“Geeks don’t just have interests; they have passions.” -HijinksEnsue

A centralized hub for my passions: Dungeons & Dragons, Warmachine and more.

I still remember my first pack of Magic cards, a Revised Starter Deck.  A very clean box, no images of dragons or planeswalkers, just a box clad in browns and tans, with the title in blue and five colors arrayed in the center.  The back described the wondrous world you could inhabit by opening the box and casting spells.  From there came expansions: The Dark and Fallen Empires.  From Magic there were any number of other card games including Star Trek and Star Wars.

Then there were the miniatures.  Mage Knight and MK: Dungeons to HeroClix.  Then a lapse in tabletop gaming as I made my out of college into the professional world.

World of Warcraft eventually took hold and I spent many hours forging a Holy Paladin on Stormwind, becoming a class officer in the Eternal Power guild, running the top dungeons and getting my gear.  But alas, it was not to be forever.  The guild collapsed and I stopped playing.  I made a return to WoW after the Wrath of the Lich King was released, fell in with a new guild, but the passion was gone.  The constraints of gaming within a computerized framework were beginning to wear on my soul.  How many times can you run the same dungeon in the same way with the same people before the monotony crushes you?  And so I left again and have not returned.

I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, which is certainly part of why tabletop games that occur away from a monitor engage me so. By profession I’m a computer programmer that develops in Cocoa for the Mac and iOS.  Maybe being a programmer gives too much insight into how locked down even an open world like WoW truly is.  I can do nothing that the programmer has not thought of.  To do so is to encounter a bug, crash the game or run afoul of Blizzard’s ever-growing ToS.

Dungeons & Dragons?  What a complete change from a computer driven MMORPG.  A completely open world where ANYTHING is possible.  You can do anything you can imagine.  And this is due to having a human DM instead of a machine.  A machine can only do what it has been programmed to do.  But a human DM is open to all possibilities.  That is powerful.  That is what every MMORPG strives for, complete openness, and it turns out that once you get rid of the machine, it’s possible.  Beyond that, there are an unending number of story lines with infinite branch points.  Through lack of options I ended up DMing a the adventure in the back of the hardcover DMG for my birthday and roped a few friends and my wife into playing.  Here we are 8 months later and we’re still meeting up and our story is evolving from that first adventure.

Most recently I discovered Warmachine, mainly due to Penny Arcade’s multiple comics and blogs on the subject.  Though I had encountered it before online, I was never that interested.  Eventually, it took hold and now I find it as another primary passion, much different from D&D.  Solely combat based it is a tactical to a level that D&D can never be. It is akin to chess with more exciting pieces and an ever-changing board.

And now I am here, typing into the About space on a newly formed blog, sharing my passions.


-Mickey Roberson (Diesel DM)