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An Addiction to RPGs

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As I construct this post, I'm hoping to gain a few ranks in my [Writing] skill.

It is an obsession. I've been an RPG addict since the day I could hold a mechanical pencil. It is not merely an application running in my brain, it is seamlessly integrated into my operating system.

It started one day at my cousins' house. The kids in my family, all older than me at the time, were rolling dice in a dimly-lit room, with my oldest cousin acting as the nefarious Dungeon Master. I stumbled upon this scene in my constant quest to get them to include me. I was just a wide-eyed, 7 year old noob that they loved to torture. I knocked on the door, sheepishly entered, and they actually invited me to join them! I absolutely swelled with pride as I took up my character sheet and pencil, my face a stern mask of determination.

It turns out that they needed someone to run their cleric, Casey, a character that I later learned was the proverbial guinea pig of the group. Lots of bad stuff happened to Casey as he pulled random levers and stuck his arm blindly into dark holes. I think he came out the other end of White Plume Mountain more than a little roughed up, and yet, I loved every second of it with every ounce of my soul. My life changed that day. I was hooked.

Throughout my childhood, if I wasn't playing an RPG, I was creating one. I've never played favorites between digital gaming and pen/paper. That would have only served to limit me to the number of RPGs I could experience. I love both mediums for their own reasons. I've played every iteration of D&D since the basic rules, and I've rocked PC games since the days when MIDI music was considered HiFi. I have guided countless heroes to their untimely demise as I gleefully tugged at their strings like a mad puppeteer.
I often wonder at the total number of experience points I've earned in my life.
It's nice to see RPG elements cross over into other gaming genres. Most FPS and RTS games have some form of leveling up, skill enhancement, and character build paths. I'll take one of each please.

My daughter's initials are RPG. This is purely serendipitous and not a case of a father indirectly projecting his interests onto his daughter. How cool is that? She will hit level 1 any day now, at which point I will burst into her nursery, yell "Ding!", and help her decide how she will spend her skill points. If you have any theorycrafting to share, I'd love to hear your thoughts.