jmfargo: (Default)
We've been living in Delaware for just over a year now, owned our house for just under a year. I'm trying to think back to how long it took me to meet people when I first moved to Buffalo, NY and I'm realizing that our time frame for making friends is actually way ahead of schedule.

In Buffalo it was two years before I got to know anyone aside from Maria. Here in Delaware I've met fellow geeks, and was gaming with them before six months was up. Now Maria and I are using meetup.com to join some cool (to us) groups and meet people. It'll be nice to have friends who want to do more than just play D&D.

Of course, that being said, our D&D friends have started including us in non-D&D stuff. It's a nice feeling.

Things are definitely starting to look up on the social side of things. There's still nothing to do, but at least there are people to not do it with.

Work

Nov. 7th, 2008 09:16 am
jmfargo: (Default)
It's the first week of the month, which means that my transcription business is booming. For some reason, the first week of the month is very busy, and then the following three weeks or so are very slow, sometimes empty. That means that I have to either make enough in the first five work days of the month to sustain my necessary income for the month, or get a second job.

I've applied to a few places.

Guess I should get to work. No class this morning, so that's more time to earn some money. I have lots of stuff that I should do other than work, but I have to earn money while I can.

Of course, what I actually want to do is work on a D&D campaign that I'll eventually be running either for a new group of players or online as a play-by-post, but that doesn't pay the bills, or get the house clean.
jmfargo: (Default)
Listen, I've been having trouble getting a face-to-face group together, so I'm thinking about running a game via Skype and some mapping program that is yet to be determined.

I'd like to run a D20 Modern game based in a world similar to the Dresden Files books (and similar) where magic is hidden, but potent; the world hangs in the balance, but forces on either side work to tip the balance; a small shift can bring about major change. Intrigue, action, and mystery.

You know, fun stuff.

Is anybody interested?
jmfargo: (Default)
Last night, I joined an adventuring party. We entered into the volcano lair through the ceiling, and generally enjoyed rampaging through the Temple of Elemental Evil.

Of course, this would be all on paper and in our minds, but it was still fun.

For the first time in quite a while, I'm playing in a D&D game. I got out and met five new people, all gamers, but don't ask me what their names are. I remember the DM, John, and that someone was named Ed. That's about it. I'm horrible with names. Still, that's about five more people that I've hung out with out here since we moved. (Not including when Earl came to visit, because we already know him.)

It was fun! Some of the players were definitely D&D players, but none so bad as the things you fear when you hear "a group of gamers." They were all men, and the testosterone levels were relatively high, but I'm willing to look past some colorful comments in order to have a good time. I wasn't insulted, much, and it's not anything I haven't heard in my life before.

But why is it that so many male gamers I know do the passive-aggressive thing, where they act like they're all meek, and then try to stare you down across the table? Seriously, I've come across this so many times. Or, when you shake hands, they feel it's necessary to try to dominate you by squeezing as hard as they possibly can? They act nice, and like they don't have a care in the world "Oh, no, that's cool, don't worry about it," but then stare at you for the next ten minutes, daring you to make eye contact.

Of course, I do. I think one guy, dubbed as "the goth of the group,*" had never been stared down before. He did what I would only think to call his patented glare when my character up-staged his (hell, I was just playing the game and saving another character's life), trying to bore a hole through my skull, so I looked back, and kept looking until he looked away. I was more curious than anything else; and when he looked away, I saw the look I had been looking for, a mix of curiosity and defeat. "Wait, he actually kept looking at me!"

I just don't get it. Are we gamers that far-flung from reality? Do we think we need to find our place in a group of gamers? I'm there to play, not to devolve into marking my territory.

*Goth? They call him that because he wears a leather jacket. I'm more Goth than this guy, and that's saying something. But don't get me wrong, I DO like him.
jmfargo: (Default)
And lo the voice of the Almighty came forth and bestowed It's mighty regard upon the lowest of It's many followers, Jeremiah:

"Psst. Hey, listen up."

"Huh?"

Thus again did The One address his subject with generosity and wisdom:

"Just wanted to give you a heads up, you're a complete and utter geek, just how I made you."

"Um. Okay, that's great. Thanks. Who is this again?

Satisfied, The One Who Is Called Iam moved on.

"What the hell was that all about? And who's Iam?"

You aren't supposed to be able to read this, it's just so the readers get what's going on.

"Oh. Okay then, sorry. I'll just go on about my business I suppose. Have a good day and all that."

Thus it was.

--------------------------------

Last night I did possibly one of the geekiest things I've ever been a part of: I played D&D over the internet. Using Trillian I was able to meet with relative strangers (I've known one here for a little while, [livejournal.com profile] fax_celestis, but had never met any of the others) and roleplay.

It was absolutely awesome, and I'm looking forward to next week. In the mean time I'm trying to find a program to help with over-the-net play that includes a good mapping system, a good chat system, and is free. Any suggestions from my D&D crowd?

So that's probably the geekiest thing I have every done to date. What's the geekiest thing you've ever done?
jmfargo: (Default)
Last night was Wednesday night which around here means Dungeons and Dragons with Dinner night. I usually cook something I know people will like either because they've had it before and enjoyed it (ham or stew) or it's a recipe that sounds similar to what I know their tastes are (like last night). I knew people had enjoyed my pulled pork in the crockpot, so sloppy joes were the next step up, and it was made with ground chicken instead of beef to cut down on the fat for those of us who are watching my figure.

Dinner was well received and enjoyed by all but one friend who warned me ahead of time that he would have to get something else before coming because sloppy joes disagree with him in a violent manner. I would have been offended, I think, if he had just showed up with food and not told me before-hand but since he did it wasn't an issue.

So dinner was good, and then we moved on to D&D. I had been looking forward to this particular night of me running D&D for a week or so because I had what I thought was a sure-fire way to get everybody excited, worried about their characters, and having a good time. I really strive to keep their interest, and make sure they enjoy the game, so I was really looking forward to the upcoming game.

Then the game started. I suddenly felt all the creativity and interest fell from my body and through the floor below me and pool somewhere in the basement. Everything I had planned, all the little intricacies, the things that I thought would make it most fun, just left me. I was bereft of creativity and felt that I handled things very woodenly.

About halfway through the game, somewhere around 8:30 that night things came back to me and I was able to salvage my game for myself. From the reactions of my players after the game they might not have even noticed my sudden attack of ennui early on. I was glad for that - I didn't want my problems to ruin their good time.

So all in all it was an good night. Good food shared with good friends, and a game that was liked by all. I don't think you can ask for much more than that.
jmfargo: (Default)
Oh gods. My head is ringing, my stomach is squirming, and my eye-lids feel as though they weigh 100 lbs more than they normally do. I'm achy, cranky, and just plain tired and there's nothing I can do about it today since I have to slog through transcriptions for work until about 2 in the afternoon when I could take a break and a nap, but in actuality have to work on getting everything set for D&D tonight, and also have to run out to a few local stores to finish some gift buying that I planned to do for a certain Maria's birthday, which is Thursday!

I am just so tired, and honestly, if something doesn't change I don't know that I can function properly today. I could quite easily see myself falling asleep during my working hours, or at D&D tonight.

You know, I've never fallen asleep during a roleplaying session, but I have had players fall asleep on me. That's a real big ego boost there. Heh. I remember the first time it happened, and how I felt as though I had failed somehow, even though everyone but this person was interested, intrugued, and deeply into the game - it didn't matter - I had failed this one person!

Well, come to find out that feeling doesn't fade after the fifth or sixth time it happens, and it still doesn't fade after the 20th or so. It becomes less damning but there's still the wonder of "How can I get them more interested?" I think I've done this, tailored the game a little bit to all my players, including the sleepy one because they haven't fallen asleep in weeks. This is a minor triumph for me because it makes me feel as though I've done something even if in reality the truth is that they're just not as tired as they normally are.

A Dungeon Master fails or succeeds based upon how much fun his or her players have. The players neither fail or succeed but instead enjoy themselves or do not, which is based upon how well the story entertains them. While it's the DM's job to tell most of the story the players are in a position where they can change it, influence it and be heros. If either part of this delicate balance fails, it can ruin a game night for everyone. If a DM can't keep the players awake, well, that balance has tipped quite a bit.

But tonight? Tonight may be the first time in my history when the players have to keep the DM awake.

This should be fun. Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
jmfargo: (Default)
I'm really excited about my D&D game. How lame is that?

The game I'm running now that features Maria, Earl, Derek, and Kath in a mostly city-based adventure where magic is prevalent, intrigue is as natural as breathing, and the machinery of every day city life comes into play as it marches on and grinds over all who stand in its way is slowly winding to an end. I predict three to five more games, and then we'll know whether the heroes live up to their names, or if they fail like so many have before them. I will pull no punches, and neither will they.

After that game is over I'm going to take a month breather, get things in order, and start up not one, but two new games. They will run biweekly, and hopefully will attract a new player or two into the mix. I love the group I play with but fresh players would be nice too. Every player I add gives me a new way of looking at how I DM and what I can do better. I've come a long way from "Here's a big bad guy, kill it." Well, maybe not a long way, but I try to at least put some roleplaying in there and new situations that the players haven't faced.

Of the two games I'm going to be running I am most excited about the low-level fantasy one I'm going to be running. No, wait, the zombie apocalypse game. No, the fantasy, but the zombie game is...

Yeah, it's a toss up. Both of them offer completely new and different things that I'm excited about with the fantasy game being the first game that I'm really planning out ahead of time (like the fact that I plan on it starting at 1st level and ending around 10th level at a certain point in the storyline) and the zombie game meaning I'll have to buy a few D20 modern books. Yay new geek books! I'm very tempted to buy a few copies of the core rulebook in order to share them with the players that can't buy them or just doesn't care to spend the money on a thing they'll probably only play once. Does anyone have experience with the D20 Modern rules? Any advice?

So, yes. This is what I get excited about. Dungeons and Dragons, roleplaying, fantasy and zombies. I love the thought of making a story that my friends can enjoy and that I can have fun running. This is why I want to start a LARP, why I want to run a gaming/book business, and why I want to write stories. I'd like to think that in some way I was put on this planet to entertain people, because it's one of the huge ways I get my kicks.

In reality though I realize - I was put here to be a damn good typist. I guess I can take pride in that as well, but it's just not as fun.

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