July – mid way through the year – and a lot has happened.

I have started regular role playing sessions, for one. The wonderful gang – formally known as STURP (the STockport Unorganised Role Players) – has provided me with something to do on a Wednesday evening, other than stay inside and watch ‘Fringe’ (though, the 3rd series has been marvellous and watched the very next day!). For me, returning to role playing has been a brilliant opportunity to come out of my shell, a persistant block to my getting better with new people.

I have also taken full advantage of opportunities to demo – both at conventions and on Free RPG Day – to further polish my GMing style, which generally seems to go down well. I have had the opportunity to GM for young and old(er), for experienced and newbie gamers – and it all adds to the melting pot of gaming ‘skills’.

My gaming experience this year has included Serenity, Wild Talents, Conan, Epic Adventure, Solar System, QUERP Modern, Advanced Fighting Fantasy, Black Crusade, Dragon Age and, next week, The Laundry – so, no chance missed to try either something old or something new (mostly new). The STURP gang have tried sampling two-week one-shots since we’ve started – and now we’re getting close to settling into some longer term campaign play. It will be interesting to see how that pans out, as I haven’t campaigned anything in a very long time.

A couple of weeks ago I started working at the local Charity Shop for a few hours on a Thursday evening. For me, this has provided a chance to do something different to my day job (which has been relentless not-customer-facing for something like 20 years). This gives me an opportunity to give a little bit back, on top of my existing support of South Manchester Wildlife Rescue (follow the link to check out their web site).

I have managed to read a fair amount so far, and might make a dozen or more books this year – which will be an absolute treat. If I include role playing books in that total (and I don’t see why I shouldn’t), I’ll definitely break far beyond that dozen.

I’ve completed 9 months at my current job, and started to take on some additional work. Having just attended a three day training course on interviewing, I’m going to have to give over some of my time to supporting the assessment of potential newcomers to the company; and, I may even try to go for a management position of some kind, assuming I can pass the assessment for that myself!

On the downside, I haven’t written as much as I’d have liked. I managed to turnout a substantial Maelstrom supplement before Christmas, but complications have kept this from publication, with no clear end in sight. I’m in the process of writing an adventure for QUERP Modern, which will be a string in my bow; but, I had hoped to get a little of something written every single day this year, and a quick look at this blog alone will show you I’ve failed to keep to that.

Perhaps 2011 will be the Year of Role Playing, as I have made a new home at RPG Geek with a great crowd of people from across the globe. I have acquired the Geek of the Week badge after only a very short time on site (or at least it feels like a short time), contributed quite a bit to expanding the articles relating to magazines and fanzines, and had the chance to pick some peoples brains on matters role playing. I also won a competition, run on-site, to write a one-page (one-side of A4) encounter for a generic role playing system. I’ll link to the entry, in moderately low quality JPG format, for a little while:

One-page Encounter competition winner at RPGGeek.com

You can find the original spec for the competition over at RPGGeek, as well as the other entries.

Anyway… things have been good so far – and we’re only midway through the year. I hope I can be back here at Christmas with more positive stuff to write; and I daresay I haven’t even really scraped the surface with what I’ve reported above. If anything comes back to me, I’ll append it…





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