05 September 2013

A beginning is a very delicate time.

So here I am.  Hoorah.

My name is Bob, and I've been involved with roleplaying games since the 1970s.  I've played them, I've gamemastered them, I've created them, I've playtested them, I've written for them, I've made money off of them, and I've pontificated a great deal about them -- gaming and music are the two enduring hobbies of my adult life.

That pontification bit is what I'm doing here.  I've been active on several gaming forums over a decade and more, and I'm an opinionated fellow.  I'm going to put down my thoughts, and even a solution or three.  Whether anyone cares, that's another matter, but heck, the Internet would never have gotten off the ground if its creators worried about how many people would bother with it.

My blog title comes from the legend of the invisible city of Kitezh, the Russian version of Atlantis or Brigadoon, and is the specific title of the last scene of an opera based on the tale by Rimsky-Korsakov.  From 1981 until around 1989, I was active on the UMass computer system, where there was a primitive chatroom facility called "Confer."  (As geeks will, they couldn't leave standard practice well enough alone, and insisted that it be pronounced COHN-fer.)  The program allowed users to create their own private chatrooms, which could then be made invisible -- and thus open for private invites -- and when I did this, I used this name for my chatroom.  I rather like the notion of reviving it.

I've a couple rules of the road that will color -- directly or otherwise -- everything I'll say.  First off, I don't play D&D.  Haven't played it for over twenty years, haven't GMed it in over thirty.  I'm a GURPS GM.  I'm happy with the system, I've been using it since before it was published, I'm not inclined to change.

Second, I'm a realism bug.  You'll hear more on that down the road, but IMHO, the "It's a game so trying to make it 'realistic' is stupid" crack is moronic BS, and you'll hear my refutation of that down the road.

Getting those out of the way now will save angst later.

I might be invisible here.  But I'm speaking nonetheless.


  1. Hi Bevan, glad you didn't die in a pit.

  2. It'd be rather depressing if I'd had!

  3. (For those of you scoring at home, Mitch's reference would be familiar to the UMass-Amherst science fiction/computer geek crowd circa 1982. "Die in a pit!" was a common bit of snark -- adding "... no pony!" for added emphasis. Being in a silly frame of mind, I decided to write an even sillier text game for the UMass computer system called Die In A Pit, where players had a choice of bizarre pits in which to die, and close to invariably -- barring a couple of easter eggs -- did. It bought me a soupcon of renown, for what it was worth.)