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What Are Everyone's RPG Connections?

I frequently see posters mention making a map for their games, so I was curious what fellow forum users played? Any designers/artists/authors in the ranks?

For my own part, I started playing AD&D waaaaayyyy back in 1979! Have since played many, many different systems. In 1985 I began to write/design for Chaosium's Call of Cthulhu game and have had dozens of books and scenarios published for the system since (and last year wrote the script for a forthcoming Lovecraftian video game). After 30+ years I have returned to fantasy and am running a D&D5E campaign for a small group. It is a playtest for a new book I'm writing (for either Pathfinder or 5E -- haven't decided on the system yet for publication).

Incidentally, I became interested in cartography and ultimately CC3+ when I saw how gorgeous the maps in the Pathfinder books were. It was love at first sight!


  • JimPJimP 🖼️ 251 images Cartographer
    edited June 2017
    In 1979 I played solo Tunnels and Trolls adventures. Wasn't anything else in the area I lived in then. I was shown a first edition AD&D players handbook a few months before that. But I was moving... the people that showed it to me, it was my last day there, thought I wouldn't be interested. Sigh. Anyway, I finished my move to another state. Some relatives found a game store, so we went there. Zocchi's place. I gamed in 2 other people's game worlds. My relatives told me they felt I could do better. So I bought B1, some miniatures, some dice, the players handbook, the DMG, and the monster manual.

    We ran that, we enjoyed it. I realized I had much to learn. So we gamed form January 1980 to November 1985. Trillolara, Crestar is where we started, a small military district town called Fondfield. I added some game stores to my ways, and created a southern hemisphere set of maps using 5mm hexagon paper. I have run a few TOON ! games as well. At one point I was gaming one day a week at the house, two days a week at one game store and one day a week at another game store. Since some of the game stores came and went, i gamed at about 4 stores over that 5 year period. I have run one shot games at a convention.

    I currently have about 3,000 dice, about 100 or so miniatures, reference books besides the ones mentioned above, paper and digital modules i use for ideas.

    I recently bought EpicTable. I hope to start running either a 1E AD&D game session or a Traveller game session. When ? No idea. Hopefully this year.

    edit: Oh, maps. My received a world atlas about 1958 for Christmas. I spent hours, then days, going over those maps.
  • edited June 2017
    I started roleplaying in 1977 with the original D&D box set. I moved to AD&D and finished with BECMI in 1989. All of my friends were married, just starting families and I packed it in until a few years ago. I returned to gaming via Fantasy Grounds (a virtual table top with a great deal of purchasable rules support) and started by GMing a year long D&D 5e campaign.

    I jumped ship at the top of this year to the Savage Worlds RPG system. Savage Worlds is a rule set that gets extended by the setting you choose, but is otherwise fairly generic. I am currently using Deadlands Reloaded as a setting and have a lot of setting specific rules and equipment to manage. Next year I hope to use a custom space opera setting though it will take a lot of prep to get it up and running because I will need to gen up the setting background, setting specific rules and gear, and otherwise do all of the grunt work.

    As mapping and the Deadland Reloaded setting, I am making most of my mapping efforts freely downloadable with the focus being primarily on battlemaps. Very few Deadlands products have usable graphic resources, so I am posting every map that I find myself needing to make. Giving back is a little bit good karma building, a touch of reputation building, but mostly it just doesn't make any sense to stockpile/hoard my work.

    Industry work-wise, I made a couple of contributions of B&W line art to Judges Guild that were published. Here is some that I drew from 1980...

    Line art

  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer Administrator
    Being in my forties, I didn't get to start as early as you guys, and I was never exposed to RPG's until I got close to adulthood. I got hooked on AD&D second edition by playing the original Eye of the Beholder (released 1990) computer game, mainly because the rule book/hint book contained a lot of the actual AD&D rules, which gave me great understanding of the mechanics beyond the scope of the computer game itself.

    Started gaming in 93/94 and have been a dungeon master for most of the games (regardless of system) with my group since the start. We still play AD&D 2nd ed today, preferring it over the newer versions. We have tried a few different systems over the years, but in the end, AD&D 2nd Ed is what resonates best with the group.

    I can't draw even if my life depended on it, so Campaign Cartographer was a real boon to my gaming.
  • taustinoctaustinoc Traveler
    I started gaming in high school in Missouri, 1977 or so, with friends who were into D&D (original boxed set - AD&D wasn't even out yet). In 79, after I graduated I moved to California with my parents, and found a local game shop and met some people who introduced me to the gaming club at a local university (that wasn't restricted to only students). These are (a subset of) the same bunch of lunatics I game with today. (We are extremely competitive, and rules lawyers one and all, but all grown up enough (nowadays, anyway) to not take games very seriously. So we can generally find ways to break any game system, then figure out how to fix it to our satisfaction. Rule #1 is always "It's my game, and if I say a butter knife's not available, a butter knife's not available." (Actual quote from a Top Secret game.) Rule #0 is "If you're not having fun, why aren't you at the beach or something?"

    In the early days, we mostly played D&D (heavily house ruled, of course), but ranged at times to almost anything: Top Secret, Traveller, Call of Cthulu, almost anything. The fantasy games eventually switched to Chivalry & Sorcery, mostly because D&D didn't provide enough structure to keep the power levels manageable. (It turned more into Turrets & Magic Items, with characters being little more than hard points to mount weapons on.)

    These days, I'm running a (1st edition) C&S game, and an occasional Covert Ops (which is what 2nd edition Top Secret should have been) game. I play in a Western Hero game.

    Mapping, I mostly dabble in, am slowly learning. Got into CC when one of my players moved 2,000 miles away, but wanted to keep playing, so I started digging into MapTool (after deciding I don't really like Roll20). (I use CorelDraw a bit even now, but CC is far, far better suited and has so much beautiful artwork.) It's also useful when somebody is not feeling up to traveling to a game, or is just stuck at home taking care of Mom, or whatever. Now, even if everyone were in the same room, anything involving maps or miniatures would still be digital. It's just way too easy.
  • edited June 2017
    I started in 1975 with the original D&D three booklets, but roleplaying for me really took off in in college around 78-79. Almost solely AD&D, until I discovered Warhammer Fantasy Role Play (WFRP) in 1986. Soon after I was writing extensively for GW's Flame Publications division and then Hogshead, the 1E licensee. I also wrote one book for the 2nd edition, but left game writing soon after, having done work for a few other companies, too.
    (Including one book for Deadlands in which I blew up my hometown, Sacramento. :D ) My favorite games remain WFRP, Call of Cthulhu, and Stormbringer. Recently I've been discovering the joys of Basic D&D.

    Regarding maps, my interest in those didn't strictly come from gaming: my degree is in History and I have a love for maps from the 15th to 18th centuries -- the Age of Exploration. But maps I'd see in fantasy books, such as Tolkien's Middle Earth or Howard's Hyborian Age, caught my imagination from an early age. I originally bought CC back in its DOS days, but never did much until finally, with the advent of CC3+, I thought I should really start using it. I've two finished maps under my belt so far, and have a third underway.

    Maybe I'll actually finish it before "CC4" comes out. ;-)

    EDIT: Scott A., if you are who I think you are, you wrote some great material for CoC.
  • I started with AD&D circa 1978, and started DMing (homebrew) a year or two later. After we all finished graduate school (in spite of D&D :-)) we played very sporadically (like 5 sessions over 7 years) until about 1989, then just gave up. But after I retired last year, one of my old players kept after me until I bought the 5e books, converted my old world and started a new campaign. I got to reuse all my old stuff because none of the players remembered anything - after just 30 years! Such short memories...

    For reasons I don't completely understand, almost all my inspiration comes from maps. I need to draw the map first, then I can begin inventing other stuff. And because anything worth doing is worth overdoing, I have folders full of hand-drawn maps on graph paper complete with contour lines. I just started using FT3 in hopes of coercing it to accept the bits of my world's geography that I care about and then fill in lots of reasonable, interesting detail that I can riff off of. I haven't really put serious effort into CC3+ yet. It looks like really stunning results are possible if you know what you are doing; I hope I can get good enough to do half as well.
  • Like Barliman, I started with the original 3 books which I discovered in a hobby shop in Melbourne when i went for a post-graduate examination. I then played D&D up to 3rd edition with various groups, but then moved onto CC2, then cartography, and been here ever since.
  • Wow!, lots of gaming greats in this thread!

    I started playing Dungeons & Dragons in 1980 or somewhere around there. I was at a friends house when he pulled out the module B2, The Keep on the Borderlands. He showed it to me and my twin brother, then began telling us about the game. I've been playing D&D since then. I've also collected every version of D&D and Advanced D&D since then as well. My collection of gaming material is very large. I branched into other game systems over the years like Rifts, Rolemaster, Middle Earth Role Playing, Pathfinder, and too many others to name.

    In 1995, my friends introduced me to a game called Epic Space Marine from the Warhammer 40,000 genre of games and I've collected much of that stuff as well. I expanded out to the specialist games from the Games Workshop company like Man o War, Adeptus Titanicus/Titan Legions, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer Quest, Necromunda, Gorkamorka, Battlefleet Gothic, Mordheim, and many others. Since then, I've collected roughly 50,000 miniatures or more for those game systems.

    In 2005 a friend of mine introduced me to a game called Warmachine that is produced by a company called Privateer Press. This company began life as a role playing game publisher that produced its own Role Playing Game and then wanted to expand into many other markets such as video games and tabletop miniature games. By 2006 I found myself working in house for them as a miniatures caster. I worked in the production area making thousands of miniatures every day using molten metal in spin casting machines.

    My only claim to fame is being listed as a miniatures caster for the company in the next game they made called Hordes. Hordes was a companion/expansion game to Warmachine and is sort of it's own game but is very much compatible with Warmachine.

    I was the first winner of the medal for the Warmachine faction of Mercenaries in the very first in house Privateer Press tournament. Sadly, at that time, they did not consider Mercenaries as a proper faction in the game so they gave it no publicity in their coverage of the tournament.

    Other than that, I really haven't been professionally involved in gaming at all.
  • "Since then, I've collected roughly 50,000 miniatures or more for those game systems. "

    Jaw. Drops.

    And here I thought *I* was a minis addict... :)
  • Posted By: Barliman"Since then, I've collected roughly 50,000 miniatures or more for those game systems. "

    Jaw. Drops.

    And here I thought *I* was a minis addict... :)
    I'm Tony and I have a problem....

    To be fair I have been collecting miniatures since 1995...
  • Posted By: Tonnichiwa

    To be fair I have been collecting miniatures since 1995...
    I've been collecting since 1974. You leave me in the dust. :)
  • edited July 2017
    I first played back in 1982.....7th grade...totally Stranger Things style (that series gave me the warm and fuzzy nostalgia feels) - a bunch of misfits dorks taking the opportunity to put my favorite book (at the time, The Hobbit, of course) to real life play with the band geek i had a crush on? Yes, please. lol. That lasted about a year....until my overly Catholic, Italian off-the-boat, mother got wind of the D&D promotes "Witchcraft and satanism!!!!" rumors that swirled around the US in the 80s. So, she called out every italian saint in the book "jesu, guiseppe, santa maria!!!!!" Did the sign of the cross about a hundred times and promptly put an end to my playing D&D with the band geeks....actually the whole little club got disbanded shortly afterward. The irony is......i've since gone on to actually practice paganism as an adult - which STILL gets my mother pulling out saints names. LOL

    After an "intermission" for about 20 years, i was lucky enough to meet to cool cats in my 30's who share my love of all things nerdy, fantasy and sci-fi and i managed to get them interested in play. I only just started DM'ing a few years ago, when we found ourselves without one for a long while....decided to pull out all my old stories i had written (i have NOTEBOOKS of journals and short stories from middle and high school) and create my own homebrew world, Namari. For the last year and a half i have been running a campaign in Forynth, a small island continent on the world of Namari.

    I began realizing that i wanted to play on custom maps and certainly didn't want to pay anyone to make them for i am creative in many ways, so i picked up Photoshop and began teaching myself when i came across CC3. I dropped PS like an old habit, took up CC3 last year. As far as game play, I print out my maps on poster paper and use minis (i've got a few hundred, maybe). Although, lately i have been using my flat screen and playing battles out on Roll20 to save $$ and trees (im a tree hugger, too. hahaha)

    Professionally speaking, i've got a series of maps in production with WizKids, Inc that should be out this fall. And a project i've been working on for Simon at Pelgrane Press for a 13th Age battle map book (not sure on release date, yet)
  • Another pagan. Lorelei, my wife and I were pagans, myself since 1995, but now we are more Naturalistic pagans, with no belief in gods or supernatural. so much to wonder and cherish in the natural world as it is, or so we think. I bet there are a few pagans lurking here.
  • edited July 2017
    Nice to see I wasn't the only one who started with the three D&D boxed booklets back in 1975 at least... At the time, it seemed a natural progression from table-top wargaming for me, which had had its moments of characterisation long prior to then anyway (hence D&D developed from the wargame rules "Chainmail"). As the only person with a rules-set, I became default DM/GM, and have never really stopped, even if I've run more often solo than with groups in latter times especially. I dabbled in various other systems over time, including homebrew stuff, and always kept an eye on what was happening with RPGs more generally, but have recently returned to D&D with its 5th edition, and also Call of Cthulhu's new 7th edition (my previous set was 5th). Over the intervening years, the longest of the more enjoyable/successful RPG campaigns I started, and mostly ran, was White Wolf's 3rd edition "Ars Magica", which lasted about five real-time years with more or less the same group of players, back in the 1990s. The Atlas Games 4th edition rules came out towards the end of our run, but we were a bit too set in our ways to change by then!

    As for publications, most of what little I've published down the decades was in short-run fanzines for RPGs, although I've used at least as many maps in my published wargaming articles overall. In recent years, I've turned more and more to CC3-generated maps to accompany those, chiefly in "Slingshot". In theory, I'm currently working on a homebrew variant of the northwestern part of the "official" D&D 5e game-world's main continent, complete with maps, although the actual mapping has stalled rather in recent months as other things in real-life have tended to take over. And I was rather "hijacked", if in a nice way, into CoC 7e thanks to a new friend this year, also new to RPGs, wanting advice on the Call of Cthulhu rules and literature. Took amazingly little persuasion, however... Once you're involved in RPGs, there's no escape, it seems!
  • GatharGathar Traveler
    It looks like most of you play mostly D&D, so I'm an exception. I play many many games, but D&D is one of my least favourite one. When I say many games, I have currently 6 games in parallel, each with a different system (Harp, Warhammer, Antika, 2012 extinction, Vampire dark ages and D&D). I'm the gamemaster for 4 of them. I really like different systems, because each system favours one specific style of gameplay. I have the chance to be French, which is a boon in this situation: I can chose between a larger corpus of RPG, since I have access to all the ones written in English as well as a rather large collection of French RPG.

    Most of the games I play don't need (or even strongly discourage) the use of miniatures, and I favour a style of game without too many fights or dungeons. Therefore, I have little use for battlemaps, and spend most of my time with CC3 on world/regional maps. I've still to find a style that would suit my tastes (and my capabilities) when I want to draw 1 village and his surroundings. This is a scale that I really have trouble with, although I'd like to use it a lot.

    Although I created countless scenarios & several game systems (including one I've played for several years), I always kept it to me & my players, and never published anything.
  • ScottAScottA Surveyor
    Wow, I guess I should have checked back on my own topic sooner! Lots of great stuff to read. I enjoy hearing how everyone became involved in RPGs, whether as players or as professionals. To me, it was just a natural extension of childhood fantasy and make-believe, and a chance to actually be a part of all those cool fairy tales I loved as a child and then those fantastic stories by HG Wells, Lovecraft, and others when I got older and began to read that stuff (ironically, I've never been a fan of Tolkien!).

    Barliman -- yes, I probably am who you think I am (or something like that...! LOL). I generally go by my initials SDA for brevity's sake and it's a sobriquet that seems to have stuck! So thank you for the kind words.

    And Quenten & Lorelei, I am also a follower of a pagan path.
  • Like most, I an old school gamer starting with original D&D. My favorite still, is AD&D 2nd Addition. I currently use OSRIC. I am also am old school Traveller player, Gamma World, and Cyber Punk guy. I don't play them anymore though. Just the OSRIC. I got into roleplaying through the table top wargaming route. I love military table top games. That got me into the fantasy miniatures, the rpg's, 40K, and Battletech. I still have the AD&D rules that I use for fantasy table top games. I never worked in the field and only started mapping a few years ago. I served in the military for 26 years, went and got a BA in Marketing and a MBA and now I am trying to figure out what to do next. I did some commissioned maps for a marketing company and a few character artist projects for individuals and an Android game. And I have a few designs up on Redbubble.
  • I've been playing since 2002 (D&D 3 and 3.5, Action!System, Changeling: the Lost (WoD 2ed) and some homebrews). DMing — trying at least — since 2006 (D&D 3.5 only). The thing is that our sessions are as rare as some rare mtg card. Like Mox mono artifacts. =)
  • Posted By: CharlesWayneRobinsonI got into roleplaying through the table top wargaming route. I love military table top games.
    Yep, I should have mentioned that: I fell in love with Avalon Hill wargames in the early 70s and found myself building stories around the map boards and the units. It was a natural lead-in to RPGs.
  • edited July 2017
    I currently use the Field of Glory series for my Ancients, Renaissance, and Napoleonic wargaming. I use Bolt Action for my World War 2 wargaming. I am looking at making table top terrain boards using Campaign Cartographer, but have not had time to mess with the games. Just too much going on. :-)

    PS: That would be a cool update for one of the annuals. ;-)
  • pvernonpvernon 🖼️ 34 images Traveler Betatester
    I started with a few games of D&D original in college then on to "Empire of the Petal Throne" and to Traveller there I have been ever since with only a few diversions, "Space 1889" the most notable.
  • I've been roleplaying for 36 years. I got hooked on fantasy when I had to study The Hobbit for my GCSE English Language lessons in secondary school. Shortly thereafter, I discovered that there was a Warlock inhabiting the dungeons beneath Firetop Mountain, and Steve Jackson's and Ian Livingstone's Fighting Fantasy novels took me closer to true roleplaying. Next came Tunnels & Trolls. The only system at the time that had solo adventures (as mentioned by some posters above). Several of my friends had seen me reading the FF/T&T adventures, and rolling dice, in class while pretending to do my school work, and when I realised they were interested I progressed to the red box Basic set of D&D and became Dungeon Master Gaz. Since then it has been an incredible journey filled with the most memorable of adventures, friends, and experiences. I've run games of D&D (all iterations), WEG's/D20 Star Wars, Traveller, Rolemaster, MERP, TMNT, Torg, Toon, Space 1889, Warhammer Fantasy, W40K (converted to a RPG), and many, many more, and I still run a regular, fortnightly D&D 5e game (set in my homebrew campaign world of Aethir) for my friends every other Saturday afternoon...
  • After reading your list, I have to add a couple more for mine. I also played rolemaster and merp. :-)
  • Now that I found another one in hopefully working order, I wrote programs on the Sinclair ZX-81 and later with the 16 kilobyte ram add-on. First one was a dice program that rolled dice form 1 to 1,000,000 sides in one side increments, and I could do adds to each die ior to the result of all dice rols, or both.

    I then wrote a program to keep track of amount of time on an adventure, local in-game town time, Sun rise and set, along with the dice roller and the to hit tables.

    After my first ZX-81 smoke tested itself, I bought an A1000 Amiga computer with 1 meg of ram and 512 Kilobytes of video ram. To the above program I added moon rise and set, along with some other items.

    Some of the programs are up on one of of Crestar sites, with proprietary things, like the to hit tables, left out.
  • MonsenMonsen 🖼️ 46 images Cartographer Administrator
    Fun to hear about others programming their own RPG utilities. I've made a lot of various small tools over the years. As I mentioned earlier, I came late to RPG's, so I wrote the first utilities on my Amiga 500. Had a C64 before that, but that was before I had heard about RPG's. Remember back when I was in high school I had a programmable Casio calculator, so I made a program to keep track of the characters experience awards. I think I wrote a dice roller on it too.
    Still love to write my own utilities today.
  • I wrote some character generation stuff for D&D and I did several programs for Traveller. But that was way back in the day. :-)
  • I forgot.. I had a SR-52 programable calculator from Texas Instruments. I know I wrote a TI Basic program on it. Like the ZX-81, it was 'tokenized'. So each command was one byte, instead of several. Some Basic comands on the ZX-81 were accessed via the shift key, so those were two bytes.

    After my ham radio club meeting, one of the other hams had a Sinclair ZX-81 he was giving away, with the 16 kilobyte ram pack. So I asked for and received it. I don't have a 13" B&W tv to use with it, but it might work with my lcd monitor. I'll have to research that... if not, go to one of the 'help the poor' stores around here. I know some have old televisions.
  • 2 months later
  • edited September 2017
    Posted By: Barliman
    Posted By: CharlesWayneRobinsonI got into roleplaying through the table top wargaming route. I love military table top games.
    Yep, I should have mentioned that: I fell in love with Avalon Hill wargames in the early 70s and found myself building stories around the map boards and the units. It was a natural lead-in to RPGs.
    HELLO! My first post here in the community forums. :)

    *Ditto* to the above posts. Started war-gaming with Airfix Ho/oo scale soldiers & tanks when I was about 8.
    I bought Avalon Squad's Panzerblitz & Panzer Leader from a 2nd hand shop with the money I got from my first few paper rounds (yep... they were cheap :) ).
    We had about three gaming shops in my area.. that ALL stocked RPG's. However, only one stocked AH games. It was once I'd bought all the Avalon Hill games I wanted that the shop stocked (Mainly Squad Leader & it's supplements) that I *accidently* bought the Basic D&D set thinking it a war-game!

    Soon after gravitated to AD&D, Role-master, Call of Cthuhlu, Traveller etc .... and my fate was sealed. I suppose that was about 1982. Been heavily into the hobby and RPG community since then, running an RPG club and helping organise RPG conventions.

    Some people collect Miniatures.. and I admit I do have quite a *few"(mostly Fantasy and sci-fi) but ironically, I've never really got into figures war-gaming.

    My real passion is that I collect (and hoard) RPG *systems*. I have far more than I will ever be able to play, and admit that many I've yet to actually read from cover to cover. The collection probably exceeds 500 RPG systems now, not including scenarios supplements and companions...

    I started mapping on square paper (like I guess a lot of us did back then)... I invested in Campaign Cartographer about a couple of years after it's original release... brought most of the expansions. Masses of floppy disks. But, to be honest I struggled and quickly lost interest in it when I failed to even come close to producing something that was worth the investment of time and money.. I really haven't got the patience or technical skill... imagination in buckets.. but no skill :(

    Upgraded to CC2, then 3, then 3+ (Profantasy must love me..). I'm beginning to get the hang of it! :)
  • DogtagDogtag Traveler Moderator, Betatester
    edited September 2017
    Sorry, just popped on real quick to say "welcome to the PF forum, GB." Sounds like it's been a long time coming. Welcome aboard.

    And, if I might, a tip of the hat to your forum alias.  =D>  :D


  • Posted By: Grinnen Baeritt
    HELLO! My first post here in the community forums. :)
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