One day, last week, I worked through lunch. What I found in the Food Room (break room, but why not just it by what it's valued for?) stirred me to this latest episode of Rockcast Podosophy. Enjoy this short interview about the Dungeons & Dragons DMing experience with Mike, Dan, and myself around an apple and a sandwich in that glorious government building.
With love and nothing else.
24 January 2019
In the break room (food room) at the WDFW
RR: Is it cool if I record you?
Mike: Absolutely. The last thing I ran was a Pathfinder scenario. It was run-skill-and Shakos, which made that a more light-hearted, fun. There’s pirates. The players are captured during the game, and then they take over their own ship. They fight other ships, and then eventually they go back and find the people who captured them. But I ran that more light-hearted. But I’ve also ran another one of the darker Aps. It has a bunch of the monsters from movies. Vampires, witches, ghosts. I ran that one with a little bit of a darker…edge to it, I guess. I really encourage role-playing, but obviously, not everybody likes it or is into it.
Dan: Or is good at it.
Mike: Or is good at it- absolutely.
RR: Why do you think that is?
Mike: I think, ya know, sometimes people are just afraid to cut loose and have fun. Just like, “Ah, I go forth and march!” Or whatever the case may be that they’re playing. Uh, just be yourself, man.
Dan: Yea, ya know when people hesitate like that. Like, when we’re playing, ya know, my character is very flirtaceous. [to Mike] I’m flirting with you, which can be awkward. And I think that some people, that might be what they’re thinking, like we’re just talking, we don’t need to be super serious about it-
Dan: But like me, I go all in.
RR: You have to suspend your disbelief.
Mike: Absolutely. When I’m playing a bad guy, he’s a real violent, vile, nasty human being sometimes. And when you’re doing, I think, like a modern game like Alter Green, like if something edgy…like, I give players a warning. Like there’s one game, Lovers in the Ice, it’s about this monster that gets loose in Portland -I made it Portland- in a snow storm. And it infects people and gives them and gives them really crazy sexual desires. I mean like bad, like violent, and I said, before I run this, I’m gonna tell you guys, if you get infected this is what’s gonna happen. If it’s a problem, like I’d make sure if there’s a lady in the room. Hey, I’d talk to ‘em before hand and say, “I don’t want you to get offended in any way. And I can not run this scenario if that’s the case if it’s gonna bother you in the least, because I think fantasy-style games are… they don’t have the same impact on people. Where as, ya know, a modern game has guns. Ok, a bunch of people just got killed, a bunch of children- that might affect somebody.
RR: It’s a lot more triggering, you think?
Mike: A lot more triggering, yea. So you have to be sensitive to that, I think. And this style of games. Or somebody who has mental problems. Ya know, like, what if Dan has post-traumatic stress from serving? Ya know, sorry man, well yea, so I just try to bear that in mind when running a game. Know your players. Which is why running at Gen Con, which I’ve done for years, you have to make pretty generic characters, pretty….not as interesting backgrounds. But like, I always run one game at Gen Con when it’s my buddies and I’ll set the characters up where they’re like backstabbing each other. With that particularly in mind. I’ll set that up, where they’re gonna try to kill each other while a whole scenario is playing out and it can be quite interesting and quite the blast.
RR: What’s the longest game you ever played?
Mike: Like, literally, like how many hours?
RR: I guess. Like,…years? Months?
Mike: Uh, Dungeons & Dragons I’ve been playing for twenty…thirty-five years? God, I’m that old.
Dan: Is that it?
Mike: Yea, I started at about 15, so 36 years.
RR: That’s awesome.
Mike: And I played, we had a marathon scenario one time where we played twenty hours straight. I was DMing. That was…I couldn’t do it any longer than that.
Dan: That’s rough.
Mike: That was at least 19 hours or so.
RR: I do not have the attention span for that.
Mike: Yea, yea…but there’s a group of guys that I game with once a year in April. Where we get together for two days, we take over the guy’s house. Bunch of us fly in from all over the place and we play Pathfinder for basically two days straight. I roll up characters and we sleep at the house. Like last year we went to the guy’s house and we go to the guy’s house and his wife cooks food for us. And he’s like, “This is my second Christmas! This is the only other thing that I do.” Cause he’s got like seven kids, so, um, it’s super fun. And it’s a good way to keep in touch with people. So. I’ve met so many different people gaming too. At Gen Con, a lot of the people I’ve met I met at Gen Con, so it’s a great way to meet people and make friends and it’s just…
RR: It’s good for you. I really like it. I think it’s hard when I first start playing to like orient, but once you get into it you’re like LOCKED IN. You’re like, “Alright, guys!”
Dan: That kills me. Every week when we play, I’m so oriented so focused when I start. I’m takin’ notes and everything. Like an hour into the session I lose all track of that. I’m in the game, and it’s like I could be doing this with my eyes closed cause everything’s going on in my head. It’s just pure imagination at this point. Finally, ya know, the scenario’s over, we’re done for the night and it’s like….I have not taken notes in like two hours. I have no idea what’s going on. I mean, I do, but I’m not gonna be able to recall specific things. So hopefully somebody is taking notes.
Mike: We could always record it, you know.
Dan: I could, but then I’d have to go back and listen to it. I might.
RR: Can you guys introduce yourselves?
Mike: I’m Mike Justice, I’ve been playing or running games for forty…thirty-six years.
Dan: Dan Zeekan(sp?), not quite that long. Playin’ off and on for probly the last like ten years or so.
RR: That’s awesome. YAY! Ok.