It comes with heavy heart to have to say, all good things come to an end and after 10 years of podcasting, RFI is closing its doors for good. We’d like to thank all our fans and supporters over the years. We appreciate and love you all from the bottom of our hearts. Each of the hosts have prepared a good bye message for everyone. Enjoy and again, thank you for listening!
-RFI Podcast Crew
I’m finding it very hard to put into words what I want to say about the past ten years doing the Roll For Initiative podcast. I’ve always felt by doing the podcast was my small way of giving back to the community that has giving me so much in my life. Vince reached out to me and gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, and for that I truly appreciate it. You’re not just the guy who runs the show. You’ve always stuck by what you believe what RFI is and what it’s future should be, and that is why you’re my friend I will always respect. So, thank you Vince for allowing me to be a part of something that is truly special.When I came on back in late 2009, RFI was only going for a couple of months. It wasn’t long afterwards RFI became something much more, by connecting with fans of AD&D and past contributors to the game. Imagine being a kid growing up in the 80s, playing AD&D, and then years later talking to some of those contributors on a podcast today! It was a dream come true! I have to admit, it was hard keeping the fanboy bottled up at the beginning, but somehow I think I was able to pull it off (and sound somewhat professional). So, thank you to all of the past guests we’ve had on the show. Your conversations we’ve had on the show are really special, giving us all a glimpse of how it was “back in the day” when AD&D and the RPG industry was new. You really did blaze the trail for the rest of us.Ultimately, I would like to thank all of the fans of RFI. Your feedback and support over the years have been tremendous. Most of it has been positive, but we’ve had some negative as well. It goes with the territory. Ya take the bad with the good, and through all of it we’ve always made the effort to make RFI better. Your emails, letters (yes, actual letters!), and ITunes comments not only let us know your opinions, but gave us ideas for shows as well. So, thank you to all of the fans who’ve listened over the years. Without you, we’d have no show at all.Wow! I guess I did have some things to say after all! I knew once I got the ball rolling, it would just come pouring out. I’m not sure what the future holds for me. Life is funny that way. Will I do another podcast or some other project? Maybe. Who knows. All I know is life IS an adventure, and you never know where it leads or what is ahead. It’s the journey, not the destination that makes it fun and exciting. This part of the journey is over, and I happily await to see what is coming around the bend.Keep it original and keep it old school!– Nick Cyronek (DMNick)
When Roll For Initiative started back in 2009, the gaming world was a much different place. 4th Edition Dungeons & Dragons was launched a year prior, alienating a portion of longtime gamers with it’s heavy tactical based combat system and seeming emphasis on min-max compared to the editions of year. Paizo would launch Pathfinder to carry on the mantel of the 3.5 edition and the there was a groundswell of interest growing in games of past.
The OSR as it is called, was part nostalgia for systems of old and a desire for a gaming experience of days past. Less emphasis on mechanics and number crunching and more on storytelling with the rules serving as guidelines. And out of that Roll For Initiative was born.
Looking to bring back to the fore front 1st Editions Dungeons and Dragons, Vince and Jayson started the podcast. Nick joined shortly there after and after hearing about the podcast on The Order 66 Podcast over on the D20 Radio Network, I became one of my favorite podcast to listen too.
Fast forward to Gen Con 2010, Vince and Jayson announce they will be holding meetup in the lobby of the Omni in downtown Indianapolis. I happened to be staying at the Omni that year, so I decided to go to the meetup. And that is where I meet Jayson and Vince for the first time. Also, at the meetup were Colin, Michael, and another person that would go on to co-host the show, Chad; all of the Dead Game Society. It was through this meetup, my prior experience editing professional wrestling events came up, and next thing I know, I’m the new producer of editing the show and I was huge fan of!
Over the past nine years, this podcast has opened doors for me I would have never imagined. From the time, I found myself calling Larry Elmore’s home to schedule an interview, playing board games with former TSR staff, finding out Sam Witwer was a fan, to having Dan Carlin of Hardcore History appear on the show. All of that and so much more happened because of Roll For Initiative.
The biggest and most important thing however was the listeners of this show. The voicemails and emails were why we did the show. Having someone write in and say that they haven’t gamed in years but listened to our show and are picking up their old books to game gaming was a great feeling. Or hearing someone say our podcast inspired them to introduce their children to 1st Edition were highlights. I hope over the past 10 years RFI was able to bring listeners half as much enjoyment as the show brought to me. I thank you for listening, whether you started back in the beginning,
As time passes, so did the gaming world. What was once a splintered community has in someway reunified. 4th Edition didn’t last long, and Wizards of the Coast found themselves creating a new edition of Dungeons and Dragons. One that paid homage it’s past while also appealing to the newer gamers. The rise of Actual Play shows, such as Critical Role, being putting a heavier influence on role playing. Role Playing was in some ways going back to its root and growing the hobby in the process. Since RFI started, Gen Con double in size to over 60,000+. Tabletop Gaming is as healthy as ever right now.
And it’s with that we are bring Roll For Initiative to a close. What started as a show to promote old school gaming in a fractured community, watch as the community evolved and embrace the old school ideas and made it their own. 1st Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons’ influence can be seen in the current iteration of the game, with many call backs in the material for long time gamers. 1st Edition AD&D no longer needs an advocate; it’s thriving well as a part of Dungeons and Dragons today.
And it’s with that we are bring the show to a close. Thank you, each and every one of you for listening to the show. Even though the show is over, we hope that your gaming session are just a little bit better because of something you heard on the show.
And I’d be remiss, if I didn’t mention Vince and Nick. These two grew to be my friends over the course of the past 9 years, and I truly enjoyed all our conversations on and off mic. Perhaps one day our mics shall cross again, only time will tell.
So with that it’s time to bid Roll For Initiative farewell. I wish you happy gaming and please keep your pig face Orc cleric’s using only blunt weapons! Until one day we meet again; keep it original, keep it old school, goodbye and night everyone.
Let’s see, where to start? Hmm 2008.. I was getting frustrated with the state of D&D in general. I was not enjoying the path WoTC was taking (and still really don’t care for it), but I found the lack of AD&D 1e in my area disturbing, but it seemed to be booming online. I had been a player ever since I picked up the books in the ’80s, and never stopped playing, I tried new editions but always dropped back to 1e as my “go to edition” when I wanted a enjoyable game.
At the time, I was heavily involved in podcasting, doing the Darker Days podcast along with d6 Radio, so my plate was full. In the Summer of 2009 when things eased up a bit, I decided that I wanted to start doing a podcast about a game I really loved, this is when the idea of Roll for Initiative born.
I advertised the idea of the show, and I instantly got some interest from various people, but Jayson Elliot (now of TSR) stepped up and ran with me on the idea. We sorted out the format and names over the next few weeks, and I came up with the name “Roll for Initiative!”. I was the on the fly less rules guy and Jayson was the perfect counterpart, as he was a stickler for the rules. We got along quite well and became instant pals.
The show chugged on.
We had fun with it, but we had a bump in the road. We almost podfadded as they say, around December but that was mostly due to the holidays and conflicting schedules.
We came back in January and that’s when we found DM Nick. He was a fan, who I extended an invite to (after various emails and conversations) to join the show. Nick gladly accepted, and we went along with the show. Nick added another point of view and “flavor” to the show. Nick was a great co-host, he knew his stuff and was a very friendly guy. We grew to be good friends over the years.
Fast forward a bit as we joined d20 Radio network to help get the show in the view of more eyes (and ears). They helped a lot and I thank Chris and Dave a lot for encouraging and helping us along the way.
The podcast grew as we gained more and more listeners, we even grew to the point, we got featured on iTunes front page, which crashed our webpage due to the amount of people going to our site and downloading the show.
It was a fun ride as we all met up at Gencon and I got to speak with the TSR alum, like Frank Mentzer. Who I enjoyed talking the Immortals Boxset with, as that was my favorite boxset and game to play outside of AD&D 1e.
Also, we met DM Matt at Gencon, and Jayson convinced him to be our producer. Matt still doesn’t know how Jayson convinced him to do the editing for the show lol.
Matt was a fine addition the show, he knew his stuff and kind of acted like the producers on Letterman, he would come in with a fact or helped google things on the fly to help a question we pondered on the show.
Later, down the road, Matt joined us as a 4th co-host and the show was booming! Matt and I became good friends as well as we shared stories about Wrestling and collecting various games.
By this point we had a good thing going for us, as we found out various people from WOTC had been listening to our show. When we found out the actor, Sam Witwer, listened to our show, that blew our minds.
When Jayson left the show, it was a sad day, but we kept moving forward.
We picked up DM Will as a co-host, and Will was the stickler for the rules we lost in Jayson. I thank Will for sticking around and being my friend. Will is a good guy and has always treated me with respect and come to my side when people have bashed me. So, for that, he will always be my friend.
When Will left the show, we picked up DM Chad from the Dead Games Society, which we had been a part of since we met them in 2010. People joked, that Chad was like having Jayson back, but with a different voice. Chad was a good addition to the show, but due to scheduling, he couldn’t stick around for very long.
We went for some time having guest hosts sitting the 4th chair, like DM Chrispy of the Save or Die Podcast. Chrispy is an awesome guest and a fine host of the Save or die podcast, he knows his stuff and can chatter along and keep up with anyone out there.
Sal, was a fan that came out of nowhere (wrestling reference), a former wrestler himself, wrestling for Extreme Championship Wrestling (ECW) in the late ‘90s, early ‘00s. Matt and I, being huge wrestling fans, were like,” Holy shit!” Sal joined us on the show as a guest host, and then stayed on as a co-host as he gel’d with the cast well. Sal and I are good friend and I still chat with him and exchange ideas on a daily basis via text message. Sal has stepped in on other projects I’ve done in podcasting and I thank him for that.
When Sal left the show, we kept the seat empty as we moved on with the show, just the three of us. We kept it that way.
I will say this; the show was already past its prime in podcasting terms. Most shows barely make it 5 years, but we were sitting at 7 at that point.
We tried to do something different and help give us a fresh new look on the show, that difference was to review the D&D cartoon and show how we could take that plot and make it into an adventure. We’d talk about the various monsters and ponder why they used this monster and if it was used properly.
Well, apparently the feedback on that idea was a bust and people did not like it, so we went back to the original format, until we finally reached our 10th and final year. I always had the plan of making it to 10 and then deciding what to do next. (Ask Matt or Nick, they will tell you, as the years moved on, I said, “almost near 10, almost near 10!”)
Now it’s time to put this show to bed, I think 10 years of a podcast, designed to help people find love in the game and help promote the OSR is enough. Heck, we didn’t think it would make a year.
BUT here we are, at 10 years.. and now saying good bye.
What does the future hold for me?
Well I am already active on:
- YouTube: youtube.com/c/TheEvilDM where I am doing AD&D 1e videos and other various old school games.
- The Classic FASERIP Podcast – classicfaserip.com – Marvel Superheroes RPG Podcast
- Crisis in the DC RPG Podcast – anchor.fm/DCRPG – Mayfair’s DC Heroes RPG Podcast
- Roll High or Die Podcast – rollhighordie.com – Various old school actual plays
So, there’s that if you want to keep up with me.
Other than that, see you around. Keep it original and keep it old school everybody, and one last time, for RFI, good night everybody!
-Vince “The Evil DM” Florio