I have been JohnB since 1999 when I joined my first online game, a private game run on the site that was to become PlayByWeb. I stayed JohnB when I moved to RPoL and then stuck with JohnB when I started building NWN Persistent Worlds – and have used JohnB online ever since. However, I started Role Playing well before that, back in the 80s with the red box D&D Basic rules – we played quite a few different rule sets back then, but I finished up on the AD&D, 3e, Pathfinder route – and I am still stuck there today.
Outside of Role Playing, I spent my adult life working with computers – as a teacher, technician and manager. I have an interest in history, which led to historical reenacting, most of it with the Sealed Knot, where I spent years playing around with pikes, swords, muskets and other toys. More recently I have joined the Wimborne Militia and taken to attending Pirate Festivals for a bit of light entertainment. Like many folks of my age, I have married twice – I met my first wife at an English Civil War re-enactment, and my second playing FRPGs online at PlayByWeb. I have a son and a stepson, who are both adults now.
Back in the early days we played a lot of one off adventures, but they soon morphed into a campaign like game as the same players and characters came back week after week – it was great fun. However, when I moved away from that ‘everyone welcome’ University environment, to running a regular game for a regular group of players, I started to develop the campaign world in which my games were set. The world changed with AD&D II, and then again with 3e – and now I am onto pathfinder, although I am developing systems that run alongside Paizo Adventure paths, rather than developing a coordinated world of my own. Although I guess that will come at some point.
As I have grown older, my focus has changed to building consistent campaign worlds that make sense, worlds that you might be able to believe in, worlds that complement the adventures that I run. To be honest that started really early, I still have my very first (AD&D) world – that includes details of the ferries that run up and down a river – including timetables and notes about the crew. When I was working on NWN Persistent Worlds I built a few adventure areas, but my focus was on the scripts that provided social cohesion for the worlds. Characters who stole stuff in the city, would get an alignment change, the guard might notice, the PC might get banished from town (for a while), or a successful character might earn a title and have every NPC in the city use it. And that continued through my 3e world and into my current games. Which all brings me to the point of this blog. I have come to a point in my life where I can semi-retire, and that means I have more time to play. Yay!
While I have a lot of systems that are developed well enough for me to use them, I never really had the time to polish them up and present them nicely – which is the point of this blog.