Here it is, the final post I made on Facebook, when asked by an acquaintance to describe how different it is trying to play/run games in Korea compared to back home. Yeah, I blathered on for a long time before actually answering her question. She dug it, though, and then wanted to take a look at Flying Swordsmen, so I consider that a win.
arrived in Korea and in less than a month was a new father (my wife
wanted to be close to her family when she gave birth, and she's a Busan
native). So for that first year or so, I didn't get any gaming in.
Soon, though, I met some guys named Josh, Alex, Pat and Steve who were
interested in playing board games. We'd meet once a week or once every
two weeks in Seomyeon to game. After a year or so, we started
occasionally playing RPGs instead of board games. A few more people were
interested, so we ended up with more players including a few Koreans,
and running several short campaigns.
I ran Classic
D&D. Josh ran 3E. Dave tried to get a d20 Conan game going, but it
didn't gel. Alex tried the same with RIFTS. Eventually Pat got the 4E
books, so we gave that a try. Josh picked up the 4E version of Gamma
World, and we gave that a try.
During this time, I
was working on my Dragon Fist retro-clone, which I titled Flying
Swordsmen. Eventually I had it ready, so we played some Flying Swordsmen
too. It's an odd feeling to run your own game at first. I felt this
pressure to "get it right" since it was my own game. Presidents of the
Apocalypse was just this little goofy game where everyone tried to be as
silly as possible, but Flying Swordsmen tries to emulate Chinese wuxia
fantasy martial arts using essentially D&D rules. I think I pulled
it off well, but there were a few little things about it that bugged me
(mostly because it was a retro-clone copying another game, so some
design choices were out of my hands).
happens in ex-pat circles, people moved away. New people came in. I
found myself next in a Pathfinder group run by a guy named Brian, along
with one or two other people from the first group. Around the same time,
Pat and Bill were putting together the Busan Bored Gamers group, so I
feel like that group is a direct descendant of our Seomyeon group.
the PF game finally finished, I ended up without a face-to-face group
to play with, but through Google+ Hangouts (popular with gamers,
especially the OSR), I ended up in a group run by Justin in Pohang.
Thanks to the power of the internet, we've got members in other places
besides Korea. A few Aussies played early on, and a Scottish guy has
been a regular in our various G+ games ever since. Justin ran Labyrinth
Lord (BX D&D clone) for a long time, then tried Stars Without Number
(BX D&D rules for sci-fi gaming) for a while.
ran a few Classic D&D games. Jeremy ran a wide variety of his
home-brewed games he was trying out. Dean started a 4E game, which
attracted a few different players, who aren't really into the OSR stuff.
Now Dean's game is 5E, and still going strong. We've tried a few other
things here and there over the years, too.
Flying Swordsmen got good reviews but I wasn't satisfied with it, I
started working on my current project, Chanbara (fantasy feudal Japan
set to basic D&D rules). I've been play-testing it now and then with
this online group, and it seems to hold up pretty well. I'm hoping to
release the game soon (real world concerns have delayed it, though).
far as gaming supplies, I haven't really found much I need to buy
anymore. I've got tons of dice and minis. Rulebooks can be downloaded in
pdf form or ordered from Amazon (and sometimes Whatthebook). Since most
of my gaming takes place online, there's not a lot of need for extra
stuff. Also, I'm primarily a player instead of primarily a DM these
days, which also reduces my need for stuff. All those minis I collected
in Japan are locked in a cabinet where my baby can't get to them.
In a few years, though, I plan to be gaming with my boys, and putting all those gaming supplies I don't use now to good use!