My First Time…

I remember being in the 6th grade, and I was sleeping over at my best friend Bill’s house… Wait, no, not that first time. Jeez, I might not even know you. Get your mind out of the gutter. This is about the first time I played a roleplaying game. Anyway, my friend and I were talking about RPGs, or how I understood them at least. I had played Final Fantasy and Dragon Warrior on the NES. Final Fantasy II for the Super NES had just come out and I was geeking out about it at the time. But when he said, “No man, I mean a roleplaying game like Dungeons and Dragons,” I didn’t know how to respond.

I had heard of Dungeons and Dragons before, but I had no clue what he was talking about. Having grown up in the south, I had heard about the supposed (and laughable) connection of D&D to witchcraft, demons, and other strange occult related phenomenon, and was immediately interested (hey, I was a kid who loved horror movies, give me a break). The “mysteries and dangers” of role playing games still make me laugh today. My friend retrieved his older brother’s gaming stuff: some books filled with cool art and strange charts, a few modules, some maps gridded out on graph paper, and a purple Crown Royal bag that clattered when he set it on the table. It was what was inside the bag that puzzled me the most. Bill spilt the contents of the purple bag onto the table, and out fell a collection of small, multicolored, geometric shapes, each dancing on the tabletop with a distinct sound that I can identify to this day. They were dice. I never knew dice came with more than six sides, and these things had up to 20! They looked of alien design.

Within a week I had asked my parents to take me to Walden Books so I could buy my own copy of Dungeons and Dragons. Almost all of the books there didn’t look like the ones my friend’s brother had, so I decided to buy the Basic D&D box set instead. On the cover was a lone warrior in a dark cave facing down a huge red dragon, its claws raised, its head bristling with horns. It looked like the cover of a death metal album and it was one of the most badass things I had ever seen at the time. And thus began my delve into the roleplaying game hobby.

Fast forward twenty two years and it’s something I still look forward to every week. I don’t play as often as I used to, which is why I suppose I’ve decided to write about GMing/playing. I’ve played many games over the years, and there’s many more I’d like to play if given the time. So long as the game is fun, you won’t find me griping . I’m a big fan of many of the Old School Renaissance games (particularly Astonishing Swordsmen and Sorcerers of Hyperborea:, Pathfinder, 5th ed D&D, Shadowrun, Savage Worlds, Fate, Call of Cthulhu, D20 incarnations (Mutants and Masterminds in particular:, GURPS, and the list could go on and on. I don’t feel like there’s one game, setting, or system to rule them all.

This is a small portion of my gaming collection.
This is a small portion of my gaming collection.

These days when I run games, I tend to gravitate toward systems and settings that lend themselves toward narrative play and the simplest rules. I feel like, given the amount of time I have to devote to my hobby, I’d rather focus on the setting and characters rather than having to know every rule or modifier to keep the game flowing. There’s only so much memory I can devote to things these days, and unfortunately the modifier for slippery ice for blahblahblah game isn’t at the top of that list. Hell, I can barely manage math with results higher than thirty. I realize that many of the games I listed above aren’t rules light, which is why I prefer to play in those systems rather than GM them (thanks Bobby, Derek, Ken, Phil, and everyone else).

I’ve also played with a number of groups over the years and have been blessed with many positive gaming experiences. I’ve been, more or less, consistently playing with the same gaming group for the last seven or eight years, with the occasional comings and goings of players due to a myriad of reasons. I’ve met a ton of interesting people over the years, and, thankfully, still remain friends with most of the people I’ve gamed with for a substantial amount of time. The relationships I’ve developed with these awesome people make me love my hobby that much more.

Since roleplaying games are such a collaborative storytelling medium, I feel like this blog should be like minded. Send us an email on your thoughts about our subjects. I, in no way, believe anything I write on this blog is an absolute truth, as there are many, many, different ways, systems, settings, and moods in which to game and have fun. To each their own. I am, however, interested in hearing about your opinions on the topics we discuss. I can always learn a thing or two, about a thing or two. Thanks for reading and let us know about your first RPG experience and why you stuck with the hobby down in the comments below. I am curious, aside from Crown Royal liquor bottles, are dice the second most accounted for things being carried around within those sweet purple (or black, or monogramed blue) bags? Let us know. Be sure to check out our other posts, such as my Tales from Teemo’s Folly series, a fictionalization of our current weekly Star Wars Edge of the Empire campaign. If you enjoy what you’ve read, click the Like button and follow our blog.

Can't decide if I have a drinking problem, or a dice addiction...
Can’t decide if I have a drinking problem, or a dice addiction…

And, as always, thanks!

Author: James Blackburn III

Crafting a Situation

A post from our partner blog.


Now, I don’t want to make sharing the mundane details of my life at the beginning of these posts a habit, dear reader, but today, I had four glorious hours to myself!  My wife is at her best friend’s bachelorette party, and my son was being babysat by my sister-in-law . . . and what, you ask, did I spend this precious free time on?

Pictured: The Lord's Work Pictured: The Lord’s Work

That’s right, I ordered a feta, gyro, and mushroom pizza from my favorite local pizzeria, cracked open a beer, and commenced my first ever “Daddy’s Special Alone Time” ritual. Someone call a cleric! I think I’ve slain hunger!

Anyway, as I sat, stuffing all of that sweet, sweet za into my mouth, I started thinking about all the best situations I’ve encountered in our many gaming sessions over the years.  I was sitting at our game table, which was still out from…

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Tales from Teemo’s Folly 2

Image by Jason Gillman via
Image by Jason Gillman via

This is a narrative account of our gaming group’s playing of a Star Wars Edge of the Empire campaign. I do not claim to own the setting (including locations, races, and personalities) or non-player characters in this narrative, only the events and player characters. I’ve included links to the Star Wars Wiki, Wookieepedia, beside each character to give the readers an idea of each races’s appearance. The characters and their players are as follows: Strch Vapan, a Rodian Bounty Hunter- Chris (, Blaja Dypén, an Ithorian Bounty Hunter- James (, LOM-8, a Droid Pilot- Bobby (, Lyr’as Will’an, a Duros Mechanic- Derek (, Je’Coch Roalban, a Human Doctor- Jerry, and our Referee- Ken. Written by James Blackburn III.


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…
The five rogues, after questioning their prisoner, have learned that their ship is docked at the local port, but that it’s been put on lock down. Furthermore, it’s still missing it’s hyperdrive modulator. They decided that it’d be easier to find the needed part first. The crew made their way through the back alleys and slums of Mos Shuuta to a junk store.

Lyr’as wasn’t able to find the correct part, but he was able to find one he thought he could at least make work for the time being. LOM-8, with his silvered tongue, and the badge he found on Teemo’s men, convinced the shop owner to charge not only the part they needed to Teemo’s account, but also about 2,000 credits worth of other inventory that was to be loaded onto the ship before they left. Now all they had left to do was infiltrate the port authority and get their ship unlocked…

They had decided it best to split up. Je’Coch and LOM-8 were to go in under the guise of being some of Teemo’s men, and try to convince someone there that the Hutt wanted his ship unlocked so it can be taken out for a test ride. Since the Empire looked down on species other than humans, the other three were to try and blend in with the other “help” there, posing as more of Teemo’s men sent to find some people who had escaped their master’s grasp. If Lyr’as was able to get to a computer station, he’d be able to slice it and release the ship from there. If either of them were to be caught, their only other plan was to blast their way out. Strch chuckled and said, “I like the second plan better.”

“No. Nooooo. I’ve been beaten on enough already today, thank you,” said Je’Coch, his shoulder still sore from the fight in the bar.

Strch grunted. “Ah, come on. Between us all we’ve ‘nough grenades to blow this place to bits if…”

“Noooo. No.” With that the group spilt up.

LOM-8 put his odds calculator program in sleep mode as the numbers kept dipping lower and lower with each step toward the building’s entrance. It noted the two stormtroops at the door, as well as the other government employees milling around hastily. Before long they were noticed by a young Imperial Officer. “Hey, you’re not supposed to be in here!”

Je’Coch began to speak, but was cut off by LOM-8, “Sir, My owner and I have been sent by Teemo to release the Duraflight L Model currently on lock down.” It presented its badge to the young officer. Je’Coch did the same.

The man briefly looked at them. “We don’t have an order placed for that. You’ll have to speak with the Lieutenant for clearance.”

“That won’t be necessary. We just simply need to have the ship released and we’ll…”

“Actually it is necessary for orders that haven’t been approved yet,” the man interjected. “Stay here.” With that he walked away, but not before giving them an untrusting glance from over his shoulder.

Blaja, Strch, and Lyr’as found it surprisingly easy to infiltrate the ship yard. In fact, they simply walked right in. All of the workers were busy organizing equipment, or otherwise straightening up, as if they were expecting an important guest. Amongst the hurried confusion, they quickly found a terminal that was a little out of the way, and the Duros began his work while Blaja and Strch kept an eye out for any trouble.

Lyr’as slotted his data probe into the machine and activated its codebreaker program. The device was modified by the mechanic himself, which was something he had prided himself on. Now he’ll actual get to put it to a real test. It detected two security nodes. He checked the stream of seemingly endless data on his probe. It would take a couple minutes to crack, but it should allot him enough time to search the registry for their ship and and unlock it. If not, security would be immediately alerted to the system breach, and then Strch’s favorite plan would go into effect.

“Hurry up!” Strch said in a hushed voice. Both bounty hunters noticed extra security coming out of the building and marching toward the landing pad. “Its getting mighty white out here.”

“I’m trying damnit!” Lyr’as kept looking from the terminal’s screen and back to his probe. The handheld device finally beeped. “I’m in!” He began to filter through the registry, frantically trying to find the right hold at the port. He began to sweat.

“Don’t try, just do!” Several officers began to come out and meet the security by the landing pad. They looked as professional as they possibly could.

Then Lyr’as found it. He issued the command to release the docking locks and checked the power levels. Everything looked good except for the part he needed to install. He slotted out. “Let’s hit it,” he said.

As the three began walking out, they noticed an Imperial Transport Shuttle coming in for a landing. It kicked up a cloud of dust as it touched down. A small regiment of Stormtroopers filed out the of vessel, their white armor bright in the Tatooine suns. Blaja’s eyes narrowed, his mouths clenched tight with anger. Strch was both taken back, and proud of his partner, who’s emotions the Rodian could never read. At that, the three hurried their escape.

LOM-8 began storing pictures of faces and the names on the corresponding badges of the people milling about, mostly out of boredom. Mostly. Je’Coch kept his eyes on the two guards at the door. He noticed that all the rest had gone out the back of the building for something. After a couple minutes wait, a woman with dark hair and a stern lips met them, along with the man from earlier. Her Imperial uniform was impeccable, beyond what an Imperial’s uniform usually is. “What’s the problem here? Make it quick.”

LOM-8 filed away a picture of her face as well as her name. “Yes. Our master wishes to have his ship cleared for…”

“What’s the status on their order, private?” the Lieutenant barked.

The man jumped slightly at her voice. “A request has not been submitted. Mam!” the intimidated man said. He glared at the two with the satisfaction.

“Check again,” said LOM-8.

The three humans looked blankly at LOM-8. It was the first time either of them had been issued an order by a droid. Just as the lieutenant was about the give LOM-8 a piece of her mind, it offered, “Excuse my rudeness. It is only that Teemo tends to get… upset when he doesn’t get his way. I only fear what he may do to us if he doesn’t get to see his new acquisition fly today. Mam.”

The lieutenant’s anger subsided. She turned to Je’Coch, “Your droid needs wiping. It’s forgetting its place.” She looked at her subordinate and said, “Check it again.” He looked dumbfounded that she would take their word over his. “Are you deaf, private?” He snapped out of it and began looking it up on the nearest terminal.

“I’m not seeing any,” he paused. “Oh, wait, there appears to have been a request,” he said as he looked up from the screen, “and, it appears to have already been granted. I, uh, I must have made a,”

“Do not worry, Organics make mistakes all the time.”

“But I…” he trailed off.

“Enough private. Go get ready. I’ll deal with you later.” The man swallowed, saluted her, and went on his way. “Your ship’s ready. Now get out,” the lieutenant said to the relieved pair. LOM-8 and Je’Coch turned around and walked out, not even offering a backward glance.

They eventually found each other outside amongst the crowded streets and informed each other of their actions. They began down the dust choked streets of Mos Shuuta toward the port. Lyr’as’s stomach growled as he passed a food cart. “Alright, the port’s only a few blocks from here. All we gotta do is lay low, take the alleys, and boot up the ship as soon as we get there,” he said. He wanted to get to the ship, and to a hot meal, as fast as possible, even if it were only Synthefood. “Yep, clear sa…”

A microphoned voice interrupted the Duros, “There they are!” There were five stormtroopers advancing forward from the opposite end of the alley way, their blaster rifles raised at the crew. A few people in the crowd bolted.

“Damnit!” Lyr’as yelled. Pulling his slug-thrower, he made a break for it. His companions followed suit. LOM-8 drew a frag grenade from his satchel and armed it. “Everybody look out. The stormtroopers threw a grenade,” yelled the droid, its voice modulator’s volume turned up as high as he could make it. It tossed the grenade near the mouth of the alley and strained to keep up with his companions. The entire crowd dispersed in a panic, and the grenade exploded in a plume of sand, rubble, and dust. LOM-8 knew none of the meatbags would be seriously injured, but the blast would sure slow those stormtroopers down.

They spilt up in the hopes of shaking the Boys in White. The stormtroopers spilt up as well, taking shots at their targets with no regard for the crowd. Blaja, Strch, and Lyr’as dodged heaps of trash, vendor carts, and people, weaving their way toward the port. Now with only three stormtroopers to face, they decided to make a stand. Once they were away from the streets, they took cover, returning fire with their pursuers. Blaja managed to knock one out with a stun blast. The other two landed some shots, but couldn’t manage a killing blow. The stormtroopers returned fire. Ly’ras took a blaster shot in the shoulder, a burn he had never felt before. He screamed, and took cover behind a rubbish heap.

The bounty hunters focused their fire on the trooper who had just injured their friend. Both shots found their target, the man’s death cry amplified by his helmet’s microphone. The last trooper fired a series of shots to cover his escape. The bounty hunters helped their friend to his feet and continued their frantic run, transmitting to Je’Coch that they’ll need medical assistance if the doctor and the droid beat them to the ship.

Je’Coch and LOM-8 had managed to loose the stormtroopers that were chasing them. The port’s doors slid open as the two hurried inside. Je’Coch leaned against the wall to catch his breath, while LOM-8 instructed the worker droids to get the ship ready for take off. Once he felt like his heart wasn’t going to explode, Je’Coch said, “I’m going to go prep the med bay for Lyr’as for when they get back.” He looked down for a moment. “If they make it back.” He began lowering the boarding ramp, and as it slowly creeped open, Je’Coch saw a reptilian humanoid standing at the top. “What the,”

The doctor was greeted by a stun blast to the leg, his thinly armored jumpsuit absorbing most of the charge. He clenched his leg and fell to the ground yelling. LOM-8 dove into action at his friend’s cry, taking cover behind a stack of crates. The droid returned fired with his blaster set on stun, so as to not cause any real damage to the ship. A shower of sparks burst from the hull near their intruder’s face, forcing him to take cover as well.

The trespasser was a Trandoshan. He wore a blue flight suit with a tactical vest that had seen the wrong end of a blaster one too many times. He leveled his heavy pistol at the droid and fired, his shots burning holes in the crate LOM-8 was forced to hide behind. Je’Coch scurried to his feet and ducked behind a heavy loader, his leg throbbing with pain. The three seemed to be at a stalemate until the port’s doors opened and the rest of the crew arrived. The bounty hunters bolted into action, peppering the Trandoshan’s cover with blaster fire and burning scorch marks into the ship’s hull. Lyr’as hobbled behind them. LOM-8 yelled, “Easy! We want to have a ship to leave in.”

The two ignored him and continued their assault, forcing their enemy to retreat back toward the cockpit. Lyr’as grunted, “Yeah, I’m fine LOM-8, nice to see you too.” Je’Coch roared and chased after his attacker, the rest of the crew following behind. Lyr’as diverted from the group and tried to climbed down into the engine bay. He fell halfway down the ladder after his burnt shoulder gave out. The Duros clenched his teeth in pain. He steadied himself and started to dig through his tools, tossing the ones he didn’t need over his shoulder. “Come on, come on, come on,” he muttered to himself as he searched. “Ah ha!” he yelled finding the last one. With that, he tore into the hyperdrive engine, and began trying to make the modulator fit. He spoke into the intercom, “This may take a few moments.”

Strch yelled down, “Hurry up,” as he took aim at the Trandoshan. His shot hit his target, but only seemed to burn a hole into the intruder’s armor. It was enough to knock the reptilian off guard though, leaving Je’Coch with an open shot. The doctor fired, hitting their hunter in the face. The Trandoshan fell to the ground, a thin wisp of smoke trailed up from his green scaled head. LOM-8 pushed forward, unfazed by the brutal death. He deftly mounted the cockpit, his mechanical hands working in steady clicks as his metal fingers met the instruments. Soon the thrusters were burning and the hangar doors were sliding open. LOM-8 pulled up on the controls and the ship began to gain altitude. It spoke into the intercom, “We will be taking a slight detour first before leaving the planet. Please man the turrets.” With that LOM-8 turned the ship toward Teemo’s palace. “Let’s show that fat slug what happens when you mess with us.”

LOM-8 pulled up beside the beautiful palace, its windows gleaming in the light. It was an opulent jewel in stark contrast to the dusty streets and slums of Mos Shuuta. They opened fire while LOM-8 gave each of them clear shots. Blaja only shot at structures or vehicles he knew would be unmanned. The explosions were wonderful to the droid’s visual sensors, and he almost missed the alarm he had set to remind him to take off. He punched the throttle and yelled “Whooo!” as the ship blasted off, the aftershock of which caused further damage to the palace. Lyr’as continued to work, shaving down bits of the part here and there, filing, wedging, and otherwise trying his hardest to make the damn thing fit. The rest stayed in the turrets, knowing that someone was sure to follow.

Tales from Teemo’s Folly 1

Image by Jason Gillman via
Image by Jason Gillman via

This is a narrative account of our gaming group’s playing of a Star Wars Edge of the Empire campaign. I do not claim to own the setting (including locations, races, and personalities) or non-player characters in this narrative, only the events and player characters. I’ve included links to the Star Wars Wiki, Wookieepedia, beside each character to give the readers an idea of each races’s appearance. The characters and their players are as follows: Strch Vapan, a Rodian Bounty Hunter- Chris (, Blaja Dypén, an Ithorian Bounty Hunter- James (, LOM-8, a Droid Pilot- Bobby (, Lyr’as Will’an, a Duros Mechanic- Derek (, Je’Coch Roalban, a Human Doctor- Jerry, and our Referee- Ken. Written by James Blackburn III.


A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away…

During a time of civil war, a small band of rogues and scoundrels wandered the stars in a stolen ship, desperate to keep one step ahead of The Black Sun, a vast criminal organization that wanted its property back. The spacers decided to lay low for a while and docked at Mos Shuuta on Tatooine where they quickly found work with a local Hutt named Teemo..

While waiting on repairs to their Duraflight L Model, the crew is double crossed by Teemo and his thugs. After a quick escape, our heroes ducked into a local cantina in an attempt to hide from their pursuers…

It took a few moments for their eyes to adjust to the small gloomy cantina. A lone Twi’lek serenaded a few patrons seeking refuge from the punishing Tatooine suns. They barely batted an eye when the disparate runaways burst through the door. LOM8 and Lyrás dove behind the bar past the objecting bartender. “Don’t worry sir, my droid will work for free so long as you let us lay low for a little while,” Lyrás said, flashing enough credits, and the slug-thrower on his hip, to make it worth the bartender’s while. Strch and Je’Coch slid into a booth amongst a few drunks, feigning conversation. Blaja ducked backstage, joining the Twillect in her song.

Only moments later did Teemo’s Gammorians come in, packing clubs and scanning the dark cantina. There were four in total, and after grunting and squealing amongst themselves, 2 walked toward the bar while the other 2 slowly walked around the small crowd. LOM8 polished a glass as the lead Gommorian snarled at him. “We’re looking for four people and a droid. Saw um run in here. Where are they?”
“I have not seen anyone else come in, aside from yourselves. May I make you a refreshing beverage sir?”, LOM8 said.

The Gamorrean snorted, eyeing the droid intently. The bartender nodded nervously, “Drink? On the house, for Teemo’s men of course.” The Gamorrean’s face split into a tusked smile. He clearly enjoyed the respect being in Teemo’s employ commanded. “Flameout. Strong.”

LOM8 paused for a moment, searching his data banks for a Flameout. It considered the odds of just shooting the Gamorrean in the face, but that option wasn’t out weighing their current ruse just yet. Frankly, it was baffled as to how the Gamorrean hadn’t recognized it. It and its other crew mates had literally just shot up a business meeting with some of these idiots not fifty-two minutes and 38 seconds ago. Meat bags. Dumb, useless, obsolete things.

The other two Gamorreans continued searching the bar, going from table to table harassing customer and employee alike. They began to approach the booth Strch and Je’Coch were hiding out in. “That looks like two of them,” Je’Coch overheard one of thugs say to the other. The doctor looked nervously at his bounty hunter companion, who had his blaster rifle trained on the brutes from under the table since they had entered. The Gamorreans stood over the table, brandishing their clubs. “You two, stand up!” one of them squealed.

“I don’t like much being told what to do. Especially by filthy swine,” Strch said, maintaining his relaxed position. Je’Coch sighed, his hand already going for his blaster pistol.

The Gamorreans hesitated for a moment in shock. Rarely were Teemo’s men talked to like this by anyone other than Teemo himself. They raised their clubs, but that slight hesitation was all the time Strch needed. The bounty hunter smiled.

LOM8 finished the drink with a garnish that even the actual bartender didn’t know how to make. The green swine eyed the droid and took a sip. “This is the best Flameout I’ve ever…” was all that left his mouth before blaster fire erupted behind him. Bar goers screamed and darted in every direction, taking cover where they could. Strch kicked the table in front of him on its side as the Gamorrean he had just shot in the gut fell over, but not before the thug’s companion brought his club down on Je’Coch’s shoulder with a meaty thud.

Lyr’as pulled his own piece as the screaming bartender ran into a closet and locked it behind him. With the odds now drastically recalculated, the droid drew his blaster on the Gamorrean in front of it as the ugly meatbag turned his back on LOM8. It squeezed the trigger. There was a flash of red light and the Gamorrean’s head jerked forward violently and as his body crashed to the floor, the droid felt something. The feeling was a familiar one, a mixture of fascination and satisfaction. Feelings were strange though, and often times they worried LOM8. They complicated his calculations, adding weird unknown variables to the equation. And they were somehow tied to the red streaks of paint he had been trying to burn off of his body. It decided to store its thoughts about this for another time though, as the other thug by the bar spun around toward LOM8.

Blaja jumped out from behind the stage and aimed his blaster carbine at the Gamorrean who had just bashed Je’Coch. The Ithorian prayed that one shot set on stun would be enough to take out his target, before Strch had a chance to kill him too. His Rodian partner was ruthless, and delighted in the rush of combat. At least one life would be saved, even if it were someone who was trying to kidnap them. Blaja waited a moment for the crowd to thin and fired. The shot hit the Gamorrean right between the shoulder blades. The fat beast squealed and shook, then crumpled to the ground like a demolished building. Blaja let out a sigh of relief, which was short lived as he saw Lyr’as and Je’Coch leveling their weapons at the last remaining thug.

The cries of the crowd were replaced with the deafening thunderclap of the Duros’s archaic firearm and the distinct sound of a blaster pistol. The last Gamorrean squealed as both shots tore through his body sending him flailing into the bar before falling still on the ground.

The cantina was filled with silence and the smell of gun powder and ozone. Many jumped as Je’Coch groaned, “Yep, that hurt.” Lyr’as hopped over the bar to help the doctor with his wounds. As the two of them patched Je’Coch up, the Duros said, “Weird, I’m used to patching up machines. What’s it feel like to be a doctor and a patient at the same time?”

“It hurts,” said Je’Coch.

Strch stood over the debilitated Gamorrean with his blaster rifle pointed at the back of its head. Blaja pushed it aside, “We need one of them alive.” The Ithorian put the enforcer in restraints. Strch shook his head and frowned. “Whatever.”

No one noticed as LOM8 deftly opened the register and relieved it of all its credits. It strode around the bar and began searching the pockets of the dead. He took the credits that he had found tucked away in the grimy folds of the Gamorreans’s clothes, as well as what looked to be a few of some kind of security badges, 4 in total. “I may have found something useful,” he said, holding them up. “Pick up the meat, er Gamorrean. We need to find out where our ship has been taken.” The bounty hunters paused for a moment and stared at the droid. “Er, please.”

“That thing freaks me out,” Blaja said as he grabbed the Gamorrean’s feet. “Do you really think droids can, you know, be like us?” Strch grabbed the arms and the two hoisted the fat green thing and began towards the door.

“Why are we always carrying fat people around?” Strch asked, as if he hadn’t even heard his partner’s question.

Blaja sighed, a strange sound coming from a two mouthed, 4 throated creature. “Because that’s the only ones it seems we’re able to catch, my friend,” said Blaja as they strained under the Gamorrean’s dead weight.

On their way out, LOM8 noticed the bartender start to peak his head out the door. The droid fired a few lazy shots in that direction and shouted, “Oh no, there are more of them!” The frazzled man shrieked and slammed the closet door shut again. The droid laughed, and then suddenly stopped mid-chuckle, as if It were surprised, or shocked, by the sound. It stood still for a moment, as if lost in thought, until it disappeared into the Tatooine heat behind its companions.

New to Tabletop RPGs?

Hello, and welcome to my blog post! My name is Bonnie, wife to Bobby (the creator of theborderkeep blog – if you haven’t seen it, check it out!), mom, and one hell of a gaming enthusiast.
To give just a brief back story about how I came to be the group newbie (because storyline is ESSENTIAL!). My husband and I went on our first date in September 2012. He came to my house that evening with flowers and a CD that he made just for me, whisked me away to a fabulous restaurant, and proceeded to tell me about this hobby of his that I had always heard about but never gave much thought – something that was better than just reading fantasy novels or playing a video game – tabletop roleplaying games. I knew right away that I had to see this for myself.
So, with the first date being a HUGE success (my poor roommate couldn’t get me to stop gushing about it), one date led to another, and the next thing I knew Bobby asked me if I wanted to play in a game called Pathfinder that he was going to GM. I was immediately excited…but wait! I had asked question after question about the gaming process, but NOW…now that I was actually going to play I had no idea what to expect. What kind of character would I play? What did that mean? What was I actually supposed to do?
Fast forward to a few weeks into the game and I am playing a halfling Arcane Trickster – a rogue/wizard blend. Looking back at her character, my thought is this: that I would love to go back and play that character as a more experienced player than to have her as my very first. Instead, it was a little like taking Spanish I and then trying to read Don Quixote completamente en espanol and trying to gain anything from it.
All this being said, here are a few things I learned after being the new kid at the game, whether you are the new player, or the GM with someone completely new joining the RPG ranks:
1. Keep it simple – try to play a character that doesn’t rely heavily on spells for your first time gaming. Try out a fighter class or something that only uses SOME magic such as a paladin or ranger if you just need that little bit of magic spice in your life. Trust me, keeping up with a spell list, trying to anticipate which spells you need for certain situations, and figuring out how many of a certain level spell you get per day can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with the world that you are in!
2. Don’t be afraid to speak up! – Typing this made me sigh. Heavily. There will be many, many situations in the game you will be playing that require serious thought and planning. One of my biggest regrets as I became acclimated to gaming was having a brilliant tactical idea, and then NEVER SAYING IT because one of the more experienced players had a different idea and, hey, they have been doing this longer than me, so their plan has to be better, right? Not necessarily! There was many a night where I left the game feeling slightly jaded since I knew beyond the shadow of a doubt that my plan would’ve worked and things might have turned out differently for the game if I would have just said what I was thinking.
Once you muster the guts to tell the veteran players what you think the party should do, don’t let anyone talk over you! Everyone is going to have an opinion and sometimes people say what they think at the same time. If you have to, let the GM know that you have something to say, and get him/her to help you be heard! Your character’s lives depend on it!
3. Read the book about the game you are going to play as much as you can before the first session. I say this as someone who is absolutely horrible about doing this, and my gaming experience suffers tremendously. Not only do you get a look at the world you character is in, but you will learn more about your companions, what to expect when you level up, which feats will your character take as he/she becomes more powerful? What the heck is a feat anyway? Read the book!
I truly believe that taking this advice will help enrich your gaming experience and prevent your hair from falling out when the GM asks you what the formula is to figure out spell resistance or how much damage the giant spiders who you just summoned do that just had Enlarge Person cast on them…if that’s even something you can do. Man, I really need to read that book more.
I wish you all the best of luck! Thank you for reading!