Call me Jack.  I’m a computer consultant by trade and live in Virginia with my wife and two daughters.

My first exposure to Role-Playing Games was Palladium’s Robotech RPG quickly followed by RIFTS, but my understanding of the games was coarse at best; my brothers and I still laugh at how absurd our early fumblings were.  At the end of high school a friend invited me to join in a game of White Wolf’s Werewolf: the Apocalypse, which fell apart after a session or two.  Toward the end of college I was finally exposed to Dungeons and Dragons 3rd Edition, but I had some of the worst DMs imaginable (from the “it’s my job to kill the PCs” school) and I quickly decided that D&D was kind of a crap game.  Afterward I got in with a loose group of gamers and played games of Changeling: the Dreaming, D&D Eberon, Burning Wheel, Unsung, and a slew of other “alternative” systems.

Around that time I was introduced to an idea from The Forge about the sorts of role-players that exist: Narrativists (story is the most important aspect), Simulationists (simulating the world is the most important aspect), and Gamists (engaging with the game is the most important aspect).  Until very recently I would have put myself squarely in the Narrativist camp, but I think I’m slowly-but-surely moving away from that and towards Gamist.  I still think story is an integral part of RPGs, otherwise I’d be playing Chess or Go, but I’m starting to view RPGs are games first and foremost and I think that’s helping me run and play them better.

In 2009 I jumped feet-first into D&D 4E as the cure for everything I saw wrong with 3rd Edition.  I was surprised to find that I was pushed in the exact opposite direction after only a very short time, repelled by 4E into the arms of “more traditional” D&D, where the world made sense.  Since then I’ve generally chosen Pathfinder as my preferred system, but I still play others when opportunity or inspiration presents.  The ultra-traditional Grognard faction still seems a little bit extreme, but more and more I think they’re sitting on something great.  I currently have little interest in any of this DNDNext nonsense, but for the sake of the blog and dialog with the community I may start following it.

  1. Luca says:

    Hi Jack,
    is there a way I can contact you? I need to ask permission to translate one or two of your articles and publish them to my group (private) FB page.

    • Jack says:

      Hi Luca. There are lots of ways you can contact me, though the most sure-fire way would be to comment on the article you’re interested in translating and distributing. I don’t do this for money or anything, and I can’t really STOP you from posting to a Facebook group, so I probably won’t have any complaints. I appreciate the consideration you show by asking permission, though.

  2. Luca says:

    I live of my own writing, so asking permission is the least I can do 🙂

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