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What Do You Want?

Home. Woodbury, Minnesota.

As I mentioned a few posts back, my career path has recently pivoted from IT Program Management to Enterprise Architecture & Design.  I’m heading back towards my roots – back towards being more of a Maker and less of a Manager…and that’s a good thing (turns out Software Engineers don’t enjoy Accounting – whodathunk?). Things had gotten increasingly stressful to the point where I just could not tolerate it any longer; I took the advice of some very good friends and colleagues and punched out before my reputation went to crap.

So here I am with a breather again and a renewed desire to express myself creatively.

Morden and Londo from Babylon 5
Morden asks Londo “What do you want?”

Even though I’m back at the same client I had previously managed people at, I’m enjoying my job a lot more and I’ve got a lot more free time available.  I’m starting to reconsider that question: What do you want?

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I Want to Go Home (Part 2)

Started at Caribou Coffee in White Bear Lake, Minnesota. Finished at Home, Woodbury, Minnesota.

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These guys are nuts…but they’re having fun their own way

Some Gamemasters are really good at running games freestyle. These parkour GMs free-run through the collective consciousness of the gaming group, reacting to Player actions and re-directs like so many obstacles among the ruins, without any visible display of sweat, stress or pain. I admire them – even envy them; they can be really fun to game with as long as you are okay with episodic, Player-driven storytelling where campaign continuity and consistency take a back seat to expediency and The Moment. They flow. It is not that you can’t have consistency and continuity with a free-running GM; it is just not a natural fit for that style1. You see, the problem with a Player-driven storytelling approach is: what does everyone else do while the Player driving the story, drives the story?

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  1. [1] Except, of course, in *your* game, dear Reader. Truly. There are some great free-runner GMs who are also gifted story-tellers who are able to weave exceptional stories from one Player-provided thread after another. I would be surprised if they are anything but rare, very experienced GMs with a wealth of background material at the ready. In other words, these GMs have already done the hard work, already know their world and the characters in it and are able to weave fantastic stories because they are starting with whole cloth and not single threads of varying colors, textures and strengths. 

I Want to Go Home (Part 1)

Caribou Coffee. White Bear Lake, Minnesota.
Written May 11, 2014. Updated January 2, 2015.

My oldest son and his friends recently discovered D&D and started a campaign. I’ve

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 been trying for a few years to spark an interest in him but it never really took. Now that his peers are getting into it, I think it has clicked and he’s having fun with it – not like I did at his age, but its a start.

Man. I miss gaming.

Not gaming like many of you are probably thinking. I’m not talking about gambling-type gaming or video-type gaming or boardgame-type gaming or the addictive hell that is collectible card gaming (there’s a special place in the Abyss for Richard Garfield). I’m talking about GAMING. The type

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of Gaming that gave rise to the term “Gamer”.

Funny-shaped dice. Table-top. Pencil and paper. Weird little metal men. Crappy-ass pizza from Domino’s on a Saturday. Six players; one gamemaster; unlimited possibilities.

I miss that.

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