Is This a Hobby Anymore? Reflections on a Decade of Dabbling in Tabletop Roleplaying Games

My blog crossed the 10-year mark earlier this year to no fanfare. I knew about the milestone (and even tweeted about it) though the moment lacks any sort of significance other than a reminder of how much time has passed since I was eager to share my thoughts with the world about combat speed in 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. At that time, my motivation for writing was to fill a perceived gap in the flourishing online discourse about D&D; I felt my background as a mental health provider and researcher could be unique, and that first article was enjoyable to write!

The community enjoyed the article, which provided me with reinforcement to write about other topics. A pleasant feedback loop started as I was playing D&D regularly, which would spark ideas for articles, which would get me to write for the blog, which would result in others in the community discussing or sharing those articles, which would result in me being more interested in playing D&D and other games.

My enjoyment of tabletop roleplaying games such as D&D took on a bigger role in my life. I went from not playing at all to playing with a consistent group 3-4 times each month. And not only was I devoting time to LONG sessions each weekend (4e combat speed, am I right?!), I spent a good portion of other free time writing, editing, and promoting my blog on social media – primarily Twitter. Looking back, that time was such a luxury!

I am proud of the blog, which has accumulated the following stats in the past 10 years (and two months):

  • 276 Posts
  • 319,380 Visitors

The busiest day for the blog was on December 1, 2016 after Patrick Rothfuss shared an article I wrote about The Slow Regard for Silent Things on Facebook. That was cool!

And while I am far from the only person to get interested in podcasting, I figured again that I had a unique perspective as my clinical skill set helps me interview and move discussions in specific directions. I created Ego Check with The Id DM in 2016 without really knowing what I was doing (I probably still don’t).

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Time Traveling with My Son

After many years of attempting to have a child, my wife and I welcomed our son, Hugo, into the world in January. We are hopefully exiting the new-parent haze that settles in after a newborn enters the home. He is getting into a bit of a routine, and the three of us are all sleeping a bit easier each night. It is wonderful that he is in our lives, and we are excited to watch him grow and experience the world.

An idea was proposed to us by a friend; she started to email her child with messages throughout the early years of her life. She plans to “give” the email account to her daughter when she’s a teenager, and that struck me as a fabulous idea! Given my awareness that life can be short, I figured it would be an useful record my son can refer to in the future if I’m not around to speak for myself.

I set up an email account for the little guy, and here’s the first message that will greet him in the year 2033 or so….

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99 Problems But a Lich Ain’t One (Hundred)

Jay-Z runs games for Beyoncé and her friends, right?

The Id DM earns an Action Point today as it reaches the 100-post milestone. I previously expressed gratitude to all who have helped me and summarized the first year of the blog. With my 100th post, I thought it might be beneficial to offer some unsolicited advice to other gamers and writers who have a blog or are thinking about starting one in the future.

The following observations and suggestions are not meant to be a sermon on “how to do things,” so please consume at your leisure. In looking back how I went from not having a blog in March 2011 to winning Stuffer Shack’s RPG Site of The Year in April 2012, these things stand out as decisions that were helpful for me. Others may have a different way of doing things, and that is not wrong by any means. But for those curious, this is how I have operated.

Get the know the community. If you have not already, join Twitter and follow the discussions that are transpiring with the #dnd, #rpg and #dndnext hashtags. Join in the conversation and ask questions. Visit other blogs, read the articles other writers post and respond with concise feedback and questions in the Comments. Contact other bloggers by email to ask questions or offer support or feedback about their work. Become involved!

Continue reading “99 Problems But a Lich Ain’t One (Hundred)”