Friday 3 April 2015

First Post the Past...

So, here we are then: another blog written by a head-scratching old-school (lapsed) RPG enthusiast, labouring under the delusion that the world is big enough to accommodate an audience for his or her opinions and observations concerning a particularly niche past-time. Of course, there's absolutely no reason for anyone to come wandering by here given the total absence of any promotion on my part, so there's no need for me to get caught up in justifying whatever it is I'm doing here, which at present may as well be shouting gaily into the void. 

A fantasy map, crafted from scratch... look familiar?
What am I doing here? Not to answer any grand existential questions, I can assure you- though an interest in things philosophical might occasionally be glimpsed amidst the obfuscating mess of words I intend to churn out during this blog's lifetime. A better question read thusly: what is this all about?

First, let's travel back to the beginning (this first post is all about the past, after all, in addition to its title being a sly nod at the upcoming UK general election), back to my youth. As a child my greatest passions were storytelling and exploring. Nothing special about that, I'm sure- in fact I'd suggest that such passions are universally human, with one feeding the other. We explore and we tell people about it. We tell people stories about  strange, magical realms and those same people are inspired to seek those same lands... or perhaps, in a more scientifically enlightened (and less magical) age, we seek out that magic in our own imaginations, re-telling stories in our own way, exploring those narratives.
I say all the above because I am under no illusions as to my status: I know I am not a special snowflake. I say all of the above in an attempt to emphasise how the very things that drew me to role-playing games in the first place are universally popular, in spite of said pursuit's niche appeal. However, it was the lack of universal popularity that led me to turning my back on RPGs at some point in my early twenties- namely the fact that none of the people I enjoyed spending time with exhibited any interest in such pursuits. Yet this was no loss to me, for the vacuum was filled with other equally fascinating, creative and collaborative explorations- in music, art and literature.

A medieval labyrinth.  
The prevailing years have not always been as creatively stimulating as I have just described, particularly when I have found myself cut off from human contact. During such periods my thoughts often return to the many joyous hours spent leading friends and family members through the worlds I had created. It can be incredibly frustrating, given that RPGs are essentially social experiences! So it is right now- exiled from my friends and family and living amongst people with whom I cannot communicate, I ponder the one activity I am utterly unable to do. Again, a universal truth about the human condition: wanting what we can't have, the grass always being greener etc.

To fill the gaping void (the one I may or may not be yelling into, gaily) I have elected to set up this blog: Alone in the Labyrinth (visitors from the future: I may well have changed the name to something else by the time it's your time, don't freak out), being the notes of a DM in exile.

I hope you find something here that stimulates your imagination enough to carry out some explorations of your own.


  1. came across this wonderful labyrinth leading to the New Jerusalem, thought of you.

    1. Wow, that's incredible-certainly takes the devotional/meditative aspect of the labyrinth to a higher level!