Role Playing Games

Planned Events

I love pen & paper role playing games and there is almost no stop to the things I would like to do. Here are some examples.

Dungeon- and Game Master's Roundtable

I would love to organize and hold off a regular Dungeon- and Game Master's Roundtable for people who are serious about being a good DM or GM. At least once a month, or better yet, even every two weeks or even weekly in a restaurant in Zürich.

The Dungeon- and Game Master's Roundtable would be a social event for Dungeon- and Game Masters, - and anyone who would like to become one -, to meet with other Dungeon- and Game Masters. At the Roundtable they can exchange ideas, tips and tricks on Game Mastering and share their love for role playing games, or specific systems, or why they like or prefer one system over another. It would be an awesome opportunity to meet, talk to, and get to know real people, real role playing game fans, in real life, and maybe even make some new friends! And get motivation to do more Dungeon- or Game Mastering and become a better Dungeon- or Game Master! :-)

Exchanging ideas with other Game- and Dungeon Masters, in my view, is one of the strongest inspirations and motivations there is for Dungeon- and Game Mastering. At least, that's the effect meeting with other Dungeon- and Game Masters has on me! :-) I despise competition in general, but a friendly competition, without putting other back or affecting them negatively, one where everyone, without exception profits, such a competition to be or become a better Dungeon- or Game Master, with everyone helping everyone, that would be cool. And if you're a great fan of pen & paper role playing games, you just have to love other fans. And Dungeon- and Game Masters by definition are usually the biggest fans there are.

We would start ever Dungeon- and Game Masters Roundtable with an introduction where everyone introduces themselves and shares a bit of his or her personal background with role playing games, experiences, favorite games, etc. Then we would proceed to discussing the Dungeon- and Game Mastering topics which people want to talk about and which are of the most interest to those attending. Everyone who participates is asked to think about something that he or she would like to talk about and then maybe supply that subject as a topic for discussion during the event.

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Outdoor Survival Board Game

It's not toooo hard to become a Dungeon- or Game Master. If you have the time and the will. But it's not easy to become a good Dungeon- or Game Master. One of the most common complaints by players, especially of (contemporary) Dungeons & Dragons is: It's far too much hack and slash, stupid monster bashing and too high fantasy, with too much treasure, gold and magic items.

Like in movies with special effects and action, many Dungeon- and Game Masters are tempted to throw in too much monsters and fights, even senseless ones, and far too much gold, treasure and magic (items).

How can thing be done differently? Well, by elevating other things to be more fun and incorporating those into your games. Exploration and outdoor survival is a primary candidate for this. I suspect these are exactly the reasons why exploration and outdoor survival were incorporated into (Advanced) Dungeons & Dragons back when role playing games were invented. Unfortunately, exploration and outdoor survival get forgotten and neglected far too often, so to become a good Dungeon- or Game Master, I think it would pay tribute to pay more attention to it.

Outdoor Survival by Avalon Hill is a hex-based board game from 1972 and it is the blue-print which Gary Gygax's original Dungeons & Dragons, and thus RPGs in general copied from and got inspired by for outdoor exploring and adventuring!
Thus, in a sense, it is the "original", in the original RPG. I'm curious to learn what the fun might be in it, how it works, what the dynamics are, etc. That's why I ordered myself a copy and I would love to try it out. It plays with 2-4 people, ideally 4, and there are many different goals or settings, like escape the wilderness, rescue an injured person, etc.
For more info about the game read a review here:

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Classical (original) 1980s Dungeons & Dragons

I'm a fan of Gary Gygax's original Advanced Dungeons & Dragons because that was a lot less commercially oriented, and geared more towards adults than later versions of the game. Unfortunately the original books weren't perfect in describing the rules and misinterpreting the rules, or even the game as an effect, was more the norm than the exception. - To a certain extend. Read about it in my text on Dungeons & Dragons.

Anyway, mastering Gygaxian Advanced Dungeons Dragons is not an easy feat, and an important step on the way to it is, or would be, to mater the much more simply easy to play original, or rather Classical Dungeons & Dragons from the lat 70's or early 80s.

I'd like to start with one-shots to get to know players, and once I have found enough players who have the time and are interested, I'd like to play through a majority of the vast number of modules and adventures available for Dungeons & Dragons! :-)

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Gygaxian Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, 1st Edition - The way it was meant to be played!

Original (Gygaxian) Advanced Dungeons & Dragons 1st Edition (AD&D 1E) is still the behemoth and "monster" of pen & paper role playing games. In its original late 70s and early 80s edition, it featured more complexity than any later edition of the game. As explained in my little essay about Dungeons & Dragons, mastering AD&D 1E is, or was far from easy, and most people got it wrong in one way or the other. This author included! :-) In a way, that was symptomatic, or the "norm". Unfortunately, far too many campaigns turned into hack & slash or high-fantasy monty-haul campaigns, where players were rained with far too much gold, magic items and treasures. And that's ignoring that probably only one third of the rules were properly played with, and of those, half were misunderstood and used incorrectly.

All that doesn't do tribute to a game, which, if you really know it, really doesn't deserve that. Original AD&D by Gary Gygax deserves much better. Considering that it was a first publication and that Gygax probably didn't have a computer for editing in 1978, and just published everything new as he went along, probably all written by type-writer and then published soon after, it's still vastly amazing what he did.

If you re-examine Gygax's original AD&D today and work out some errors, ambiguities, and areas of contradiction or lacking clarity with modern computer editing, I think, you can really get a great, great game.
I hold a Master's Degree in original Gygaxian Advanced Dungeons & Dragons so to say. I studied the game and all original sources like a historian over a year and wrote a major Master's work on it, a summary and clarification of the rules. With this summary, I think I could play the game in a much better quality than I did back when I was a teenager and young adult. I think the game has a lot to offer the newest 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons doesn't have. And it's no coincidence, that today's 5th edition is the most popular edition after Gygax's original AD&D, exactly because it goes back to that original more than any other late version of the game.

I created a short adventure that can be played in about 3-5 sessions to introduce AD&D 1E played by the book (as good as that is possible, which is special if you know the system): "The Lost Temple of the Heretics". This short adventure should show the special features of original AD&D when played right. I tried to create a one-shot adventure, but ended up just sticking too much into it. ;-)
I would like to play it with as many people as possible, thereby possibly further improving it and certainly also honing my own Dungeon Mastering abilities with AD&D, getting back into it, and, if I find players interested in the system, I would love to play through most of the vast number of original modules and adventures available for AD&D 1E. :-)

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Other RPGs

I also have a lot of other pen & paper role playing games that I would like to play, perhaps even Game Master. For instance, Das Schwarze Auge (The Dark Eye), Star Frontiers, Call of Cthulhu, Shadowrun, Star Wars: The Role Playing Game (by West End). And I would love to try many games I don't have, like Traveller and many others.

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