Pulled Back In

You might wonder what this blog is all about.  You were probably just drawn in by the adorably-cute-yet-heinously-evil little mascot up there above the title.

That’s okay.  Everyone loves the hedgehog.

But this blog is about something different–a topic close to every hedgehog’s heart (really–ask one sometime): tabletop RPGs.

For years—nearly three decades—I was an avid pen & paper role-player.  I still remember the old cardboard box for my 1st edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons game set, the now-seemingly-thin black-and-white rulebook, the fascinating intricacies of mechanics, the exciting fantasy world to explore.  I remember my Player’s Handbook and my Dungeon Master’s Guide from years later, both purchased for my antsy 14-year-old self by my dad, who, a little bemused at my addiction, picked them up at a corner games store in Grant’s Pass, Oregon, on the family vacation.

Later, the drug of choice was GURPS 3rd Edition, which, though some people hate it, is still my favorite.  That was the guiding force for the majority of my serious GMing time.

Then, as many of us do, I found retirement from the gaming scene.  Work (at a “real job”) marriage, and other creative activities took over.  Gaming, though I still remembered it fondly, was a thing of the past.

Or so I thought.

I found myself recently sucked back in to my old hobby, mainly due to the the urging (begging….imploring….well, whining, really) of my old gaming buddies to at least finish that fifteen year old fantasy campaign.

It’s like they thought leaving the main characters outnumbered and surrounded by Lovecraftian cosmic horrors was a bad thing.  Sheesh.

At any rate, I finally caved, as a birthday present to one of them, we took the story a bit further.  Then I went home and planned a final adventure to cap off the epic story of five GURPS characters who had started at 100 points and were now teetering on the brink of godhood.  And found that I’d missed gaming more than I realized.  There’s something about friends getting together and telling each other a story that taps into a part of me that I’d nearly forgotten.  Maybe it just taps into human nature itself—into the need to remind ourselves of the narrative of a heroic band fighting against all odds.

As I sank back deeply into the warm welcoming quicksand of gamerdom, I also realized that I didn’t have a lot of time on my hands.  I had a job now.  I had a wife, one who rolls her eyes at my “nerdy game.”  If I wanted to play again, I’d have to start trying to save some of my precious free time by relying on gaming resources.  So I took to the Google.

Now, there’s some great stuff on the web (There’s also some not-so-great stuff–I won’t go into what Googling “role-playing aids” can get you) but I wanted more.  More GM time-savers, more adventure seeds, more modules, more reviews, more rules.  Maybe even more free game systems put out by open-source RPGers.

And that was the birth of Dire Hedgehog.  It exists to bring you the stuff I find or make that might make your games better, or at least easier.  Ill give you my opinions, critiques, and suggestions for what’s out there.  I’ll look at roleplaying game systems or adventures, provide reviews of things you might want to buy or download, and give my sage advice on GMing in the occasional editorial.  I also have big plans to bring my own resources to you—characters, adventure seeds, full-blown modules, creatures, worlds and backdrops, the whole nine yards.  Maybe even the ruleset I myself am currently working on (CODENAME: Hedgehog.  I know; it’s incredibly creative.).

I see the site as a living organism (and it wouldn’t be the weirdest monster ever statted out, for that matter) that will grow and develop organically, responding to the needs of my readers, my gaming group, and my personal whims.  Welcome, and look for more content soon.

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