Role Playing

From elementary through high school, I was a role-playing geek. To paraphrase the television show The Big Bang Theory, I mean the Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) kind of role-playing, not the bedroom kind. While D&D was the primary game I played, I dabbled in others that focused on the old west, spies or superheroes as well.

Since my family was an early adopter of computers, my brother and I found a growing community of people that were playing role-playing games with each other on the computer. As this was the 1980’s (before the public use of the Internet), this was done through the use of an online bulletin board system (BBS). To connect you had to have your computer dial another computer to talk to one another. This other computer acted like a bulletin board where you could post a message and then others could see it when they dialed in. For those old enough, think of Compuserv as a large BBS.

Around this time there was a growing number of BBSes. Some were focused on gaming, others on dating and others just for general communication. Word would spread when someone new started one of these (especially if it was a local number as modem connections were slow and it was easy to spend hours connecting to a number racking up toll charges to the phone company).

I found my way to the Dragon’s Lair BBS. This one, obviously, was focused on gaming with a special focus on Dungeons and Dragons. I joined a game and played my character. The game play involved posting a message about what your character was doing. Every couple of days the person running the game, would read what everyone was doing and then post an overall message that this or that happened. Everyone would then respond to it.

The character I played, was one that I had played a lot offline. While many teenage boys instantly went to the big powerful fighters or the intelligent wizards, I played a short little guy that often provided as much comic relief as actually being helpful to the group. I was more interested in instigating trouble and having fun than collecting treasure.

Soon my character had established a good relationship with a number of characters and even received a lot of flirting from a female warrior named Kitbane. As you would imagine, this was REALLY interesting to the 12 year old boy that I was. While everything was very innocent, it still captured my attention. The character had a pet dragon (played by another person) and after playing several months with the group, the person playing the dragon decided to host a live game where we would all play in person.

My mind kept wondering what the girl would look like. I didn’t even know what school she went to, but hoped it was around me.

The day came and I rode my bicycle to an apartment several miles away. I knocked at the door and a bearded man answered. I mentioned my name (blank stare) and then my character’s name. His face lit up and he ushered me inside. This was Richard. He played the dragon. Richard was not anything that I thought he would be. First off, I had only known other teens that had played, but Richard was in his early 30’s (which seemed really old back then but not so much now).

I went into the room and found I was the youngest person in the room. There was a couple of older teens and several other adults. Richard introduced me around and gave me the name of each person (and the character I’d know them by). Lastly he introduced his 50 year old sister Kay, who played Kitbane. I was right about one thing, she did go to school. Not as a student, but as a guidance counselor.

White Chili with Ground Turkey

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This is a much lighter take on chili.

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Some sides and a few more ingredients.

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Brown the turkey. Add some onions.

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Beans and cheese mixed in.

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Coming together.

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White Chili with Ground Turkey

Prep Time: 15 Min | Cook Time: 30 Min | Servings: 8 servings


1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground turkey
2 (4 ounce) cans canned green chile peppers, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
ground cayenne pepper to taste
ground white pepper to taste
3 (15 ounce) cans cannellini beans
5 cups chicken broth
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese


In a large pot over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic and ground turkey and saute for 10 minutes, or until turkey is well browned. Add the chile peppers, cumin, oregano, cinnamon, cayenne pepper to taste and white pepper to taste and saute for 5 more minutes.
Add two cans of the beans and the chicken broth to the pot. Take the third can of beans and puree them in a blender or food processor. Add this to the pot along with the cheese. Stir well and simmer for 10 minutes, allowing the cheese to melt.

Nutritional Info: Amount Per Serving Calories: 396 | Total Fat: 17.3g | Cholesterol: 92mg Powered by ESHA Nutrient Database


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Categories: Cheese3, chili, Low Carb, Lunch3, Main Dish 3, Recipes, Turkey

Author:The Ranting Chef

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2 Comments on “Role Playing”

  1. December 20, 2014 at 4:07 am #

    Even back then people were meeting up! I’m surprised your parents were comfortable with you doing that?


  2. January 20, 2015 at 11:11 am #

    Love the story! My 18-year-old son has been playing D&D for years. Always in person. One of his friends’ father is really into gaming and has all the “toys” for that and many other games. They all started college this year and are playing on breaks. Meanwhile a separate game is going on for those who are close. It includes several men and their sons.


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