Master of None

When people find out I used to be a staff auditor at Deloitte & Touche, they are often amused to learn I don’t play golf. “Don’t all accountants play golf?” they ask. My reponse? I have too many other hobbies that take up too much of my time and cost too much money. I can’t afford another.

I’ve been thinking about a couple of these today: RPGs and history.

It would be easy to get sucked into the myriad campaigns that are out there. I could learn about Ghastria (Ravenloft), then move on to Semphar (Forgotten Realms) and Sigil (Planescape), before landing in Rokugan (Legend of the Five Rings). I had to chose one (Greyhawk) to focus on our I’d go insane. Yet, even within the World of Greyhawk, it is next to impossible to have deep understanding of the entire setting. I found myself jumping from researching the Bandit Kingdom of Abbarra to reading up on the Suel Barbarians of the Thillonrian Peninsula; from learning everything I could about Syrul to immersing myself in lore about Wee Jas. As much as I was learning, though, it was all on the surface. So I chose to focus on the Baklunish west–an area that has been traditionally ignored by many developers.

The same has been true for my love of history. I grew up reading everything I could about castles. Then it was on to the Iroquois Cenfederacy, followed by the Sumerians. I loved learning as much as I could about everything I researched, but am frustrated that I haven’t mastered any single region or timeframe. I’m beginning to think I need to narrow my scope of interest, before I go insane. Right now I’m leaning toward the Ancient Near East. I spent a few months reading up on the Parthians, Urartu and reaquainting myself with the Sumerians.

Unfortunately, most of the opportunities for writing about ancient history relate to the Roman Empire. I’m currently researching an article for Ancient Warfare Magazine, but it deals with the history of Spain and Portugal, not the ANE. I wish I knew of a magazine / journal that was looking for submissions and dealt with the ANE. At least then I could focus on one thing, instead of being a “jack of all trades…”

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