Wednesday, October 14, 2020

How D&D Helped Shape who I Became as an Adult

 One of the shows I've listened to quite a bit over the past 6 months or so is the wonderful Roleplay Rescue, hosted by Che Webster.  There are other shows that discuss 'theory' that I also listen to regularly and love - if you'd like other recommendations, let me know and I'll post some in the comments.  Anyway, listening to shows like this just got me thinking more about the game and its place in my life.

It occurred to me at some point that D&D is partly responsible for where I am today, professionally.  I'm a teacher right now (high school English, History, Media Arts & Philosophy) but I wasn't always... and I certainly never planned to be.  Here's the journey - in brief - that got me here.

I discovered D&D at around age 12.  I was a glutton for the cartoon and everything the basic set had to offer.  D&D broadened my vocabulary and, by turning me on to fantasy novels, made me a reader.  As a high school student, I struggled with math but excelled in music and English.  Being good at English made me want to study it at University even though I had no desire to teach it (I was nothing if not na├»ve).  Upon graduating, I found some pretty dead end, low paying jobs in copyright administration, publishing and advertising and they pretty much beat me down with their total lack of a future or challenge.  

All through my 20s I slogged through these cubicle jobs, hating them, but seeing no other choices.  On the side I was playing in a band and, through a lot of hard work and luck, we managed to get some success.  I was able to quit my crappy job and pursue life on the road.  It was glorious.  But a few years later the music industry began to tank and I lost my golden ticket.  

Deciding not to go back to life in a cubicle, I signed up to teach ESL in Japan for a year.  It was such a good experience, I resigned for another year. Then another.  Then a few more.  Pretty soon I realized I was not 'playing teacher'... I was 'teacher'.  I came back to Canada (reluctantly) and got my license.  Then, by a miracle, I got hired in a terrible hiring drought and then ... well, I have been here ever since. 

D&D has not been with me the whole.  There were spans of years when I didn't really think about it.  But it was instrumental in setting me on the path. 

Have you ever stopped to think how you got to where you are?  I bet for some people, it's something just as simple: playing school sports, being in the school play, meeting that one person that changed your life...

It's amazing how the things as a kid can shape how you turn out as an adult.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

The Outlaw (Full Poem)

    The Outlaw

    Priest, is any song-bird stricken?

    Is one leaf less on the tree?

    Is this wine less red and royal

    That the hangman waits for me?

    He upon your cross that hangeth,

    It is writ of priestly pen,

    On the night they built his gibbet,

    Drank red wine among his men.

    Quaff, like a brave man, as he did,

    Wine and death as heaven pours-

    This is my fate: O ye rulers,

    O ye pontiffs, what is yours?

    To wait trembling, lest yon loathly

    Gallows-shape whereon I die,

    In strange temples yet unbuilded,

    Blaze upon an altar high.

    G. K. Chesterton

Shownotes for Episode 18


Theme                                     Evan King - Enchiridion

Welcome                                  148 Barovian Castle

Previously On                          Scott Buckley - Legionnaire

Part 1                                       Bensound Ofelia’s Dream

Dramatis                                  148 Barovian Castle

Some  FX:                      


Horse charge                  


The Hangman Song is a variation on the public domain poem The Outlaw, by G. K. Chesterton, with original music and melody

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

How is a Podcaster like a Punk Rocker: Follow Up

 I still can't stop comparing the podcast scene to the old rock scene of the late 70s and early 80s.  It occurred to me that some people who read this blog might run a blog or zine, own a comic book store, or a hobby or game shop, or run a D&D club, or be in a position, one way or another, to help me spread the word of Tale of the Manticore.

If you are in such a position, and if you are willing to help me promote the show, please use either of the images below to post at your shop, blog, or whatever.  It goes without saying, but I'll say it anyway: every little bit helps, and I truly appreciate it!

Monday, October 5, 2020

Wow... it's hard to believe it.

 5000 downloads!  When I think about how many people have actually spent time with my show, it's ... well, it's a pretty good feeling.  Thanks everyone.  I'll definitely keep on making more.

Saturday, October 3, 2020

Character sheet for Harl Stonecarver

 Name: Harl Stonecarver

Class: Dwarf

Level: 1

Next Level: Ep 19

Str: 15

Int: 11

Wis: 13

Dex: 7

Con: 10

Cha: 14

Luck: 8

Hp: 8

AC: 4

Age: 38

Height: 4'4"

Weight: 165 lbs

Hair: Black hair in a topknot and bushy beard

Eyes: Grey

Languages: Common, Dwarvish, Goblin

Plate Mail, Crescent-bladed battle axe, Backpack (waterskin, rations), belt pouch (54gp, 36sp, 88cp)