Saturday, May 9, 2015

Ground Zero for something new

I have felt the occasional urge to start a blog for some time now; it sort of waxes and wanes.. As I understand it, a blog is my own little soapbox upon which I may climb from time to time and declaim on any- and every-thing. That’s one definition, at least. Some friends have suggested that I could use a blog to disseminate my approach to gaming and all the different kinds of games I play. Others suggest that I do naught but spin yarns of “the glory days”. (That last, while fun, can wander a bit.)

I don’t do a lot of seminars at the cons I attend for several reasons; some aren’t into seminars (that would be most of the ones I attend as a Guest); some of the panels I have been asked to be part of were on topics that I have utterly no interest in; some shared the panel with persons I cared not to share a panel with; others were simply something I knew (or cared) nothing about.

I am most fortunate; this year I get to go to cons in Mansfield, MA, Lake Geneva WI, Cincinnati, Dallas, Milwaukee, Indy and Madison WI. The best thing is that with the exception of GaryCon, none of this costs me anything. (GaryCon gives me a room that I share with Frank Mentzer, but I pay the rest of my own way because of a promise I made to Gary’s kids after he died.)

I am an embodiment of the oft-overused identifier “Old School” when it comes to not just roleplaying but all the various forms of gaming that I enjoy. I have been a board wargame player since the winter of ’61-’62, cutting my teeth on Avalon Hill’s classic D-Day. My family was mad for games; my earliest games were Candyland, Chutes & Ladders and Chinese Checkers. The grownups were all card players when my mother’s family got together for any reason whatsoever; the year you were deemed old enough to get in on the Rummy Royal/Michigan Rummy with the grownups was a coming-of-age milestone.

I got into miniatures in ’73; the then-young man that got me into minis was Tom Wham, another old-timer from back-in-the-day, while we were in college together.

My gaming underwent a sea-change in 1974 when I first played the then-new game of D&D and became good friends with this lovely/loony dreamer named Gary. I went to work with/for him a short time later and became part of the nucleus that midwifed D&D. Along the way I started a couple of magazines, edited and wrote a ton of role-playing rules, developed some games and later started another publishing company of my own and another gaming magazine. (The mags were Dragon, Little Wars and Adventure Gaming.)Lately I have gotten involved with yet another mag, Gygax Magazine.

Now that I am retired from the 9-5 grind, I have another new company, Eldritch Enterprises, and three partners, Frank Mentzer, who sort of succeeded me at TSR; Jim Ward, the father of sci-fi roleplaying, also at TSR; and Chris Clark, simply the most prolific game writer/designer I have ever met and the twisted genius behind Inner City Games, not to mention partnering with Gary post-TSR. We write role playing adventures.

I am fortunate to be one of half a dozen gamers that get together in my basement every other Wed to play board games and the occasional card game. (I host a few poker games each year as well, but that’s a whole different kind of gaming. We play an accelerated version of Hold ‘Em.)

I am well capable of bloviating on many a topic; I would prefer to write about what people actually have an interest in reading. So here’s the deal: throw me a few topics/questions to get the show on the road, and we’ll see where it goes in future installments.


  1. In no particular order:
    - "A Day in the Life," regarding gaming-related work when you're not attending cons.
    - Following each convention you attend, "Fear and Loathing in [con location]."
    - Advice for game DMs/GMs/Referees/[Moniker de Jour]. Perhaps under the heading "Rulings, not Rules." Always loved that philosophy/statement...though perhaps it could even be its own, more focused "thing" apart from said advice...not sure.
    - "Then and Now: The Gaming Industry." Personal observations and/or editorials on any number of facets of its evolution from "how it was then" to "how it is/how you see it now."
    - "Non-game Tim," occasionally writing about other things you do, such as the kid-focused fishing program for which I cannot now recall the name, trips mentioned on social media which you and the missus take, reflections from things like your military experience, etc.

  2. Congratulations on the blog. Betting you're really going to enjoy will we!
    love and hugs to both.

  3. Looking forward to future entries. Congratulations and good luck!
    -M.J. Holmes-

  4. Nice, you got your blog up. I use google blogger too. If you ever want any help with it you can usually find me on DF chat.