ideas Encounter Deck Contents
Inkwell Ideas Encounter Deck Contents

I always wanted a battlemat. I don’t have the minis to do much with it, so I got a factory second, and a d30.

Chessex Battlemat and D30
Chessex Battlemat and D30
Chessex Battle Mat Factory Second Square Side
Chessex Battle Mat Factory Second Square Side

My d30 – Now I am an “official” member of the Order of the d30.

Chessex D30 On Hex Side Battle Mat
Chessex D30 On Hex Side Battle Mat

The GenCon swag bag can hold a lot of stuff. I suggest those buying maps and art that is rolled up and sticking out to purchase those things separately to ease travelling the vendor floor and minimize damaging your artwork.

GenCon 2014 Bag & Badge
GenCon 2014 Bag & Badge
Other Side GenCon Bag
Other Side GenCon Bag

There is a coupon book for merchandise and some activities.

Coupon Book Closeup
Coupon Book Closeup

The program book is the size of a small catalog and I recommend early registration so you can plan what to do before you go. The place is so huge that a plan will come in very handy. A lot like for adventurers going out to loot the dungeon….

Program Book Closeup
Program Book Closeup

I also go to visit with Larry Elmore and a fellow congoer behind me in line bought this for me as I had exceeded my budget for artwork and more goodies. It was only $5, and Larry Elmore signed it. I am drawing a blank on the gentleman’s name, I believe it starts with a B and is a city. Thank you, whoever you are!

Elmore Character Clip Art
Elmore Character Clip Art

Mr. Elmore and I agreed that we each have a great first name!

Larry Elmore Signed My Book
Larry Elmore Signed My Book


Follow up on the D&D 40th Anniversary Blogging Challenge

This was not too difficult for me. Some of my entries were only a few lines, others were quite long.

I had fun with this and it was a great tool to get content for my blog.

I have already signed up for the April, 2014 A to Z Challenge and have entries either schedules already or most of them in a draft stage. I have a lot of time to get ready for that.

I have also read about other blog challenges and will consider doing them if I think it is something I find worthwhile.

I found one such challenge that I will comment on in another post, but I will not be doing that challenge.

Day 25: Longest running campaign/gaming group you’ve been in.

Robert, my brother, and our youngest brother, Kent, and some friends started a new campaign my first year of college. I got involved when I was home on breaks and the summer. That campaign started in 1983/84 is still going today, and I still have the same characters in that game. My main character had a situation that was on hold for 15 years until we played it out to learn if my character would be around/have an impact on the game in current time. Griswald is now basically a retired character. He is my favorite.

This is the campaign Robert came up with after “The Quest For The Dice of Destiny” halted and just stopped in mid adventure, mid situation. I still don’t know if Fasbold and Flaessan survived their encounter with a ghost.

Day 24: First movie that comes to mind that you associate with D&D. Why?

“Conan The Barbarian” with Arnold Swarzenegger because that movie came out at a time when we were playing D&D all the time in high school.

I know the Rankin & Bass cartoon of “The Hobbit” and Ralph Bakshi’s “Return of the King” also had an influence.

“The Vikings” with Kirk Douglas and Tony Curtis and any other movie from the 50’s and 60’s on TV at the time.

As I write this, “Excalibur” comes to mind. We laughed at the scene of what a king does in full armor, but the armor and the fighting was cool.

“Monty Python and the Holy Grail” was good for the wacky side of things.

I am sure there were others, but I don’t recall them at the moment.

Day 23: First song that comes to mind that you associate with D&D. Why?

I recall a song that a friend came across, perhaps an early Dragon. “You Bash The Balrog, While I Climb The Tree.” Four of us, two brothers each from two families sang it. We recorded it on a cassette tape. I’m not sure if it was a handheld tape recorder or a higher end system.

I think we just made up our own tune. I still remember all the words, once I get going.

Also, “We must away ‘ere break of day” from “The Hobbit”. The tune we came up with was close to what is in the recent Peter Jackson movie.