thread: 2005-04-27 : The Open House 4: Handshaking

On 2005-05-26, rrr wrote:

Hello I'm Drew.  I'm 29 and live just outside north London in the U.K I live with my girlfriend of 8 years and a cat.  I drifted into working with computers from working in TV via video editing.  I read this blog and the Forge fairly regularly and occassionally post at the Forge which I discovered probably about 4 months ago in my quest for more interesting RPGs.  I've recently become obsessed by DitV, prompting the comment from Jen, my girlfriend "HOW many times have you read that book?!!"  and have now run a couple of sessions which went pretty well.

I came into roleplaying from quite a different route than most by the sound of it. It started at about age 11/12.  My friends and I used to play constant little freeform games that lasted for months and months.  We didn't call gaming or roleplaying as we hadn't heard the term, and we used no commercial systems.  We called the game by the name of the person who controlled it, so there was "George's game" or "Drew's game"  It started with us drawing little pictures of senarios, like a picture of a chasm with spikes at the bottom and a lion on the other side... "Ok" says the GM, "How do you get past that?"  "Well, I'm going to try and tie a rope to the tree..." you reply, "Ah, but the branch is too weak..." might have been the answer and so it developed from there.

Sometimes there was just a drawing of a spooky character, I remember one who looked like a frog-man in a raincoat.
"He's following you down the street at night..." that one began.
"O no!  well, I'll speed up a bit, is there anyone ahead of me..?"
"You're heading into the industrial area of town, it's deserted...  he's catching up!"
...and so on.  Man that one was scary!

After a while we called them "hypotheticals"  The characters were always us in a hypothetical situation, the play like freeform gaming with everything decided by GM fiat.

When we first encountered D&D we were a bit confused.  We didn't like it, it was so rigid, so forced.  But after a while it took over as we realised it was one way out of the eternal problem of resolving disputes about what happened.  The rules gave us a method of stopping the silly sessions, the ones where the GM might be in a funny mood and just decide that you piss your pants or whatever (remember we were about 12!)

Anyway, we played D&D, and then AD&D for years, until finally breaking out into other games. Popular favourites were Shadowrun, Vampire, Ars Magica and Kult.

So from the unorthodox start I've been playing on and off for about 17 years then, in actually a fairly traditionalist fashion, but in the last five or six years have become more interested in trying different stuff.  Like everyone, the desire to do something else prompted me to start writing my own RPG.  Like so many others I then encountered the Forge and had to rethink various assumptions!  I'm gald to say that the core ideas have actually remained intact, but I now think I know more clearly what I'm trying to do (maybe just not quite sure how to do it!)

Anyway, thanks Vincent for a frickin cool game and also for many very interesting thoughts on the hobby!


drewhartshea (at) hotmail (dot) com


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