The purpose of this post is to magically transform me from a random voice in the 'blogosphere' into somebody who somebody else might want to listen to (whether or not it's an authoritive voice is a matter for further posts and individual opinion)
Let me know how I do...
If you're into formal qualifications, then I have a Diploma of Higher Education in Literature and Creative Writing. I should have a BA (hons), but decided to drink beer and chase girls in my final year instead of doing work.
To be honest, all i've done with my creative writing training is run games and write dungeons.
Whilst at Uni I got involved in Live-Action Role Play (LARP or LRP). It was a 'mud and beer' club, which means that you resolved conflict by picking up a foam/rubber sword and whacking your antagonist with it. They also whacked you back, so that's alright.
I spent about three years writing adventures, or linears, for the club. The basic format of a linear adventure was about 8 encounters, mostly fighting with one or two talking encounters, that progressed in a, you know, linear fashion to a predetermined goal.
So, basically like a computer game. An example that leaps to mind is Resident Evil 4. You can explore certain larger areas, but essentially there's only one way forward.
I have fond memories of running these adventures.
I eventually left the club after dropping my writing duties to be 'just another player', and discovering that I didn't really enjoy playing as much as I did writing.
I've been playing table top RPG since being snowed in at a friends house in Feb 1996. The first game I played was Cyberpunk, followed by Ars Magica and Paranoia (not all on teh same night, though).
I was made aware of Vampire and Mage around that time, and remember being unaccountably annoyed that The Order of Hermes and the Tremere were included in those games as options rather than the main focus.
When I got to Uni, though, the only games on offer were Vampire: the Masquerade and Changeling: the Dreaming. Mage: the Ascension reared its head once as well.
I started playing a Vampire game, and quickly discovered how a game can go wrong.
I started running games simply because the guy that normally ran them was, in my opinion, a moron. I could do better, I thought. I can show him how it should be done.
I did ok. Not great. Ok.
Since then i've run Vampire: tM, Mage:tAs, In Nomine, Ars Magica, Adventure!, Star Wars d20, D&D 3.5 and 4, Exalted, Aberrant, Trinity, basic World of Darkness, Hunter: The Reckoning, Orpheus and now Hunter: The Vigil.
All to an Ok standard. I think.
I currently play with a weekly group in my local town.
Most of them like old school D&D or Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. They recently played Cyberpunk, which went down well.