Old School Minds, Come Together to Form One

This email from Greg, dated 1/15/10, marks the beginning of Autarch. We didn't know it then, of course...

Hi Tavis, Upon moving down here to NC, I joined my boss’s first edition game.  The 8 or ten sessions I’ve been to have been pretty awesome, and have gone a long way in convincing me that the old school rules still have a lot to offer.  Alex is passionate about house-ruling and creating a story rich campaign. Last session, the level 4 fighter I inherited was killed just before leaving the dungeon with a huge haul of gp.  The only way he was going to get experience for the session was to reincarnate him.  Amerein ended up a level 2 female magic-user named Sorcha.  Some might be disappointed by the level loss, but I was ecstatic.  I was happily reminded of Rolant and the All-Father. (Alex, Tavis had a character for our 3.5 Age of Worms campaign that stubbornly believed that his elven cleric’s deity was the God of all races.  Our DM ruled, therefore, that any time Rolant raised anyone, they had to roll on the reincarnate table.  We had several characters go from elf to gnome to lizardfolk to half-orc and back again.) Alex and I got to talking and he mentioned again that he reads the New York Red Box site and the Mule Abides.  I thought it would be a good idea to introduce the two of you.  I don’t think Alex has been to GenCon in a while, but maybe a meeting in Indianapolis is in order for 2010.

Alex replied:

Greg – thanks for the kind words on the campaign! You handled your Reincarnation with far more grace than our last reincarnee, that’s for sure. Tavis – Your NY Red Box site was one of the inspirations for me to start up my campaign, and I’ve been an avid reader of both that and Mule Abides. It’s good to meet you. Hopefully we can link up at a GenCon or similar event, as Greg says.

Tavis joined in:

Thanks for the introduction, Greg! Alex, thanks for the Mule props! I've been a fan of the Escapist since '05 or so, when I discovered that tabletop heroes of mine like John Tynes and Allen Varney were doing great writing for y'all. I'd been in that Age of Worms campaign with Greg for months before I learned the same was true of him - he's the most modest game-industry writer I've ever met. (Perhaps this is because the Escapist pays well enough that getting to say "I write for a big-name RPG company" within the first five seconds of meeting someone isn't the primary reward; although the fact that Greg is a great guy must also be taken into consideration.)
Wow, 4th level! Did the campaign start at 1st? You've probably seen Red Boxers (both NY and Vancouver) bitch about the glacial pace of our advancement. Caverns of Thracia seems especially light on gold, but cr0m has been using standard Mentzer monster-and-treasure ratios and still people tend to die long before they level. What's your secret? (It sounds like you guys also play more often than we do, which I envy!)
Yes, let's all get together at Gen Con. Sooner than that, y'all should come out to Gary Con in March; last year's was a blast and it promises to be bigger & better this year, plus it's fascinating to be in Lake Geneva and realize how much TSR dominated the town & was tied up with everyone nearby. Douglas Niles got a job with them because he was Heidi Gygax's high school English teacher, and the waitresses at all the restaurants are all like "Oh, you're here for that con thing? My nephew used to work for them."

We didn't manage to get together in 2010, but one of the greatest benefits of forming Autarch will be making that happen in 2011!