This post, my last post as an admin is going to be a general reflection post about my time working in this great program and the wonderful people that make it worth participating in. I apologize if it get’s a bit sappy, but D&D has been a major part of my life since before high school and it was a dream come true to be chosen to help run the AL. The past three and a half years have been amazing. I’ve gotten to meet and interact with D&D luminaries and grow a community from the ground up of amazing players, DMs, and organizers. The direct advice of myself and the other D&D AL admins has changed the direction of some aspects of official D&D books and that’s pretty cool and I’m proud to have participated in such discussions.
The moment that it all really hit home for me was at GenCon 2014. I was in the Baldman Games DMs meeting. I walked in and still didn’t know many people by sight, but one person I did recognize was Teos Abadia (he and I have known each other since the days of the Dark Sun Listserv in the ’90’s). I walked up to him and said hello. Standing next to him, unbeknownst to me, was Greg Marks (AL associate Resource Manager). At this point, I had communicated with Greg and the other admins for months over our Google+ community (we’ve since moved on to a slack group), but I had never met any of them in person and when I met him in person it was a moment seared into my mind. I was really a part of this. It was the first meeting of many that long weekend that would bring me fully into the organized play world and the orbit of D&D.
Let me gush for a few moments about my fellow admins. I truly and sincerely want to thank all of them for guiding me along on this great journey. Of all the admins I had the least experience in organized play, they’ve all been great mentors in so many aspects of this job. Their experience tempered by time in different organized play incarnations molded my crazy ideas into usable, useful components of this program (looking at you DMQuests!). Each one brings something to the table that I’m proud to have learned from. I can’t count the number of times I threw out some idea and one of them (usually Claire or Greg) would say, “we tried that in this OP before already” and this or that worked or didn’t work, but at the same time were willing to bend for new ideas, even if they had concerns about them. Claire Hoffman has the most experience with OP having been in many of the foundational programs of the genre. Her experience and guidance have been invaluable and so informative for this program. It’s been my pleasure to work with her and attend a few cons with her lately to really get to know her and see her experience with D&D. Greg Marks involvement with the community and his ability to get a project finished (by writing like a demon) is inspiring. He’s a workhorse of this community (seriously the number of adventures he’s written is mind-boggling) and he’s corralled and pushed through many projects for the team (like Lost Tales of Myth Drannor). Bill Benham mostly works quietly in the background to wrangle authors and get content to conventions, but he’s always been there with a joke the lighten the mood or a funny face or voice to make us laugh. Bill is often the voice of reason and the middle ground of all the admins. Travis Woodall is more than our content editor, he’s responsible for making the overall story beats for the AL and our resident rules guru. Arguing with Travis always brings insight to a rule or enlightenment on a bit of lore and I’ll miss those conversations. Alan Patrick has always been there to back me up and I’ve always felt very supported with him at my side. If ever I needed help with my duties he was there to pick them up. If we had a bit of technology to make work he was there to do it. Alan has a way of turning a phrase when dealing with a troublesome situation in such a way to diffuse it and make everyone better for it. I’ll miss the daily contact with these fine folks, but it’s good to know they’ll be at the helm of the AL for the foreseeable future.
Beyond the admins we’ve had the good luck to have great leadership at Wizards of the Coast. Our first Wizards liaison was Chris Tulach. Chris organized the AL and it was great working with him. He made it clear that the AL was the admins and gave us free range to make decisions and change it for the good of the program and community. Chris Lindsay, the current D&D AL Wizards manager is really a fan of D&D. He supports and champions the program within Wizards and pushes through the red tape on our behalf. It’s been fantastic to meet with Jeremy Crawford and Mike Mearls and see their vision for D&D and the Adventurers League in the future and I’m excited to see where they guide the game and program in the coming years.
It’s been fantastic to meet and interact with many of our great organizers and adventure designers. Big shoutout to David Christ and the Baldman Games Crew. Dave is a mentor to me and I appreciate all he’s done for this hobby. Where Dave has been pulling his hair out for this community for years upon years (I got a bald joke in there!), folks like Mark Merida and Garrett Colon with The Role Initiative are relative newcomers to the organizing space for D&D and I wish them luck in growing their local communities. Meeting folks like Teos Abadia, Mike Shea, James Introcaso, and Jeff Greiner that really hold up this community has been an honor. Joining the Guild Adept program with the likes of Shawn Merwin, Will Doyles, Lysa Chen, Ruty Rutenberg, Satine Phoenix, Rich Lescouflair, Cindy Moore, and all the rest is an honor and I’m excited to work with them more. The passion and creativity these folks exhibit is contagious and inspires me.
In the wider sense, which I’ve touched on briefly before, it’s truly been my please to get to know so many passionate gamers in the community. There are so many of you that genuinely enjoy the game and the community that this has been less of a job and more of a passion of mine because of your involvement. Doing my best to support your enjoyment of the game and the community has really been my driving goal as an admin. I can’t name everyone, but I’d like to give a shoutout to several of you who’ve I’ve gotten to know through the years and have been instrumental in my enjoyment in being an admin, Jay Africa, Cliff Fukunaga, Krishna Simonse, Frank Foulis, Art Severance, Wrich Printz, Fred Upton, Ginny Loveday, Mattew Jordan, Paige Leitman, Ben Heisler, Jay Anderson, Matthew Roderick, Michael Long, Dan Dilllon, Wayne Chang, Chris Jernigan, Joel Marsh, James Endicott, Kalani Vernon, Tim Mottishaw, Derek Gray, Mark Knapik, Jon Lamkin, Merric Blackman, Robert Alaniz, Henriech Libay, Pablo Alpízar, Jared Fegan, Les Foster, Dan Erbacher, Atis Kleinbergs, Martin Tideswell, Topher Kohan, Derek Meyers, Effie Matteson, FJ Rebolledo, Jesse Tudela and so many more! Ok, maybe that was more than several, you’re all amazing! I feel very privileged to have gotten to know so many of you and I look forward to maintaining those friendships through the years.
As I transition from an AL admin to an AL player, DM, and organizer I truly wish the best for admins (including newly born admin Lysa Chen) and the program as a whole. I’m excited to see where the program leads us and what innovations they bring to the space.
- Reflections on my time as a D&D Adventurers League Admin - December 31, 2017
- Reflections on DMQuests, Factions, and other successes and failures - December 30, 2017
- Reflections on Organizing D&D and Community Involvement - December 29, 2017