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  • Writer's pictureHarun Musho'd

The Veteran Novice Game Master

Alert: This blog is not about comedy! ("We know, neither is the rest of your site, we've seen your act").

Thought I'd start a blog for my new but old hobby - tabletop roleplaying games. I've been playing role playing games since 1981 when I got my first role-playing game the Basic Dungeons & Dragons set (the red box) for my 15th birthday. I ran the "Keep on the Borderlands" adventure included in the basic set with a friend and my brother. My friend subsequently bought a different system, Tunnels & Trolls, and we much preferred that, particularly as it was simpler and came with solo adventures (we didn't weren't overburdened with other nerd friends), so that was our main game for the first year or so.

We graduated to Traveller, Runequest and Call of Cthulhu and the group mushroomed to another three regular players by the end of the decade, and we have been playing on and off ever since. It's an interesting group comprising of:

  • a human resource manager and comedian (me, that's why this blog is on my comedy site).

  • an IT sales manager

  • an ex-taxi driver, now an NHS something or other*

  • a charity manager (a much later addition to the group, but probably the most experienced gamer);

  • 2 retired police detective inspectors; and

  • a conspiracy theorist

I've been playing and GMing role playing games for the last 30 years ... but not very often, so I'm still a novice. Throughout the last 10 years I occasionally GMd Megatraveller (or refereed in the terms of that particular game) and a couple of Call of Cthulhu modules including the classic beginner module "The Haunting". As a group we have doubled our playing time by switching to 2-hour weekly online sessions, using Roll20 and MS Teams, rather than the 12-hour weekend sessions we used to do 4-5 times a year before the pandemic.

I do have views on roleplaying games and I thought rather than to continue to infect various Facebook and Reddit groups, I'd start putting them on a blog. The blog will focus on my current main game interests: Call of Cthulhu*, Traveller and the solo Thousand Year Old Vampire, as well newer interests, Twilight 2000 - I backed the recent Kickstarter for the 4th edition from Free League - and the Dungeon Crawl Classics Dying Earth - due to launch as a Kickstarter later this month, which I intend to back (The Dying Earth books by Jack Vance are among my favourite books in the fantasy or any other genre). There will also be occasional posts about other RPGs, possibly miniature painting, reviews and related material.

* that was originally a placeholder while I asked the person what his actual job was. He is a "HealthRoster specialist" which means he troubleshoots problems NHS staff have with using software called HealthRoster to schedule NHS staff efficiently, but he preferred "NHS something or other"

**running investigative roleplaying games with two ex-detectives and a conspiracy theorist is quite an experience, requiring, in Call of Cthulhu game terms, frequent Sanity checks.

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