aad_2I used to be quite the gaming addict back in the day, and play-by-email role-playing games were my drug of choice. My fellow gamers and I wove many a dark and colorful tapestry of mystery, intrigue and adventure, matching our resourcefulness and creative writing skills against the all diabolical challenges the GM sent our way.

Yes, I am an irredeemable geek. That’s beside the point.

I was thinking of taking some of those game stories and posting them here, a little at a time, one day a week. I would begin with “Austin After Dark,” my personal favorite, a chilling tale of vampires and werewolves and Fae and betrayal and murder. Lots and lots of murder. And goblins.

I’ve received permission from Aron, the evil genius who ran that game, to publish excerpts here on the blog. I’m thinking “Tuesday Tales” has a nice ring to it.

So…some background. If you’re not familiar with the concept of play-by email role-playing games, it’s fairly simple. Each player creates a character, and then that character goes forth and interacts via group emails in a story setting with the other players’ characters. The Game Master provides the setting and peripheral characters, and supplies a story plot containing challenges for the characters to try to overcome. It’s like Disneyland for creative-writing geeks like me.

“Austin After Dark” is a World Of Darkness(*) rpg. There are stacks and stacks of WoD resource books available to the serious gamer who needs to know his way around this incredibly elaborate fictional universe.

I’ve never read any of them. I knew absolutely nothing about the setting or the rules when I first joined the game. “Tabula rasa” pretty much sums it up. I’d been playing in one of Aron’s other pbem’s at the time, a Star Trek game. Star Trek I know. Every detail of that universe is as comfortable and familiar to me as a well-worn pair of sheepskin slippers. My problem was, the Trek game had gone dormant while Aron focused on another of his pbems which was rocking along like a runaway train just then. I was suffering some serious game withdrawal.

So I figured, maybe I should join this other pbem, this “Austin After Dark” thing, just to pass the time until the Trek game got moving again. Aron and I exchanged a few emails, trying to come up with a game character for me who could fit into the ongoing story even without knowing any more than I did about the hidden underworld of Austin. We came up with Casey Gavin, a rural ranch girl who had developed telepathic and telekinetic powers and had moved to the big city to access a broader range of minds so she could develop her skills. She took a job bartending, the perfect activity for someone who wants to meet a lot of people without having to form any close personal ties.

Most of the stories I post here will be edited to keep the story moving along. Role-playing games sometimes get bogged down in conversations that lead nowhere, character (player) bickering, uninteresting tangents and other nonblogworthy narrative that I’ll be editing out of my weekly series. Also, I will be posting ONLY the events that Casey was directly involved in. If you want to read everyone else’s adventures, go here.

Okay then! Chapter One will hit the blog shortly, and I hope you’ll enjoy reading these stories as much as we enjoyed writing them.


(*) EDITOR’S NOTE: The game was based on the old World of Darkness (oWoD) system, but veers strongly from the oWoD setting.