Twelve years later...

Twelve years ago, I rediscovered the joy of simple, old school gaming through a rules-light d20 clone called "microlight20".

 A gent by the name of Greywulf was very active in this space and he'd started the old site It had a blogging feature and my very first oldschool related post was on May 12th:
Howdy!Oh, another blog. Yay! :)
My "old" blog is at - it's full of other 'stuff', not related to gaming and D20 or m20.
Coming soon to this site, however... the m20 character generator! A basic 'core' version was scratched out this weekend, but now I'm working on a 'better' version that will include Macropedia rulesets.
More to come as Greywulf gets this site up and running...
Heh. Even back then, if a programming or hacking challenge raised its ugly head, I would jump in feet first. That's how I got involved in the One Page Dungeon Template thing...

Anyway, my search for a fun D&D game to play had rekindled in late 2007, early 2008 when I sat down with a borrowed copy of the D&D 3.5 rules and tried to scratch out a campaign for Ultima. After needing spreadsheets and a writeup that felt like a movie script, I realized that I wanted to go back to the days of when D&D (to me) was simple and fun. Thus, I wound a crazy road through microlite20, then through Swords & Wizardry and OSRIC, finally coming back to just playing the originals now that they were commercially available again.

What a fun journey.

Participating in an RPG does something to the brain, I think. There's an imprint that happens.

If you've read Dragonriders of Pern, (spoilers for those who haven't), I think of it similar to how someone imprints on a dragon during Hatching. You discover the game that speaks to you, and it's a match that will never ever quite go away. It's a first love. With all the ignoring of the warts and issues. The first time of escaping your life and living vicariously through the life of a made up character - or as a deity of a made up world. It something that I think has a profound effect on us, especially when we encounter the concept and play as a child. Impression.

For me, that impression was with Holmes (which was, IMO, OD&D levels 1 -  3) and AD&D. I've played other games, I can appreciate other games, but I will always be imprinted with those originals.

I made a list of the things I've written, been involved in or contributed to during these past twelve years and it's told me one thing... I'm part of a special group of players who imprinted much like I did. We're a raucous bunch, opinionated and crotchety about our games, but at the core, I suspect there's a feeling of wonder and joy, much like that first time we picked up those dice and stepped into another world. We love to create, to share and to experience the game again and again.

Happy Anniversary, y'all. I'm really glad I discovered our niche of a niche. I'm here to stay. 


  1. I have a similar affection for Pathfinder, although my first really deep love as a referee was the Moldvay Basic Rules.

    1. Quite an opposite pair! :) Do you find ways to merge them both?

  2. I believe I was imprinted with the old Red Box and now matter what I try, how much I like this new thing, I always return to my B/X. Congratulations on twelve years!

    1. I'm glad I'm not the only one who just wants to keep sneaking their original edition into this new version. I still can't get used to it.

      Thank you! Hopefully 12 more coming ...

  3. Interesting, you're not the first one mentioning this "game imprint" and it's something I have never experienced. To be honest, I more or less hate every roleplaying game I played. Sooner or later all rules prove clunky and/or inadequate and/or exploitable by people annoyingly smarter than me. I started in the 90s with the big trio of Warhammer, Vampire and Cyberpunk 2020 and while I feel a lot of nostalgia for them, I have very little desire to play them. For the moment I settled on B/X D&D in its' Old School Essentials version, but only because the OSR scene is a volcano of creativity and delightful weirdness I love to dig through. The D&D rules themselves are ridiculous. Wand saving throws? Wisdom being some sort of amalgam of courage, perception, common sense and religious fervour? Professional thieves having 20% chance to pickpocket someone? Wizards starting the game with one spell per day and (possibly) one hit point? It stinks. But well, all other RPGs stink too. :)


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