Hey everybody! Ryan here, your friendly neighborhood (not to mention new and shiny) Narrative Director at Open Legend.
I just finished up my first week and I thought this might be a good time to introduce myself. You may or may not know that I’ve been involved with Open Legend since August of 2016 when I first set my sights on House Nivenilya and dug into these weird, biomodified elves. From there I ended up getting more and more involved until I fully embedded my creative tentacles into Amaurea’s Dawn. I take full responsibility for anything weird, whimsical, or strange you might find in this world.
Hope everyone had a great 4th of July filled with bbq, explosions, and of course tabletop roleplaying. I was lucky enough to squeeze in an Open Legend session with some friends and had an absolute blast covering them in strange goo and alien guts, while they attempted to prove themselves as superheroes, minus the one character who ended up just being an IT Tech for Bigsoft that ended up on the team by accident.
So who the heck am I?
I’ve been roleplaying for over fifteen years now and writing in games for over four years. I’ve written for Harebrained Schemes, Calliope Games, I’ve produced tabletop RPG shows at Hyper RPG, and I have an upcoming short story that will be featured in the Sci Fi podcast, Cast of Wonders, in September. But most importantly, I got my first taste of role playing from Neverwinter Nights. I wouldn’t be here today without that game. Spending too many hours on role playing servers with my best friends until my eyes started to water was the highlight of each weekend. We even made embarrassingly bad videos based on our adventures, which I will keep under a TIGHT LOCK and KEY. NWN single handedly prepared me for a lifetime propped up in front of this computer typing away. I still can’t think of a better way to spend a Saturday afternoon or any afternoon for that matter.
In middle school, we attempted to play classic pencil and paper D&D but, these were mostly rudderless adventures that went nowhere. I remember playing a half-orc barbarian who licked doorknobs until he eventually succumbed to a doorknob-borne disease and that’s about it. Yet it was during this time that my NWN character of over two years died in a permadeath encounter on our RP server. I bawled like a baby that night. This was the moment that I began to understand that virtual experiences and friends, be they in rpgs, books, movies, or what have you, are just as valuable as those in everyday life.
It wasn’t until I went to college and fell in with some loveable scamps who lived for cheap beer and 3.5 that I finally had my first epic campaign that lasted over a year. Yurt Threefoot, a halfling barbarian with a southern drawl, escaped his traveling menagerie where he wrestled animals and grew into a legendary hero, with a few axe breaking hiccups along the way. Over the course of college and beyond we explored rich worlds, sundered them, saved them, and began anew covering centuries, and encountering the ramifications and ripples of our previous party’s deeds.
Somehow we also managed to graduate. Can you believe they even gave me a degree in Creative Writing and Childhood Psychology?
While I can’t say my attempts at writing realistic fiction helped me much as a writer, my time spent role playing and writing five absolutely disastrous fantasy novels shaped who I am today. I’m so grateful for the having that chance to explore characters with silly accents, named weapons, and tragically doomed worlds. After a while though, I began to feel some frustration with 3.5’s endless rules and supplements, and even Pathfinder’s remaster still left me wanting something more.
While these are classic rulesets, I found it exceedingly difficult to get new friends into our group. Character sheets took hours to complete. Our play sessions were plagued with confusion, rightfully so, and rules questions that broke the pacing, and combat that lasted far too long. And that brings us back to Open Legend. When I virtually met Brian, checked out the rule set, and heard the mission I was in. And I’m continually reminded how right my instincts were each time I play.
This past weekend I brought together a group of eight people, four of which were 3.5 veterans, self-proclaimed “lovers of all that cheese,” and two, who were newer 5th edition players, and two who had never played an RPG before, and they all had a blast being misled, mangled, and mooed at in our session. A quick chat and couple links to the Open Legend website and Heromuster character sheets and they were ready. We played for five hours and I was continually shocked by how fast they got the rules and how quickly they started exploring their strategic options. By the end, everyone was asking for Part 2. And I intend on making it and I’m recording everything so that I can eventually share this adventure with all of you.
In the meantime though, I’ll be plenty busy making sure all the bonus Kickstarter content is top notch and I’m excited to start featuring all the cool, new content that the Open Legend community has been working on!
I would love to hear some your roleplaying origin stories! Let’s hear all the best and worst of your roleplaying past and how you came to discover Open Legend.
Feel free to reach out, ask me questions, or just say hello here or on Twitter. Or if you want to take a look at the behind the scenes process of writing Amaurea’s Dawn, you can check that out right here. I can’t wait to get you to know you all and hopefully we’ll be rolling some dice at Gen Con in August.