Comfort Zone

I don’t normally step out of my comfort zone of known players when it comes to DMing a game.  I have carefully picked each of them because I know they will get along with everyone in the group.  I run 4 groups and have moved people into the group that best suits their play style, and this has work very well over the years.  Each group does extremely well together.

This weekend I was invited to DM a live game streaming to twitchTV with people who I’ve only met through various social media.  I’ve been working on an adventure to publish on the DMGuild site for a while and was looking for people to actually play test it first.  I wanted to make sure that certain aspects of the adventure worked.  These folks thought it would be fun to do the playtest live.

Although a little apprehensive, I decided to give it try.  Most of the group has played together for a few years and one was driving 3 hours to join us.  No one had met this person before other than social media and an invite to a roll20 game I hosted with another DM for the CON they had last month.  @RichardGrzela was not only an extremely talented artist but his Hafling Ranger was a pleasure to have at the table and provided plenty of humor throughout the day.

To make a long story short, I was taken back by how amazing this group of people turned out to be.  4 out of 6 were from the @take20_DnD crew including their regular DM and were a ton of fun.  I had planned on a 4 hour session which turned into 6 hours because everyone was just incredible.   There is really something to be said for the gaming community as one of the most inviting and accepting groups of people I’ve ever interacted with.  Over the 38 years of DMing Dungeon and Dragons there have been perhaps 3 people out the thousands I’ve come in contact with including conventions that were bad apples.

I was very blessed as DM Saturday to have this group of players for 6 hours.  So much, I would like share with you their Part 1 of the day which they uploaded to Youtube.   So much fun that I can’t remember the last time I’ve laughed this hard playing, and I hope you enjoy it as well.  The Take20_DnD crew did a great job hosting this event.

I think I may have to step out of the comfort zone more often.

38 Years of Adventure



So today shall be a bit of nostalgic day.  It was 38 years ago I walked into the Local Comic book store with a hand full of paper route money and some birthday cash.   I had waited for this day as it is my birthday, and I’ve always tried to treat myself to something I really wanted.

I was looking for a few comics I’d had my eye on.  I was a bit of a Batman and Green Lantern fan, and had them on hold till I could come up with the money.   I don’t’ remember the name of the store owner but he was really nice, and I was telling him it was my birthday and I had some left over money from my purchase and was just looking around.  He pointed to at this box he had just gotten in, and said it was some sort of game.   It had a huge dragon on it and some medieval types battling it.  It sure looked cool enough.  I had just finished reading the hobbit for the 2nd time and this seemed to fit in with that.


I took his advice and bought it.  I biked home and tossed it on my end table and quickly began reading my new comics before birthday guests arrived.  I was focused on reading those before anything.

I managed to finish the comics off rather fast and stood there staring at this new thing I had toss aside.  Sure look interesting so I removed the wrapping and took a look.  Inside I found a rule book and what they called an adventure.  There were strange dice and a crayon.  The crayon was used to fill in the numbers on the dice so you could read them.  Wow!

Needless to say it took several calls from mother to get my attention that the guests had started arriving.

So here I am, a half a century old and it’s been 38 years since I began my journey into different worlds with strange characters and beasts.

So what has 38 years of Dungeon and Dragons got me and why do I still play?  For starters I cannot possibly list the number of friends I’ve made playing this awesome game.  The fact that I’ve managed to include my present family into the tradition of shutting off our electronics and enjoying a night at the table of adventure in a total win for me.  There is a certain amount to pride a father feels when his daughters casts her first Fireball while his son’s barbarian is raging against a tribe of goblins.

I’ve spent 95% of my time behind the screen as a DM introducing new people to the game and playing with those have played before.  Each and every one of them has become part of a great story.  I can still see faces of those players who rolled their first 20.

I still make new friends today who share a love of the game.  This Saturday I will be DM play testing my first adventure to be published on the DM Guild Site later this year.  Still can’t believe I waited this long to actually write something for people to share.  It will be live on Twitch TV so watch my twitter account for an update.  @wadojeff   I’m doing this simply to give back to a community that has been awesome over the years.

There is not a lot of social activities that include stories of “remember when we battled that huge dragon” or saved the kingdom from the evil Ice Lich Queen.   My table has always been open to all who wish to partake in an adventure into a realm of fantasy and adventure.

38 years ago we were the nerds and outcasts of a different time.  The ones who hung in dark basements rolling up characters that over the next few decades would fill our hearts and minds with creative lessons on team work and fuel our life with laughter and memories that your just can’t compare to anything else.

Now Dungeon and Dragons is more of household name than I ever thought would be possible.  The game is used to help children with social difficulties and with the help of social media has brought players and Dungeon Masters from across the world together to join in and share ideas, play together on sites like Roll20 and FantasyGrounds and many more.


To Gary Gygax, I thank you for the last 38 years of adventure and memories.  Tonight I’ll be taking Your “Keep on the Borderlands” to my table and enjoying it once again.