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Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:07 am

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Gather around, take a seat at my fire. Prepare yourself for a story that began many years ago...


8 years ago...A story of Discovery, Happiness, High Adventure, Love, Darkness, Loss and Hope.

I made this post...
(Don't read it now except for the first message when i created the topic...dont want to spoil the story now do you lol.) ... 8175028115

But before we can tell you how this story ends, I must explain how it began, as with any good story.

How it began before that post was made.

I was born in the year 81. My days of adventuring in other worlds began in the year 1991. My days of Adventure up to this point had been my friends and I running/playing Hero Quest. 1995. It was Jr. High and we saw the new kid to the school reading a colorful book at the lunch table. His name was Eric and he had a Heroes Unlimited book. We quickly recruited him to our group of Adventuring nerds. He would be useful, even if it was just another soldier in the Rubber Band War, and we needed more decoys as they were vigorously still random searching backpacks for the devils work of Role Playing Games.

Then later that year I spotted with a quick Perception roll a 9th Grader who had another very interesting book. It was a Werewolf book with claws marked thru the cover. I had to have it as well.

So it was born. My love for Palladium and White Wolf. Soon after that I discovered Star Wars D6.

I began my life as a Storyteller.

I did not take a liking to DnD, I mean every game system I had experienced up to that point felt like I had a chance to fight back and now I get attacked by me just sitting there and someone rolling against my target number? YEAH NO THANK YOU!

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:07 am

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But I read Forgotten Realms books. So i took the map of Faerun and nothing else and made my own Fantasy World inside of Palladium Fantasy. Re-writing what the places on the map actually were in my version.

My second Dimension was Star Wars D6.

My third Dimension was Supers Earth, Heroes Unlimited.

The years went on, many things changed. I walked into a recruiting station in 98 and ask for the toughest job they could give me. I joined the Army Infantry in 99. By 04, I had seen 2 combat deployments. I had fast tracked, I was already a Team Leader and was in a Rapid Deployment Unit and Heavy Weapons Team. But my life had been changed forever. I realized that combat is not all its made up to be in my days of adventuring with dice and paper before. I had lost brothers in arms, others left with the bodies mangled and changed forever. Some like me all the scars weren't visible, and some were. I for sure thought I had already died twice with 2 serious close calls. At times I was convinced I was already dead and just walking thru a dream.

The Darkness came...I struggled to keep myself in a hobby that was from a past life. A part of me I did not recognize anymore.

Star Wars was on d20. I bought it but wasn't happy.

White Wolf did not change for me. I still loved the World of Darkness.

Palladium Fantasy grew to my love for Rifts and other Palladium products.

I ran games when I could, did my best to keep my writing going of my Dimensions.

The days got Darker and Darker....after the invasion serving still with 3rd Infantry Division the tip of the spear in the invasion to Iraq. In 04, my military wife and high school sweet heart begged me to get out. I was barely sleeping, and when I did I was in throws of nightmares. She saw what was happening. It was so bad she had a secret bank account and secret cell phone. Escape plan. She couldn't tell if I was going to kill myself or worse. She saw the problem...I did not.

She threatened to never have a child with me. I don't blame her, being in a Rapid Deployment Unit you are gone all the time, if you weren't you were gone training. So even when I was home. I was immediately preparing to leave again.

But she got thru to me. I left active duty, which did seem to help. I was reserves now. Because so many non combat MOS's where getting ambushed and kidnapped etc. (Im sure you remember it on the news) I had the job of taking experienced combat veterans and training non combat MOS's in how to prepare them for those situations.

My civilian job now was Law Enforcement and my Military life was a Reserve Infantryman now. But I barely slept and I had a drinking problem. Along with a lot of other issues that wasn't being recognized by anyone. There was no PTSD awareness or help. My debriefing/transition was a Captain standing with a room full of us telling us..

"Go home. Don't beat your wife. Don't kill anyone. Don't get arrested. Good luck!"

No I'm not kidding. That was all we were told.

Fast forwarding...

I was not getting better. In fact the drinking got worse. I lost my job, did some Private Government Security work and she saw me slipping back to that life and she convinced me to move back to WV. Perhaps being home would help. We moved back to WV.

It didn't help.

I woke up one day in 2006, got out of bed. My wife had went to work and I just packed a bag and left. There was no fight, there was no argument before that. We didn't argue or fight because I didn't talk about anything. She never saw it coming.

I had never even been told up to this point to go the VA for help. Then again there wasn't any awareness nationally about what was wrong with me. I was blind to what I was going thru.

I did not pursue being a LEO in WV. Instead of got a job at Loss Prevention. A year later I met a woman who was willing to have children...even with a broken man. We married.

I finally completed the goal of having a son.

My son brought into me a little piece of happiness again. A purpose. I even starting running my games full time instead of part time.

Palladium, White Wolf and Star Wars (Saga edition now). I had bought a couple 3.0 DnD books by this time but hadn't given them much room in my Megaverse.

But that marriage failed as well after 3 years. I had married a cheatful woman. 2 affairs and I held onto the love for my son and forgave her deeds. Until she just left me for the 3rd man, taking my son with her.

I gave up.

I hid and lived in the apartment for 6 months. Then walked the streets for 3 more after I was kicked out. I lived in the woods for a year with my horse Asia and my closest friend Sandy Marie. She was my best friend, a Chihuahua.

Last edited by Widow on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:08 am

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Until one day 2 people I hadnt seen in a very long time since my child hood. A Brother and Sister were talking to me and listening to stories of my Fantasy world, my other Dimensions etc.

He asked me to come back to his house and stay with him and to pay my way in rent I could run my Fantasy World for them. Suddenly I was filled with purpose again. I came down from the mountain, put my horse in his barn on the hill. Took sandy under my arm and they drove me to the shed next to my childhood home.

We dug out my books. It was obvious I was not a big fan of DnD. I had 3 books compared to a huge collection of Palladium.

But DnD was rising in popularity with 3.0 and 3.5. I tried to convince them about Palladium, but they were adamant about it being DnD. Who was I to argue? I had not felt this sense of happiness and purpose in so long. How could I say no?

A year later I was doing better, still running DnD for them. The year was 2010. I tried at some point again to convince them about Palladium. That I had little experience in DnD. I made this pitch when 4th edition DnD came out and I could tell they weren't happy. But it still didn't work. We went back to DnD 3.5.

I was raised by my grandparents and they were getting pretty old. I moved from his house in with them. Helping take care of them. Asia passed away and I saved up and bought a steel horse in her memory. In between helping my parents and running DnD for them I would take my D6, hop on my bike and when i got to an intersection I would roll it on the pavement and ride randomly in that direction for days.

Then the flood came...

I made the following post. ... 8175028115

Read it and get caught up. Then come back. This story isn't over yet.

Those who want just the pics to explain: ... 1.png?dl=0 ... B.png?dl=0 ... E.png?dl=0

The one thing I had to convince them to get away from DnD was destroyed. Ill be honest, at that point I gave in. I had accepted that I guess fate would forever bind me to this D20 system product. They were the only books other then White Wolf to survive the flood.

My palladium was lost forever.

But the community did something amazing. Deep and many weeks into the project of rebuilding the home from the flood damage.

The UPS truck pulls in with 2 HUGE boxes of books. All from you here at Palladium. It was amazing.

But if Im being honest, mentally, physically I wasn't doing well. I wasn't taking care of myself, during the work on the home. I was doing all the work by myself and also I had no luck convincing them to try something else other then DnD.

So the sad part...the books didn't get used. I was so hurt I couldn't even look at them. They were put in storage. Somewhere a flood couldn't get to them.

My players base was made up of all family members of the original Brother and Sister. Some outside recruited eventually but I was beholden to them. Why? I wont go into detail but if they had come any later then they did I was going to become one of the 22 a day.

They would not consider anything other then DnD...then Pathfinder came out and they got even more excited. Then 5e! was never ending. The Palladium books sat in the back of the office collecting dust.

I even met a lady on my random adventures on the bike. She worked behind the coffee shop counter of this little coffee shop. It was always my first stop before my bike adventures.

We will call her the Gypsy. She would later become my wife, the reason I got help at the VA.

8 years goes by. Im sorry in advance for those DnD fans, but I couldn't take it anymore. Over those 8 years my player base got as big as 30 players. sometimes 4 sessions a week. For 8 years....players were driving 2 hours to get to my sessions every week.

With that much, and that long. You see truly what a D20 system product is. It is, a glorified board game. A war game that became a board game. Ive been running games for 21+ years. I have ran games on the largest scales, with player kingdoms fighting for control of coins to continents. Players vs Players. There is not an aspect of DnD mechanics that has not been used by me. Ive pushed it, broken it, rewrote it. Did everything I could.

Last edited by Widow on Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:10 am, edited 1 time in total.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:09 am

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But when you make a system product that allows for you to be lazy, allows for you to just come to each session to react because you are playing a game that promotes tons of unrealistic hp, super hero fantasy like characters, everything is balanced and fair from class to class, player to player, npcs are made with separate weaker mechanics.

IF YOU DO ALL THAT....this new generations of players lazy and do the minimum.

1 year ago I called a player meeting. I put my foot down and said no more. I need more from my rpg, combat etc other then a glorified paper football game of roll(flick) add and compare to you the receiver who cant do anything other then just hold your fingers up and hope you don't get hit. To a book that has more then 1 column explaining Roleplaying. To something that is deadly and not fair and balanced and forces players to think, plan, and not be so overpowered it allows you to just stand there and repeat for hours...

"I attack" rolls...add my bonus ...then compare. Rinse and repeat for hours on end. Those fans of D20 system products can say all you want about how you can RP, add fluff or whatever but the fact remains I am speaking to what the mechanics promote, demand of the player, etc. If the mechanics don't demand it from the player...they will be lazy and just be basic board gamers.

What was the result of the meeting?

They all accept that I would not be running D20 products anymore. And they left.

I had to start all over.

I packed up all the d20 products. Put them in the closet.

Couple months went by and I was lost. Part of what was keeping me going from being a 22 a day. Was my rpg hobby and player base.

But they were gone now. I had to do something. I was getting dark again. I could feel the darkness creeping back. I had lost my purpose. I cant express how dark, and how low I got. I didn't expect the player base to just leave like that when I put my foot down. I was devastated.

Then one day I noticed Star Wars had a new edition. I bought it. It was Fantasy Flight. I had to rewrite a few things to make the system better but I was inspired again and hopeful. It was a really cool edition. IMO the best yet for Star Wars line of rpgs.

I recruited a few new players. Started running Star Wars.

Then even more good news. I discovered 20th Anniversary White Wolf. I bought he Vampire and Werewolf books again. Made some system changes to update it and BAM...I was running games again and getting my player base back.

Things looked hopeful. Star Wars had found its place on my shelf again. White Wolf was back with my custom version. (Which oddly later they released v5 and I swear for a week their I thought I had been hacked and they literally stole my version of the rules. It was identical lol well mine was better lol)

But here we are in 2018...12 of my Dimensions of my Megaverse didn't have a home. I had ignored a lot of them and the others had been covered by D20 system products. My new player base were asking about the rest of the Dimensions.

I could feel the Palladium books staring at me everyday I walked by them. But guys...this was major...Palladium was seriously a major part of my life from 1995 to 2010. I was scared....if i presented it to these players would they reject it?

For a month I wouldn't even touch them after I started having these thoughts and the players started asking questions.

Then one day, I went to the back of the office and I picked up the top book. The same top book that was on top of the books when I opened the box back in 2010.

Yes, I meant it when I said I never looked at them. It was the Best of the Rifter 1-33. Anniversary edition. I grabbed it...walked back to my chair and sat down. Nervous about even reading this..I know I wanted to come back to my roots. But would I lose all my players again? Fall down the rabbit hole and end up becoming one of the 22.
I opened the cover.

This is what I saw. ... 5.png?dl=0

Now for some this may be a usual sight. But for me, someone who never got caught up in fandom. Celebrities etc. This perhaps common message was not common to me.

In fact up until this week, I thought it was a personal message to me, having remembered someone in the forum back 2010 saying Kevin was personally putting together some large order. (Which I later found out what that order was when the UPS guy pulled up lol)

So..."Game On".

Ill be honest guys I immediately burst into tears...and this combat grunt doesn't cry very often.

Followed by sadness that I have been so caught up in life and indebted to those DnD players I never even stopped to open a book that was sent to me.

Unread postPosted: Thu Oct 18, 2018 9:11 am

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I was filled with a flood of different emotions...but one key emotion stood out.


See I told you it would be a story of Discovery, Happiness, High Adventure, Love, Darkness, Loss and Hope.

But lets make it a little sweeter....

First let me say omg its finally so good to be back at my roots of gaming.

Today I have a total of 6 players. We had our first session of Palladium a few weeks ago in a Supers PvP event in Heroes Unlimited. Where players sign up, split randomly into teams and roll up random powered Heroes and Villains and battle it out to see who wins the 4 week event. I hand out/mail out Trophies, Medals, Awards etc at the end. THEY LOVE PALLADIUM!

Current games covering my Dimensions: Palladium(my version), White Wolf (my version), Star Wars (my modified version), Free League Publishing products (ex: Tales from the loop).

I'm still married to my 3rd wife going on 8 years with the Gypsy. She encouraged me to get help back in 2011. In 2012 I was diagnosed with TBI, PTSD, White Matter Disease, Loss of hearing in the left ear from a blast and severe damage in my right ear. Among my other medical problems I never got help for and from likely chemical exposure doing war time. In 2015 I officially signed my retirement and spend my days as a hermit running rpg games lol.

So I called the office to begin preparations to start ordering books and rebuilding my collection from what I have that was sent to me so many years ago.

Wayne Smith answered (I didn't know it at the time, realized after who I was talking to.). He even remembered me and my story back then.

So after an awesome talk with Wayne and him admitting to me "Game On" was a usual thing, we laughed about it hysterically tho lol.

Low and behold the phone rings. I answer thinking he must have accidentally called me back.

He didn't. It was Kevin calling me.

I'm honestly days later still in shock.

We rambled, shared stories, laughed, talked about the old days and carried on for 2 hours.

So here we are my friends and fellow gamer's. Coming full circle. I do not know what the future holds for me...but one thing is for sure...

It feels good to be back.

Game on.

Typed Sincerely,
Michael Hull
AKA The Storyteller.
AKA Widow.

Unread postPosted: Fri Oct 26, 2018 4:10 am

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Welcome back! An epic story, and Game On!

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 7:29 pm

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Glad to see you Widow.

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Unread postPosted: Mon Jun 17, 2019 10:20 pm

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This is one of the most heart-wrenching things I've read in quite some time. I'm glad that things seem to have worked out for you.

A good friend will help you hide a body. A best friend will lend you the P.P.E. you need to resurrect the body as a loyal zombie servant.

Unread postPosted: Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:29 pm


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Thank you for sharing. A truly great storyteller and human being.

Unread postPosted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 10:44 pm

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Thank you for sharing Widow I now it cannot have been easy. I can't even imagine what you went through.

I will give some advice though. Next time you want to run a different rpg. Do not ever make t come across as an ultimatum, nor edition war and definitely do not attack fellow gamers play styles.

Talking from experience I did it once never again as a GM. i have been seen it too much as a player. With life long friendships ruined permanently. I get wanting to run a different rpg and I sympathize as my group only wants to play )PF or D&D and nothing else. It is also not worth alienating friends and/or fellow gamers over.

If it's stupid and it works. It's not stupid

Palladium can't be given a free pass for criticism because people have a lot of emotion invested in it.

Pathfinder is good. It is not the second coming of D&D.

Surshot is absolutely right. (Kevin Seimbeda)

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When I step out of line the mods do their jobs. I don't benefit from some sort of special protection.

Unread postPosted: Fri Aug 30, 2019 12:55 am

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Widow, glad to hear you're still among us. Keep rolling those dice. Consider trying to make Open House 2021, too. If you thought chatting with Kev was awesome, try hanging in the warehouse surrounded by a few hundred fans and creators. It's a blast. Most of all, though, take care of yourself. It certainly sounds like you have plenty to live for these days.

Yeah, everytime I see a blazingly obvious moron walking the streets... I think, "score one for the creationists..." ~ DLDC
Warwolf is right... you can sig that. ~ TGK
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