An easy first question, who are you and where are you from?
Pete Griffith, ‘from’ all over the place (and Wales, spiritually). Now based in Sheffield
How long have you been into roleplaying games?
Since I got one of the Dragonlance games for my Amiga and it had a copy of Dragons of Autumn Twilight in it. Convinced my parents to buy me the 2nd edition PHB and DMG from Hamleys (I wonder if they still sell any RPG things?) and promptly got frustrated that I didn’t have any monster stats! That makes it a bit over 20 years, I think.
What systems do you usually play and do you usually play/DM?
I mainly DM 4e, because Essentials and Living Forgotten Realms makes it quite easy to get a group together and run something without needing everyone to commit to an ongoing campaign and all the organising that takes! I end up DMing as that works out to be easier than convincing other people to do it. I play Star Wars Saga Edition with some old friends when I visit my family and that’s fun – we’ve been playing the same campaign for perhaps five years now.
Whats your favourite D&D Campaign setting and why?
I’ve spent a lot of time in two settings: Dragonlance, from very early on until I stopped playing for a while a few years before 3e was released – I didn’t really get into 3e Dragonlance, which I regret – and Greyhawk because my more recent return to D&D was via Living Greyhawk. I’m no expert – I played with people whose Greyhawk lore was pretty extensive – but there is something quite evocative about all of the references to early D&D adventures which crop up all across the Flanaess.
Despite running LFR I know very little about the Realms, really, and it has never grabbed me as a setting. For my old friends I’ve just started running a game in the Nentir Vale, which is great at allowing space for our shared campaign creation to take place.
Whats your favourite individual adventure?
I have run one of the early LFR adventures, ‘Sense of Wonder’ more times than any other adventure, and it’s great fun – a very odd gnome, a barfight, and a well designed puzzle. Perhaps it’s not quite as weird as Shawn Merwin’s first LFR adventure, where a Halfling in a boat in the middle of a landlocked country sends you on a quest with rather limited information and you end up delivering a baby.
How would you describe your DMing style?
- Its all about the combat
- The story rules all
- By the book, ma’am
- Improv is the key
- A general mix of the above
The organised play I’ve been involved in means I’m aware that with a game as complex as 3e or 4e the rules as written are important because that’s what players use when creating characters and working out what choices to make in play. DM judgements are great with a group of players who have a shared understanding of the game, but when running games for the public or for strangers
I think it’s useful to have the books to fall back on where there’s any confusion about what is supposed to be ‘possible’. Between combat and story, though, my lack of tactical ability means I far prefer to be presenting a world for the PCs to explore rather than complex battles. Perhaps my players enjoy the ease with which they often defeat even my strongest monsters, though!