I was a wee lad of five or six, and my older brothers played D&D. First, it was out of the original White Box, then it was AD&D. For awhile they played Empire of the Petal Throne. Through it all, I was the little kid who hung around on the periphery and watched.
#1, my oldest brother, was typically the DM, and he occasionally allowed me to look at his dungeons before he ran the party through them. He did that until he realized that I loved maps and would attempt to recreate them and then give the re-creations to my other brother (#2). I was then banned.
I started playing D&D with the (Red Box) Basic Set. I created a new barbarian character class almost as soon as I knew everything there was to know about the Red Box. We played one adventure using a party that included my homebrew barbarian, and then moved into AD&D and left the barbarian behind.
Later, #1 became the first player in my first real AD&D campaign. I really learned DMing from taking him through my little world. His character was Chark, a half-orc, fighter-cleric to Gruumsh (if I remember correctly). Actually, Chark was the first word of a name that was at least ten words long--all in orcish from an early Dragon magazine article that listed maybe a page or two of words in orc-tongue. I think that it was Chark Da'Odrog blah blah blah; translated it was 'Chark, something-something-something, Destroyer of Worlds.' (Funny how you remember things from 25+ years ago.) Needless to say, Chark had a huge impact on that world, and became a demi-god in future iterations of the campaign.
So why jump into the autobiographicals when this blog is supposed to be about my efforts in the exciting world of rpg publishing? Well, I think it will inform the rest of the story. I think, looking back, that it already shows why I am doing what I am doing.
I love maps, always have as you will come to learn.
I've always tried to write my own material--the D&D Basic Set barbarian was the very first stab. There have been many since.
Between the barbarian and The Fantasy Cartographic, there have been one or two attempts to actually enter the publishing world, both those will be the the subject of next time...