JP On Gaming

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LFR: All Good Things...

I am writing this entry to answer everyone at once. Ever since my announced departure from my position as a Writing Director, I received a number of email regarding my departure "Why are you leaving?" or "Who pissed you off this time?" being the two most common questions. So I decided to post it up here for everyone at once.

I have a strange personal habit. There are two albums I absolutely adore, yet every time I feel drawn to those two albums, I know something in my life is bothering and it is time for a change. The first one is Genesis’ Wind and Wuthering and the second is Marillion’s Clutching at Straws. Not that there is any specific lyric that draws my ear. It’s more of a mood thing. It’s one of those ethereal things that you just cannot explain. It just is. Though I used to consciously listen to them (particularly when I traveled in the metro or bus), I found myself looking at my Winamp playlist. And yes... There they were. The entire Wind and Wuthering and most of Clutching at Straws was there (minus one song).


I had a sudden realization. Something had to be done. Something unconsciously was trying to tell me something. It was neither long nor difficult to find out what had to change. It was a decision I had been contemplating for some time.

It has been six years since I met with Daniel Mayrand in that small, freezing empty bar in Montreal and I had my start in the RPGA, and I got back into Dungeons and Dragons after a ten year hiatus. Six year later, everything has changed. It is one and a half edition later. The campaign that got me in is dead and gone. The faces have changed. My life has changed a lot (moved 3 times in that time, including a move to Colorado, three kids). The game remains.

During the Holiday season, I was sitting in my parent’s kitchen in Phoenix (AZ) looking at the tasks I had set before me: complete an adventure, make sure my storylines held the road, play with my three kids, play golf with my father and other writing projects. I found myself lacking the motivation to do either of the first two. I had no desire to write, edit or design a storyline anymore. At least, not with the tools I had before me.

That’s when I knew.

I knew it was time to move on. I thought I’d be annoyed, worried, angry or even sad. But far from it all, instead I found myself at peace with myself and my decision. I have been thinking about it for a while now but every time, I felt some pang of attachment pulling me back. But this time, I was so Zen about the decision that my lovely wife (Julie) even commented that I looked "oddly relieved".

So I came back to Colorado Springs with the firm intention of sending that email as soon as I got back. But life got in the way and I had to attend other things. I posted some of my thoughts on Facebook about my decision. My good friend Troy recommended that I give it an honest try. So I went to one of Lenny’s game days at Gamers’ Haven (my FLGS) and played what turned out to be the best LFR game I ever played (thank you Tena & table). That delayed the sending of my email a few days. But when I had to go back and put my nose to the grindstone, I found I could not, not with the enthusiasm and energy it deserved.

I told Lenny and Mike of my decision, two guys for whom I have the greatest respect. Their dedication and their enthusiasm for the campaign have pulled me through a lot for a long time. Two things I could no longer match or find support in. So I composed my email to Chris Tulach and Dru Moore and that was it. A few days later, everything was done. Email sent. Decision done.

Signed. Sealed. Delivered.

There it is. The inner and outer journey that led me to this decision. I see many interesting challenges ahead and have a calendar full of things I want to do and write. Pathfinder, Call of Cthulhu, miniature gaming and this little project of world-building I’ve been blogging about, I'm also open to writing for LFR/4e if anyone needs a reliable author. In fact as I write this, I am finishing work on BALD2-2 Broken Pride, an adventure I'm doing for my friend Otavio in Brasil, based on his original idea. Should be a nice departure from the usual crawl. I want to organize some special events locally.

That's it really. As a free man, I wish everyone in LFR the best of luck and to continue all their hard work for the campaign to make it better all the time. I leave with my head high, with a feeling of having accomplished as much as I could within the RPGA, but now its time for others to carry the torch. As is written in the Montreal Canadien's locker room (that's the Hockey Team) Nos bras meurtris vous tendent le flambeau (Our tired arms pass on the torch).

Most of Clutching at Straws and Wind and Wuthering is off my playlist now. Odd. As I write this, Marillion’s Made Again came on. I’ll leave you with the words from that great song. Fitting.

I have been here many times before

In a life I used to live

But I have never seen these streets so fresh

Washed with morning rain

Like the whole world has been made again

So, I’ll see everyone around the gaming table, where everything happens. The rest is just talk.


Tuesday, January 19, 2010

The Slump...

It seems the holiday slump has me firmly in its grip! I have done very little actual (rpg/mini) work these past few weeks. The good news, however, is that I get to play a lot more! And playing more is the core of everything. In addition to my regular game nights (Wednesday night CoC and Friday night WHFRP), I’m getting a lot of Pathfinder playing time.

With the Pathfinder Society really getting up to speed in the Front Range (that’s the Denver/Colorado Springs area). Dave-D, the man solely responsible for getting this proverbial ball rolling really hooked us up. The monthly game night at Enchanted Grounds in southern Denver now runs with two overflowing tables, I expect we will go to 3 tables before long.

This past Saturday (Jan 9th), I ran the first of what I hope will become a regular game day at Gamer’s Haven. We ran two adventures (unfortunately for me, I was recalled home at the start of the second adventure). I am very encouraged by this and look forward to running some more. Dustin is working with the people at Castles’ Games and Gifts to run some more (at least it’s not at Heroes & Dragons). That makes for many play opportunities.

I am still working on my Cthulhu Invictus campaign, called “The Past Rises” as I currently run it for a few brave martyrs. I do take an approach that is a lot more fantastic than the usual CoC games I run, and that makes it fun. My players are losing a lot of sanity and that makes me happy. Disorders are starting to appear, NPCs begin to re-appear, and the horrors of the Mythos (and its servants) are doing a lot of bad things.

I am still working on my new World Building, but mostly fleshing out things based on what I already posted. It’s really odd. I find world building to be difficult and slow. Too slow for my own taste actually… But I need to keep my nose in the grindstone and work through this slump.

What about LFR? There is nothing to say about it that hasn’t been said already. I haven’t done anything and need to get my butt in gears to finish the latest adventure I’m working on. But motivation is not there, so it is even more difficult to get things done.

I know, I know, I said in my intro that I haven’t been writing anything. I meant to say that I haven’t written anything I liked. I did a lot of poking and tweaking of text, but nothing tangible I could show the world. And that, to me, is akin to doing nothing.


Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Holidays are over: I did nothing

Before the holidays, I had lofty goals of writing a mod. Going over a number of complete and half-complete manuscripts, I had some world-building things I wanted to do, and a number of articles to write.

But I did nothing.


I took those 2 weeks and did other things with them: I played golf with my dad (and my wife). I took a trip to Phoenix, AZ to see my parents. Then lounged around, painted some minis, made some terrain (more of that in a coming article).

But nothing I was planing on doing.