My Girlfriend is a DM
I’ve spent the better part of my childhood fiddling with copy protection code wheels to play the Secret of Monkey Island on my DOS PC and used basic text editors to get unlimited credits in Dune II. I still haven’t thrown out my stack of Computer Gaming World back issues or old gaming manuals. My final paper for high school was about synchronicity in compositional music and computer game design.
I wear Spider-Man t-shirts while I sleep and Fantastic Four shirts while I cook. I have lovingly sealed copies of Ultraverse comics and randomly doodle various superheroes on paper napkins while I freelance from the coffeehouse. I turned in a psychoanalytic paper on Doctor Doom for my abnormal psychology class and got top marks for it.
I voraciously devoured the core books for TSR’s Marvel Superheroes RPG in both Basic and Advanced flavors and spent many an afternoon designing my own pencil and paper games across four dozen notebooks. I have a treasured copy of West End Game’s D6-based Star Wars RPG and read Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu RPG in one sitting.
I am writing this so that it is absolutely clear that I am a dyed in the wool geek when I tell you: Up until last year, I had never played a pen and paper role-playing game before.
That’s right: I’ve owned, borrowed and stole books and I’ve read modules for fun; I’ve trolled through various forums on design throwing fancy neologisms like ‘ludosophy’ or ‘ludology’ and have the writings of Greg Costikyan and Chris Crawford saved to my hard drive. I’ve gone ‘godlike’ on UT2003, tapped mana in Magic but the pleasures of the critical hit were unknown to me.
This year, I got a chance to jump into a great gaming group to play Star Wars: Saga Edition. We’ve moved on briefly to other games, but not till after I commandeered my flat mate’s Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition books. I can’t stop thinking about pen and paper role-playing these days, and I pester my girlfriend about every game. Why? Because my girlfriend is a DM.