|Me drumming with the Tongans|
|See? There I am hiking in Big Bend National Park|
Part of what kept me in the hobby in any capacity whatsoever was the timely release and subsequent incredible popularity of novels based on D&D; specifically the Dragonlance novel line, and then R. A. Salvatore's Forgotten Realm novels. While I'm largely dissatisfied with D&D novels these days, I quite enjoyed the original Dragonlance trilogy, and the original Halfling Gem trilogy, and still hold them out as decent examples of the fantasy genre, and the paperbacks of them that I bought (from Half-Price books; used) I still deem good enough to hold on to and occasionally dust off and re-read. In other words, they're at least as good as the majority of mainstream novels in the genre. Which isn't necessarily saying much, but there you have it...
Because of this, I would still occasionally haunt game stores and the game section of book stores, seeing what was going on. I got caught up in gaming again shortly after getting married when a friend of mine "came out of the closet" as a gamer, and ran a Top Secret S.I. game for me and a few friends. The bug bit me again--strongly--and I in turn ran a game for them too, also using Top Secret. By this time, the Internet was starting to come to prominance (mid 90s), so it was easier to connect with gamers and at least talk about gaming, even if I wasn't really actually gaming all that much still. In this way, I became aware, near the end of my stint in grad school in 2000, of the impending release of D&D Third Edition. Because I now had money and some free time, I heavily invested in the game in a way that I never had before with older D&D. And, mostly, I found that it fixed a lot of the problems with D&D that I had. Or, more truthfully, it was flexible enough to allow me to avoid them, even if they were still inherent in the game. I was now firmly a gamer; it was one of my main hobbies, I'd spent hundreds if not thousands of dollars on gaming related crap, I talked about gaming online, and now, I've even been running this blog for a few years that talks about gaming more than any other topic. I'm a gamer. Loud and proud.
Thus, the genesis of DARK•HERITAGE; a setting for gaming and fiction that has a different feel than classic fantasy; an exotic place that combines fantasy with other loves of mine; my love of the American West and hiking and otherwise being outdoors in areas of spectacular and scenic wilderness, my love of swashbuckling and pirate historical romances, my love of supernatural horror, my love of action thrillers and stories of intrigue and crime and noir, and heck--even my love of paleontology. With a ruleset heavily modified to accomodate this setting, I've found myself--indefinately--good to go with my gaming for a long time to come.
Also, since I'm kinda an egomaniac, there's a bunch of pictures of me on this page. Here's a few more.
|On the beach, with Chinaman's Hat in the background|
|After hiking to a waterfall in the mountains of Oahu|
|With my lovely wife after hiking to the arch on Mackinac Island|
|Me and my "noble steed" in Flathead National Forest|
|Me and the badlands of Theodore Roosevelt National Park at sunset|