I start playing DnD…. Alot.
Now gaming up to this point hadn’t been a foreign concept to me. I had a 2nd edition campaign I was in for a few sessions. You know those stereotypes about some people that played DnD? Ya that was them, so let’s just say I steered clear for a while. I stuck to GURPS and CCGs until I met up with my circle of friends in Venango County.
We played almost every night for weeks at a time. What got me playing was that unlike my previous experience, this group were just a bunch of nerds having fun. Less scary quasi taking it for reals. It was during this time I changed the TI-85 combat engine to use a d20 like system based on my experience with 3rd edition.
After a few years and playing in others campaigns, I tried running a few sessions. I didn’t do too bad, but it gave me a good feel on what did and didn’t work when running a game. I ran a campaign based on the Shannara series of books. I had read them along with half the fantasy section at the library. I then tried running a Forgotten Realms campaign, which got a ways but like all the other attempts the core group stopped getting together and it fell apart. In fact during that few year period none of our campaigns lasted more than 4 or 5 sessions.
I then dusted off my ideas for the Islands of Kalor. Tried running it twice with most of the normal group. (starting them off in another part of the island of Kalor the second time) Then reusing some of the ideas from those sessions, had a two session run with some people I normally wouldn’t game with. During those start up tries was when I came up with the heartstone twist on things.
I set my maps and notes aside for a while again, and then in 2003 shortly after 3.5 was release I picked up the campaign setting. I gave it one more spin and finally hit a consistent group at Skye.