The Fine Art of Being a Dungeon Master – By The Seat of my Pants

A post I wrote for Legends of Tabletop a few years back…

It was a cold, late afternoon day in the Autumn of 1983 as I sat in the back of my parents white 1980 Chevy Malibu attempting to contain my rising excitement as my mother and brother and I left the Moorestown BEST catalog showroom store parking lot and headed for home.

On my lap sat the Dungeons & Dragons Red Box Basic Set with cover art by the amazing Larry Elmore!

I was about to delve into the wonderful world of magic, monsters, and graph paper mapping.

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THANKS IN OLD AGE – Uncle Walt Whitman

Thanks in old age—thanks ere I go,
For health, the midday sun, the impalpable air—for life, mere
life,
For precious ever-lingering memories, (of you my mother dear
—you, father—you, brothers, sisters, friends,)
For all my days—not those of peace alone—the days of war the
same,
For gentle words, caresses, gifts from foreign lands,
For shelter, wine and meat—for sweet appreciation,
(You distant, dim unknown—or young or old—countless, un-
specified, readers belov’d,
We never met, and ne’er shall meet—and yet our souls embrace,
long, close and long;)
For beings, groups, love, deeds, words, books—for colors, forms,
For all the brave strong men—devoted, hardy men—who’ve for-
ward sprung in freedom’s help, all years, all lands,
For braver, stronger, more devoted men—(a special laurel ere I
go, to life’s war’s chosen ones,
The cannoneers of song and thought—the great artillerists—the
foremost leaders, captains of the soul:)
As soldier from an ended war return’d—As traveler out of
myriads, to the long procession retrospective,
Thanks—joyful thanks!—a soldier’s, traveler’s thanks.

Surviving the Zombie Apocalypse

Over the years there’s been a strong interest and fascination with the “zombie apocalypse” genre. I can’t tell you how many hours I spent with buddies playing Call of Duty: Nazi Zombies. Even though you’re doomed from the start, it never gets old for me. There’s plenty of reasons why people love the subculture, which I won’t dig into here.

As many of you hear me say on the podcast, I’ll be brief.

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First MG Meetup in October.

Yes, indeed. The first Masculine Geek Meetup will be in Atlantic City, NJ on Friday, October 4th @ 8PM.

Come meet TJ, Rob Says, Aaron Clarey and myself.

It’s free. You pay for your travel and food, drink, etc. First round is on us, however.

We’ve reserved a private room in a cool restaurant. Seating is limited. We’ll eat great food, drink good wine & spirits, talk, perhaps have a cigar, and wander the casinos.

Want to meet us? Head to the Contact page and drop us a line. From there we’ll set up a video conference so we can see your face and talk with you. Why? We need to make sure you’re not a mentally ill pudwack keyboard troll.

The Junto – Benjamin Franklin’s Intellectual Fight Club.

In the Autumn of 1727 Benjamin Franklin created a club called The Leather Apron Club which was later officially dubbed the Junto.

The Leather Apron Club/Junto was a small collection of like-minded men, tradesmen and artisans, that initially met every Friday evening at a local tavern to discuss philosophy, poetry, politics, self-improvement, and network in order to further their business interests and public endeavors.

Benjamin considered it a club for “mutual improvement”.

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The Top Five Reasons Why You Need a Wood-Burning Fireplace

It’s August already.

The Summer is quickly passing and before you know it Autumn will be upon us.

And you know what that means.

Time for campfires and fireplaces.

I live in an apartment with a wood burning fireplace and I love it.

Wood burning fireplace, not gas burning fireplace. This is important. Sorry gas fireplace people. It is not the same. Gas fireplaces suck. There is no wood fuel involved. There is no history. No skill.

The vibe is different.

There are five reasons why you need to have or build one for yourself.

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Admire Your Heroes, But Kill Your Idols

One of my first heroes growing up was Davy Crocket. Like many of you I’m sure, I developed that admiration after watching Fess Parker in the Disney TV series. I got the coonskin cap, plastic toy Alamo set, and a leather bag that I still use to this day to carry stuff for my muzzle loading rifle.

Over time, I’ve acquired a list of other men I look up to and want to emulate – one of the more recent ones include Dick Winters of Band of Brothers fame and William Marshal, “champion” of the Magna Cart and the first earl of Pembroke. Some of my heroes are living and some of them like Marshall and Winters have passed on.

However, they all have something in common.

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