Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Climbing Mount Doom

"There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while.  The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him.  For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach."
- J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King

Despite all the blogging that I do, I very rarely mention the main campaign I'm in.  The scope of it is pretty huge, and there are a lot of epic moments.  It's called Life.

I play a Divine based character (pretty sure I'm a cleric, though I have to find my sheet).

For those that have read my last few tweets (or lack thereof), I've mentioned that my life got a little crazy, and because of that, I had to take some time away from the blog while I re-evaluated some things.  Not blogging, and not writing, but just life, and where I'm headed and what my story is.
I've mentioned it in other posts, but I live as a Christian.  It is an integral part of my life, and determines the basis of how and what I do.  In essence, I am second to God and serving him.  The work of Christ is my first priority. 

One of my favorite authors of all time is Tolkien.  I read The Hobbit when I was 10, and had finished all The Lord of the Rings before the movies came out.  That was a big deal to me, since I was able to say I read all the books BEFORE the movies even existed (I guess I was a Tolkien hipster).  One of the big things I loved about Tolkien was his Christian-based writing.  I think it was during that time that I knew I wanted to write and create characters.

The thing about Tolkien is that his books were based off his own life struggles during World War I, where most of his friends had lost their lives.  From there, certain elements and themes of his grand story were things he had thought about in his own life, his faith being one of them.

When it comes to playing D&D, I think my own life story and my faith has had a huge impact on me as well.  The worlds I create, the NPC's, and the overall themes I challenge my players to face all are linked to my story, and the faith story God has given me.

While I discovered D&D during a time when I was stricken with arthritis, it was not the reason I started Artificer's Intuition.  That all came about of another great test and story, and in its aftermath, I decided to take a chance with a dream of mine.  Hence the blog was born.

A year and half ago, somebody that I was extremely close with was in a horrible car accident.  The car was stopped, since the freeway was backed up.  Another driver, not having seen the stopped car, crashed full speed in the stopped vehicle.  My friend was in a coma for a week.  The other two people in my friend's car didn't make it.

The week my friend was in the coma brought us a lot of questions.  Would my friend be ok?  Would there be brain damage?  What kind of life would they lead afterward? 

With some of these other challenges in life that I've gone through, it becomes apparent that we are always given choices.  Despite the fear and uncertainty of the times, I prayed earnestly for my friend, rallying others to pray for her as well.  My friend came out of the coma, and miraculously, had no severe injuries.  No broken bones.  No internal bleeding.  Simple physics equations will tell you that something should have happened to her when a force of that magnitude struck her.  I knew in my heart she had been saved for a reason.

I'm not sure that I will be continuing my story with my friend's.  The story got a lot more complex, and I'm not sure what's going to happen.  I do know that I will continue to pray, and continue to follow Christ.  That part of my life hasn't changed.  In a sense, it has made me more devout as life has become more uncertain.  I'm interested to see where my campaign goes next. 

About a month ago, I ordered a Star Wars Miniatures map pack.  Why did I do this?  Simply because having multiple maps is awesome, and this one had something very special, especially for Vellyn, my ice and snow world.  I give you the Nelvaan Plains.

The flip side of this map is a temple courtyard, with a massive Star Wars tank in the middle.  While I'm not sure what I would use it for, I figured I could either cover it up with other tiles/3D terrain, or say it's a massive broken construct or airship.  Let me know what you think!

 In the last few weeks, I've also started exercising more, giving myself an outlet for some of my energy.  I decided I needed an artistic outlet as well, so I bought some miniature paint and a small pack of Warhammer 40K goblins to paint for fun.  Since my campaign world uses a lot of alchemy, the fact that they are holding pistols isn't a big deal.  I just call them alchemical firearms or something.  Since they're goblins, this is pretty likely in my games.


Thanks everybody for being here for me in my difficult time.  Special thanks to Teos Abadia for reaching out to me and having some nice chats.  If you haven't started getting emails with the Ashes of Athas adventures, contact him right away (@Alphastream) to start getting them.  They are really amazing and inspiring!

As always, leave your comments below and be sure to follow me on Twitter @artificeralf


  1. Thank you for sharing all of this. I am also a Christian and a gamer who is trying to explore just what it means to incorporate and even play out my faith at the gaming table. Tolkien is a huge inspiration for me as well. There is something really powerful about the nature of story and the participatory nature of rpgs does lend itself nicely to engaging with a story that can be really meaningful. I love hearing about other believing gamers who are willing to engage the community with a meaningful and deep story. Thanks for jumping in to it. I'm eager to hear more about how you do this and what aspects of your faith you gravitate towards in your story. :)

    1. I'm glad it helped! And I will continue to keep you updated in my blog. :)

  2. I've enjoyed conversing as well! Thanks for mentioning Ashes of Athas. Great to see you blog again!