So, you walk into a tavern…

I see your party lacks a mage...
Reproduced under a Creative Commons license from Flickr user mojmir_ch

I’m going to eventually launch into an extended metaphor, so let me tell you a little bit about myself as you gird yourself for it. I’ll try to be gentle, since it’s my first time.

I’m Nick, and I’m going to be writing here at Troll in the Corner for a little while. I like to consider myself the typical gamer , but, are any of us really typical gamers? I’ve played a variety of systems, from overwrought home-brewed simulationist skeletons to widely-published diceless storytelling games, and I’ve enjoyed them all. When not partaking in our glorious pastime, I work as an academic librarian, watch sports, trim my beard, play other games, read horror short stories, and so forth. As you can probably guess, some of these aforementioned activities and attributes will influence my writing (and I’ve already got a bunch of article topics in my mental queue).

I hope that you’ll take a short while to read what I’ve written, and if it tickles your mind in any way at all, let me know. You can contact me through this website or by emailing me at I promise I will read every email and try to respond, assuming you’re not sending me e-anthrax or something.

Anyway, metaphor time! Or, maybe simile time:

Imagine that you, the reader or audience member, are a player in my group. As a GM, I would want to provide for you an immersive, thought-provoking, often-funny-but-sometimes-serious, and, most importantly, fun game. I set up the blocks, you knock them down, or reassemble them into a more ideal structure. I add more blocks, I take some away, you adapt. The game is ours, not mine.

I view my role here as writer/blogger/whateverer to be the same. You voluntarily come here to play my game. I provide the pieces, but you’re as equal a part in putting together the puzzle as I am. I can’t just hand you a finished puzzle and say, “have fun!” or “look what I did, Jackie boy!” We’re in this together. I’ll provide the pieces, we put it together.

This is not to say that the puzzle will be totally scrambled every time. I might bring you in when I’m already 80% along. Maybe I bring you in 5% of the way there, and just shout out ideas, much like group brainstorming. Perhaps you bring the pieces and ask me to put it together. You come to me and say, I’m tired of D&D for now, let’s do something like Paranoia, can you run that? Sure I can. At worst, we’ll learn together. I find that my most rewarding experiences in role-playing games are when, as a player, I really affected my fellow players or the game world. I think that translates well to the relationship we will have, too.

So, a big part of my role as GM or writer is to find out about my target audience. What games do you like playing? What part of role-playing do you want to hear about? Do you love session recaps? Do you want game reviews? Do you want character- or world-building tips? Are you a relative newcomer to the gaming scene, or are you an old hand?

Thus, when I began my post with the cliche, I was really inviting you to my table. As Deckard Cain said, “Stay awhile, and listen.”

/end extended metaphor

Anyway, I went through about 3643 ways to do this intro post in my head. At first, I wanted to do a mock character sheet for myself, but that made me swing like Poe’s deathy pendulum between “awesome idea” and “lame idea”. Then I thought, oh, I’ll do an “adventurers wanted” job board posting, but ran into the same problem. Then I took about 11 pictures of myself with my phone and photoshopped the crap out of them, trying to achieve the balance between erudite and “not an asshole”, but again I failed. Then I took out a piece of printer paper and tried to draw something, but since I apparently left my art skills in 3rd grade, I torched that piece of paper.

Yes, it was a slow day at work. Eventually I decided on the Band-Aid method: it will only hurt for a second if you just rip it off.

I will be posting on Wednesdays, and almost certainly at other times throughout the week. I’m really interested in doing some collaborative work with other authors or community members in addition to my own posts, so send me a message if you want to be included in any capacity.

See you next week!

PS: Something I’ve wanted to do is sometimes leave a discussion question at the end of the post, but I’ve noticed that on other websites, the authors do this and then never respond to any of the discussion, which is really frustrating. If I ever ask a question, I’ll be sure to participate in the discussion.

Thus, let’s start with an easy one. What’s one game you’ve played and liked that you think most people have never heard of? For the record, my selection would be Godlike, by Arcdream. You may have played other games which use the one-roll system, but I really enjoyed the straightforwardness of Godlike. Also, super powers.





2 thoughts on “So, you walk into a tavern…

Add yours

  1. Heh, most people being most RPG’ers or most being the general public. My tastes tend too mainstream I think to have a game I’ve liked not be known by the RPG public. If we open it up to general public, several! But I’ll list Twilight 2000 as one I’ve played and liked – though its been many, many years ago, like as in when 2000 was still the future!


  2. YAY Another library person!

    I’d like to mention Sitting Ducks Gallery. It isn’t a RPG but it is a fun board/card game where players get to shoot different colored ducks. It uses the gameplay method of Guillotine.


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