That’s simple — there’s only been two games: Hollow Earth Expedition and Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition.

The first game started in January 2016 as a filler for a week when the “lead character” for the Battlestar Galactica game was out on vacation. We played a “pilot” episode of HEX and it took off from there. The Galactica game ended very satisfactorily in April, and the adventures of our heroes in the Interior World zipped along until I hit a massive break point. Needing real time to figure out what the hell i was going to do, I pitched D&D5 to the group and a few others, as I had come into the books from a friend who didn’t like the system. (He’s an indie or nothing sort.)

I didn’t want to do standard high fantasy. I started thinking about a different character to D&D and hit on an earlier, less medieval setting. Then I realized I could do everything I wanted to do in a late Antiquity setting, using the monsters (humanoid ones, at least) as stnad-ins for racial differences, and this would allow me to keep deities that were known to the players from general Western culture. The choice of one of the players to have a Christian monk (and damn it, of course Late Antiquity Christianity was his focus in his history grad studies…) led me to start introducing Christian myth and characters into the world. Along the way, this has led to a tighter story, and a more nuanced view of the gods and angels, and has led to several in-character arguments about the nature of morality and the gods; and has also made Arian Christianity much more “correct” than the Nicene version of the late 300s. It’s flying along quite nicely and the players are really engaged, even the ones that were in it for the hack and slash are now interested in the metaphysics of the world, the NPCs around them, and the are enjoying the world.

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