Due to the magic of social networking, I just found out about Atlas Games' Reverb Gamers Master List of 31 question about RPGs. Thanks to Ryan Macklin for bringing this up on Facebook (via Twitter). Like Ryan, I will do all 31 questions, and I will post each day. Since this is already day three, I will answer the first three questions today then going forward, one per day.
#1: What was your first roleplaying experience? Who introduced you to it? How did that introduction shape the gamer you've become?
My first roleplaying experience was at the age of 11. My buddy Tony had me over his house (I think it was after school) to hang out. He busted out the AD&D Player's Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide, and Unearthed Arcana. We made a quick character, and Tony gave me some magic items. I honestly don't remember any details as to the character or the magic items. Tony ran me through a dungeon for a couple hours and I had a great time.
I don't know how much it shaped me as a gamer, but it definitely started me off on a hobby that's lasted 27 years so far, to include podcasting, freelance editing, and game design.
#2: What is it about gaming that you enjoy the most? Why do you game? Is it the adrenaline rush, the social aspect, or something else?
This is honestly a tough one. I've been gaming so long, the whys are kind of lost on me. I'll try though. For starters, I love being around people--the social aspect is likely number one for me. Also, I love the act of playing a character and telling a story. To be completely honest, I really love "performing" for people, and roleplaying is pretty much a captive audience!
#3: What kind of gamer are you? Rules Lawyer, Munchkin/Power Gamer, Lurker, Storyteller/Method Actor, or something else? (Search "types of gamer" for more ideas!) How does this affect the kinds of games you play? For example, maybe you prefer crunchy rules-heavy systems to more theatrical rules-light ones.
I tend to agree with Macklin on this one. It's all about what the game, the situation, and the group requires of me.
I'm definitely a rules guy, but I try not to cram it down anyone's throat. I prefer rules systems that allow for lots of options in uncomplicated ways. I wouldn't say I prefer rules-light or rules heavy, just rules consistent. I like systems that are written in such a way so it's relatively obvious what you should do when you don't remember the exact rule. It doesn't matter how many rules there are, or how deep they go, as long as the make sense in the context of the other rules. It's also very important the rules evoke the setting or at least get out of the way.
The effect is, I don't play many games with pasted-on rules or too many subsystems, or games with a rule for everything.
From a role-playing perspective I tend to base my characters on personalities I've seen or read in media--or an amalgam of characters. Like Batman meets Dr. Cox from Scrubs (yep, done it). Does that make me a method actor?
I am by no means a lurker. I'm usually in the thick of the story, as a player, to the point where I actively have to monitor myself and pull away so others can shine. I've gotten pretty good at that over the years.
Well, that's it for the first three... I welcome your comments!