Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Reflections on the Occasion of My 100th Post

Well, here’s my 100th post! Maybe not a huge milestone. Especially considering that my blog’s been around for about 11 months now. But I figured I’d celebrate the event. So, instead of waiting for June 30th (the actual one-year anniversary of Once More Unto the Breach!) to do a look back at the last year, I’ll take this opportunity to do so.

As stated in a recent post, I want to take a look at my progress over the last year as far as actual gaming is concerned, refocus on the purpose of my blog and consider what I might do differently going forward, and perhaps make some predictions on what the future may hold.

Year in Review

I started this blog with no real strong purpose or purposes behind it. I suppose many blogs are started in that way, actually. I knew I wanted to join in the discussion of this old-school renaissance I had discovered and with which I had become enamored. I shared my personal gaming history, as I had seen many others do. I knew that I wanted to tap into the community to perhaps find some like-minded folks and get some advice on how to finally return to the hobby. I feel that I have accomplished both of these things.

It’s been great sharing stories and experiences, learning more about the roots and history of D&D and roleplaying in general, and learning about the retroclones and other game systems not based on TSR’s products.

I’ve accomplished my goal of getting back into gaming. I’ve done some gaming with my old friends, but I’ve also had a “breakthrough” of sorts, and discovered that I can have roleplaying without my old group. It just took breaking out of my association with my old group and gaming, as the two had been interchangeable in my mind for decades. It also took finding the right people.

I tried Pathfinder but I realized that I am truly a rules-light and old-school-minded gamer. There were false starts other than my very brief Pathfinder stint, such as my attempt to return to play-by-chat/email gaming, which I had been doing with varying degrees of success since 2007. But I quickly discovered that I really wanted to get back to the physical tabletop.

I’ve explored the local gaming scene to the best of my abilities. There aren’t many FLGS’s in southern New Jersey. Due to a recent major change in my work situation, I found myself closer to All Things Fun! during the work week. ATF is, IMHO, the best FLGS in the area.

I went to my first gaming convention this year: TrollCon East. I might be tempted to try my hand at attending other cons in the future.

My present includes keeping the gaming going on Wednesday nights at All Things Fun! I’m playing in a great campaign there. And, after talking to the Wednesday night group, I’ve convinced them to let me run a game on alternating weeks! I’m planning on getting a Dragonlance campaign going, the first time I’ve ever tried to run a game on the world of Krynn. This is a campaign that’s about two decades in the making! No pressure, right?

Purpose and Refocus

I may not have known all of the reasons behind my desire to create a gaming blog when I started one, but I have a better idea of the purpose I want it to serve now. I want the blog to continue to serve as a means to share my gaming experiences with kindred spirits. I want to continue to read about other gamer’s experiences and find common ground. You’re all my support system. And I hope that I can also provide said support. We can help keep each other company in what can, paradoxically, be a lonely hobby. Yes, we may be surrounded by other gamers, but there are times when we find our pastime being viewed with copious misunderstanding and an almost institutionalized disdain. The existence of the many RPG blogs keeps me inspired. I hope you look forward to hearing more about my trials and travails as much as I look forward to hearing more about yours. So I’ll continue to share tales of my roleplaying sessions, on both sides of the GM’s screen.

All that being said, I have no illusions that my gaming life is all that interesting. Therefore, I hope to provide some more “useful” content, such as book and game reviews, new spells, magic items, thoughts on gaming “philosophy,” and more. Again, I’m presuming a lot here when I say “useful.” That remains to be seen. But yeah, like everyone else, I could be paying the JoeSky Tax more often.

The Future

So, like I said, I’m working on getting a Dragonlance campaign going with my new gaming group. And of course I look forward to more adventures in the City State of the Invincible Overlord! Bottom line, I am having an incredible time on Wednesday nights, and I hope that continues for many Wednesdays to come!

I’m a total Castles & Crusades believer. That being said, I do have to push aside the occasional bout of gamer ADD! I’ve found myself more and more interested in the Moldvay Basic and Expert sets, and by extension Labyrinth Lord. I am also enamored of the Core and Complete incarnations of Swords & Wizardry. This boils down to the fact that I intend on running some games using some combination of these rules. Maybe it’s because I’ve read so much goodness about how many people are having a great time with them.

A couple of the Wednesday Night C&C folks have told me more about Savage Worlds, and I find myself intrigued by that game system. It seems like a good set of rules to use if one wanted to run a game set in the Old West, or even a mythical version of the Old West. As a matter of fact, I’ve always been a huge fan of Stephen King’s Dark Tower series…

OK, I have to cut myself off there! In all, it’s been a great year all around! I look forward to what the next year may hold! As always, happy gaming!


  1. 100 posts is quite an achievement. Congrats!

    Looking forward to your repurposed posting with interest.


  2. Congratulations! I'm still hovering around 70 posts, I better go add to the count. Keep up your great work.

  3. Thanks to Paladin and Chris! I'm sure a goodly number of my posts were fluff, of course ;-)

  4. Congrats indeed! I toy with the idea of a mythic old west game, at least once a month. Sooner or later, it will happen!

  5. I'd love to run a Dark Tower game, or even better, play in one with a GM who loves the series as much as I do. Too bad you're in Jersey and I'm in Korea!

    Congrats on the 100th post!

  6. @Gwydion: Alas, I find myself wishing that you and many other bloggers were close by. What gaming goodness would arise from that!

    If I ran a Dark Tower game, I would set it in Roland's world entirely. There's all this great side stuff beyond the core books that I have yet to explore, such as the long-running comic books saga. Someday...

    There are first lines from two books that I remember clearly from the days of my youth. One is from Neuromancer and the other is from The Gunslinger. Those are probably the two books I've reread the most in my life.

    "The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel."

    "The man in black fled across the desert, and the gunslinger followed."

  7. @James: Indeed! Classic D&D springs in many ways from European myth and has the trappings of Medieval Europe. But the Old West can be just as mythic in scope.

  8. I really enjoy your blog, and I for one am more interested in reading about your gaming experiences (both past and present) than in reading another blog that has what I guess other people would consider more "useful" content like magic items and spells and stuff. I usually just give that kind of stuff a cursory glance because in the past 28+ years I've collected enough of that stuff through magazines, books, and websites to last more than 10 lifetimes.

    What I do enjoy is reading about what other people are playing now, and how they got into gaming, and why they stick with it, and what their groups are about. That kind of stuff isn't really available in any other format than blogs.

    There's my two cents. :) As you can tell, I don't really believe in the JoeSky Tax.

  9. @Martin: thanks for the pep talk, so to speak, when it comes to using blogs as a place to share "war stories" as opposed to adding to the ever-growing glut of "useful" content. I agree that discussing the "human side" of gaming can be much more rewarding. Glad that you enjoy reading!

    P.S. The recent Blogger breakdown seems to have wiped out some of your comments on some of my recent posts :-(

  10. @Martin: AND ACTUALLY, I just remembered that JoeSky commented on one of my more "serious" posts, saying the following:

    "You're website is becoming gay...more happy-happy playtalk, less blah-blah-blah ok? thanx"

    That statement, to me, makes it clear that the JoeSky Tax can be fulfilled by writing about actually playing/running games ("happy-happy playtalk")!

  11. @Martin: Apologies, it was Nunya from Your Dungeon is Suck that seems to have left that post. Oh well...I STILL think that the Tax can be fulfilled with session reports, etc!

  12. Yea, we enjoy the posts about the gaming group and your experiences. We want to hear more about the barbarian and the druid! Definitely more about the barbarian...

    Congratulations on your 100th post! Savage worlds is definitely worth looking at, although it has a very different feel to it than some of the more classically styled systems you have posted about.

  13. You're website is becoming gay...more happy-happy playtalk, less blah-blah-blah ok? thanx"

    That one comment alone is enough to make sure I never read "Your Dungeon is Suck"... EVER.

    We can start with the improper use of the word "You're" instead of "Your" and the egregious use of the word "gay" to mean "bad."

    Then there's just the general sentiment of his statement that I don't agree with.

    wow - he hit the trifecta with me without even trying! :)