I am a role-player, I always have been and will be until it's time for me to go to my final rest.

Being forty-eight (48) years old, now, I find that I become cantankerous, and just difficult to live with if I don't have my role-playing games.  Reading about new worlds and new things to do in those worlds and being able to run an RPG with friends and family is a great joy in my life.  I intend to keep doing it as long as I have my hands, sight and hearing; I suppose having a good imagination and a strong mind -if not the memory- are requisites, as well, but I think long after I've gone deaf or blind, my imagination will remain and all of the things my friends, family and I have done together through this story-telling medium will remain.  I'm happy to share imaginary world(s) with others and, sometimes, they make it easier to deal with our "real" one.

MY GAMING LIFE
      When I began my gaming life in Junior High School, in '83 I think, I never thought it would have taken me to the places I have been, both in and outside of my imagination, the real-world and the others.  Yeah I'm old and there's no need to make much of it because I still love to play and I continue to have a great imagination, and I harvest it whenever I'm able.  As many others in my age group and younger have done, I began with Dungeons & Dragons, by TSR, and have since played many other games by many other developers.  No matter how many computer, console, card, or tactical combat sims I play, however, nothing compares to tabletop role-playing which is, typically, my only opportunity to escape the rigors of this world for the adventurous climes locked within the imagination.

THIS WEB SITE'S CONSTRUCTION
      Amateurish though this site may be, it's still my home on the net.  There's a lot to do, using this page as a base, and I don't know that I'll ever get it done, but I'm sure going to try.  I still have all of the information and databases from all of the tales I have participated in, and I'll be happy to share them, when time and a good mind permits.  So, if you click on a link that is not active, it's because I haven't edited and uploaded it, yet; email me about your interest and let's see if I can get it up and running for you!



      My most recent role-playing acquisition (May 2015) is a game based in the world of Middle Earth, created by J.R.R. Tolkien.  This is a good game, if somewhat esoteric; some of the mechanics are hard to get used to, but the game in and of itself is rewarding in the accuracy to Professor Tolkien's vision of what most people read in his works. Character generation is less about selecting a particular race and class than it is about being part of a culture of the world, such as a Woodman of Wilderland, Hobbit of the Shire, Elf of Mirkwood, or Man of Lake-town, including cultural Virtues, Rewards, and more to distinguish each character created within the game.  Each of the concepts developed as a result of your character's birth in the game are used as important components of gameplay, and some can be used to grant automatic success, gain Advancement or Experience points, and more.



      So many RPGs were developed and released in the early '90s, and I played many of them, including MechWarrior and Earthdawn, but Torg: Role-Playing the Possibility Wars (1990 by West End Games) has always been one of my favorite games; top-five easily.  The background of the game was/is amazing, the idea behind Possibility Raiders coming to earth to steal all of our abundant, though finite possibility energy, or that which allows us, as a species, to develop so much so rapidly, whether in technology or social circles, expanding to even further possibilities.  I ran this game a few times on the tabletop, and then I ran a basic game on Roll 20 for about eight months in 2016; the system was somewhat clunky, especially using the Drama Deck online, but all of the mechanics were necessary to run the game successfully and with the correct feel.  That feel is supposed to be cinematic, supposed to allow the heroes to feel as though they're participating in a wild movie like True Lies or Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow -which I believe to be based off Torg, frankly-, though the game can also be a visceral experience, especially in the horror realm of Orrorsh.

To my great delight and, thus far, also that of my player group, Ulisses Spiele North America (originally a German company) have picked up the license and produced Torg Eternity.  This new edition is a highly streamlined version of the original Torg system, replacing many of the clunky old rules with sensible new ones, such as reducing tables from long progressions of numbers to something far easier for the GamesMaster to manage.  Some changes to the game have been unwelcome at my table, however, such as the effect total being divorced from the action total, which originally allowed for increasing success to correlate to increasing effect.

The new damage (effect) system calls for one Bonus die to be rolled for each five points the action total exceeds the target's to-hit number.  This only replaces the old system, which made sense, with an open-ended kill-fest exploding damage system that makes no sense to me.  It lends a potentially far-worse outcome to the Glass Jaw Ninja problem, which was never a real problem to begin with; if you can defeat the high defense of the Martial Artist, you SHOULD be able to put high damage on them; that's the point of being a Ninja is you're pretty unlikely to be hit but, if you are hit, you're likely to be killed.  Likewise, a hit that is not a great hit should have lower damage associated with it, though the new exploding D6 system allows for poor hits to well-exceed their natural ability to impart damage.

The possibilities-only experience system from the original game has now been split into possibilities and experience points, which is absolutely unnecessary and adds confusion to the game, much like it does with advancement and experience points for The One Ring.  Under the old system the players were required to manage their possibilities, whether they needed them to save their butts or they hoarded them to improve their characters; this allowed the players to determine their character's progression, balancing all of the aspects of the game, and allowed GMs to develop adventures they knew, based on their player's styles, they could survive.  The original game was developed with possibilities-only because only with possibilities could player characters progress as quickly as they did, making the new experience system non-sensical, in my viewpoint.

Many other things have been improved in the game and, overall, it is far better than the original.  I intend to run this game for a very long time, indeed, for my family and any friends who would join us.

Beyond the absolutely necessary and welcome fixes to the original game system, Ulisses have also re-vamped the war, itself.  In 1990, when I picked up my first boxed set for Torg, the war was very exciting to contemplate, being very Star Wars-ish and Indiana Jones-ish in scope, but there was little in the way of specificity to draw me, as the GM, to want to play in any particular reality covered in the World Book.  The developers at Ulisses Spiele, especially because many of them worked on the original game, came to understand the deficiencies of desire-to-play in these realms or, for that matter, to play in the games version of our Earth, and are now taking great pains to develop these realities in better detail, and to offer that desire-to-play element in each.  For example, the Living Land used to only be a Land of the Lost-esque reality in which a mad dinosaur-man named Baruk Kaah ruled over a jungle where life, and death, have much more meaning than we in our world give it, indeed being the central tenet of their main religion.  Though all of that remains, there are a few other changes that have made playing in the Living Land a good deal more inviting, and I can't wait to do just that.  The other realities are also receiving overhaul's from the original game, and I am equally excited to see those, when their time comes.

LAST UPDATED: 9 February 2020; more to come!

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