Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Time to Get Busy

So I've done lots of thinking and reconsidering over the past few days. I've come to some conclusions and have decided to move forward on several fronts. First, I'm going to start publishing some of my stuff. I've played AD&D for over 30 years and have amassed a considerable library of homebrewed material. I'm fairly saavy at what works and what doesn't, and I know the game about as well as anyone else who plays it. So my gaming works just need some polishing up and rewriting to make them OSRIC compatible and they are ready for release.

In order to facilitate this I've built a separate site Sleeping Wizard Press where I will be giving updates on product progress and release info. I am also an amateur author. Have been for years and years and well ... years. I've never actually submitted anything for publication; but I may also be releasing some of that in a separate line from the gaming material. My brother and I have also been working on a few projects together that may see the light of day at some point.

Please know I am not doing this to get rich. Right? Most of the material will be available for free or for minimal cost via download. Although I am considering doing some of it by print on demand from Lulu. We'll see how things go. The cost of any projects are simply to justify my time. I do have a family and a very loving wife that indulges my gaming hobby quite nicely. But if I am going to start spending more time writing there has to be some justification. So, nuff with all that, k?

The real reason I'm doing this is because I have been in gaming limbo for over ten years now. Ever since AD&D was dropped I've looked for a new gaming home, for a purpose in the hobby. I've discovered quite a bit of that in running the RPG club at the school where I teach. I've had the pleasure of bringing over 60 or more kids to the hobby of gaming, and more importantly given them a place to belong at school, an opportunity to find like minded friends, and have received numerous parent testimonials about how good the club has been for there until then very shy child who always hated going to school. It's been quite gratifying.

I must admit that I've missed having a close group of adult gaming buddies that I game with every week. Haven't had that since my early college years. But I am going to be running a monthly game at Wild on Hobbies our Friendly Local Gaming Store (FLGS) here very soon. The idea is to bring people into the store in the eyes of the store owner, and I can't begrudge him that. He deserves all the help he can get. He's a fellow teacher at the school where I teach and is barely breaking even with the store. He's said many times that it's more like a service he provides instead of a money making endeavor. So I'm glad to do all that I can to help. It may bring me together with a few older gaming friends too as a side bonus, and that would be just fine with me.

But I still needed something more. I kept lamenting the end of my favorite game and playstyle, but was really hung up on trivialities. It took me a long time to notice this, but my old books were just hard to let go of. I knew there were clones that played very similarly or in some cases better than the originals. I had run several sessions with them and some long term campaigns very successfully. But I always pined for my old books. I longed for everyone at the table to be playing with those venerable tomes at their side. It was of course nostalgia, and comfort that kept me from realizing that these new games enabled everyone to play again, easier and more fluidly than ever before. In exactly the same style if not the exact verbatim rules. I was, in short, missing a golden opportunity. I could be a part of continuing to support and keep alive the old school gaming that I love so much. I could do that by supporting the endeavors of others in the field and in producing my own new material to extend and enliven the game.

Hence Sleeping Wizard Press. And my new found excitement and purpose. They say you have to hit bottom to get better, to transform into something more worthy and beautiful. At least that's what the alchemists teach. Well, a few days ago I hit bottom. If you missed it you can read about it here. Suffice it to say that I do miss Gary. I've been thinking about his little known work Roleplaying Mastery that he wrote some years ago. In it he talks about levels of progress in the hobby. And one I've never quite felt like I had achieved was to give back to the hobby. Well, I guess I started doing that with the RPG club. But I was always scattered as to where I belonged even amidst the club's goings on I couldn't feel at home with any game. I still felt like my game was gone. I'm sure Gary lamented that as well, even when he was still with us. But the biggest tribute I could give him was to keep that early style of play alive and burning brightly. So now I'm giving back to the style of play I like the most by providing others with material for them to enjoy. Hopefully it does a little to keep the ever-burning flame of Gygaxian style play alive and well.  It has given me so much it's all i can do to give back a little as well.

Cheers Gary! True, Gary tis gone ... But Long Live Gary!!!

Still Teaching Us From Afar
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