So, one of those things that’s been on my “bucket list”, since I was a teen, was the idea of being a table-top role-playing “Games Master” for a “game on TV”. Back in the 80s and 90s, it was just absurd to think that idea would or could ever be a thing.
First off, “Nerd Culture” or “Geek Culture” was universally scorned. Games like Dungeons & Dragons were reviled by mainstream culture, subject to crazy-killer movie mythology, and the like.
A quarter century or more later, and a lot has changed. “Critical Role” took the cultural world by storm, “Which Alignment Are You” memes are passed by board-room execs, and eSports have multi-million dollar prize purses available.
Two-story TV stations fit in the space of a laptop and a bedroom, transmitting to a global audience at 10x the resolution and sound quality of shows like “Knight Rider” and “V” in NSTC.
Micro-blog communities of TTRPG gamers on services like Twitter debate rules as well as social responsibility of game creators. Single and Duo game creators produce add-on content for their favorite games via PDF and credit card payment at quality levels that were literally impossible in the era of “Isle of Dread” and “Keep on the Borderlands”.
It has been a remarkable journey to be part of and watch unfold. My son is an avid gamer, playing 3rd and 4th generation rules-concept games that didn’t exist when he was born, and only got started years later. He and his friends have gotten me to relearn and rethink an awful lot about “normal” within gaming.
Which leads to the milestone I crossed today. One year ago, myself and the players of “Unlawful Disorder” launched what seemed an unlikely idea; “4 Australian actors and a Canadian novelist walk into a homebrew D&D game, catering to the EU time zone”.
We’ve switched Twitch channels twice, and then gone on to build our own. We’ve switched game systems, to Open Legends. The opening scenario was a brawl in a barn against an unknown villainess who clearly wanted ill for the group.
As of today, she’s back; bigger and badder than ever. The adventure continues, and it’s such a part of my creative life now I don’t really know what I’d do without it.
The crew of Unlawful Disorder challenge me and bring out the best in me as a Story Teller / Games Master. I’m obligated to bring my best to the table with such a talented group of players, telling such a special story.
Any ST/GM will tell you every game and every group is unique. This group is uniquer than most. They’ve gone from being strangers and “cast professionals” to being dear friends that have made a mark on my life.
I don’t know how long this will last, or how far it will go. But after a year, I can feel good about having fulfilled what was an impossible dream for a 16-year-old me.
Happy “birthday” to us. Looking forward to the story of the next year.