Since it is the holidays, and we should be spreading Christmas. I shall admit my undying gamer love and appreciation for Charles Schindler
If Charles is reading this, his one eyebrow is already raise with a confident yet confused smirk on his face.
There is a good chance that all of this, the blog, the books, the stories, even the gnomes would not exist for me if it wasn't for Charles.
Flashback, Spring 1987, 7th grade Easton Area Middle School. Once or twice a week the school would compress the other periods 5 or 6 minutes to allow for an activity period. This activity period allowed for hobbies that the staff were willing to supervise. I remember taking golf because we could be outside at the end of the day, but my final activity was model club.
Yep, a bunch of nerdy boys assembling hot rods, tanks, and in my good fortune, Battletech models (oh if I hadn't taken it out of the box, I'd be rich today). I don't remember how the conversation went, but Charles noticed the Btech model, talked up a few other things including D&D and Car Wars, and next week, he "gm'ed" me through one of the Car Warriors books. From that point I was hooked, snagged up a Red Box Basic set over the summer and we became permanent fixtures of each other's dining room tables all through high school.
For some time, Charles' room was the Mecca of gaming, outside of Crazy Egor showing up at Lehicon. Piles of D&D, TMNT, Star Frontiers, GURPS, random board games galore, it was jammed in some box or shelf. Heck, most new games, outside of Recon were his idea. Up until my skills were tested with a new group in Basic Training he was the mountaintop. All ideas, good, bad, or Megaman, went through him.
By the time high school was over and we found other players and other styles, we decided our playing styles were not compatible anyone (that's the diplomatic way of putting it, and I'm sticking to it).
Now, I do believe even Charles will admit that he can be quite um... well... perhaps dick-ish, maybe he acts like a pompous ass, but sort of in a Sheldon Cooper with people skills way. I've seen him begrudgingly back down after he finally admitted he was wrong (which was rare... the being wrong part, the battles he couldn't win were met with indifference), but I've enjoyed him systematically pick apart a players bold face lies with the morbid glee of a public execution.
I fail to understand why a small handful of people project hate and resentment towards the man. Could he be a dick at times? Sure! But he didn't sleep with anyone's girlfriend, not pay back personal loans, or steal anbody's gaming stuff, and I've still gamed with those people. I would game with him in a second if the opportunity presented itself. Could we co-exist in long-term group? Sure, why not! If the GM can satisfy everyone's need for face time, everyone should be content with their lot.
In fact, I might enjoy it.
Of course, that's before you see this!
L to R, Scott, Crazy Daryl, Charles, and the sexy guy is Me! When I saw our class picture, now taken over 20 years ago, I first though, "Hey, I was okay lookin' back then." In that row, that's like saying I was the skinniest kid at fat camp. I also had a co-worker note that Daryl and Charles make a US flag with their shirts.
Missing from the pic is Wooly (you can see him in post #8), and George is missing, but as is the last 20 years, that's nothing new.