Howdy! My name’s Dom and I’m a 37-young software engineer from Poland who’s been into ttrpgs on and off for the past 25-ish years. Poland is pretty odd when it comes to the ttrpg landscape with Warhammer, WoD and post-apo games winning the majority of the mindshare for a long time. Only with the introduction od 3ed did D&D become popular. Or at least that’s my perspective.
But even though this probably differs from what was popular in US in late '90s, early '00s, my experience was atypical still. I started playing MERP and Kryształy Czasu (Time Stones/Gems/Crystals/whatever; I’m fairly sure this was the very first Polish system/setting to come out in print form). My GM at that point was dabbling in design and he would modify mechanics to his needs. So I sort of thought that this is what ttrpg is about: playing and redesigning. This resulted in my first disastrous GMing experience, several incomplete heartbreaker designs and a bunch of tiny unplayable roguelike-like pieces of code.
Around my year 2 (things get faster from this point on, I promise!) I started playing and running WoD (mostly VtM), attended several local cons, participated in a few larps. Started running CP2020 which was a blast.
Then Uni happened with no people to play with, then I moved to US where I discovered indie RPGs. Still with no folks to play with (actually it was my English that was the limiting factor) I bought and read through a lot of systems. I moved back after 3 years; some more downtime happened. Then I found a group of people playing online things like Burning Wheel (burning what?) and AW (not another post-apo…) and decided to join. One of the most active GMs (refs?) was hacking a lot of one-offs of his own so I ended up playing AW and his apocalypse-inspired homebrew games. Never got to play BW (or Mouse Guard) which is a shame still.
Since I write software, there’s a bunch od obvious interests adjacent to ttrpgs that I have. Video games (and level design and gameplay design), board games (2-player ones I dig the most), languages and conlangs, 2d and 3d art and a bunch of others. I’m not that much into comic books but there are several graphic experiences I cherish: Mouse Guard, Artesia, anything by Enki. I’ve got a massive pile of Heavy Metal magazines and sometimes think about designing game based on the power fantasy HM represents. But it’s a difficult subject matter to tackle in a respectful manner so I’ll let others figure it out.
I found Gauntlet stumbling across the term OSR which due to my most recent rpg hiatus I did not know anything about. So I decided to learn everything I could. I like how OSR (in some representations at least) twists the player-character dynamic. I’m plotting to finally get my wife into p&p games with this. Wish me luck!