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💀 Necro Has anyone played with a GM in LA named Cary Solomon?

Jeph

生き物
Validated User
Years ago, in the heyday of the Forge, a poster called Silmenume spilled endless ink describing games run by a small-time film-maker in Los Angeles named Cary Solomon. Cary ran a very particular sort of game set in Middle Earth, and stories about that game have fascinated me. The way Silmenume described it, many, many players rotated through this game table over the years, and there are many, many of you. So I figured I might ask: Have any of you played Cary's game? And if you have, can you share your stories?

From the old Forge posts, this table was hardcore into immersion, almost never speaking out of character. They'd frequently stand up and act out their characters' actions, or gesture their gestures. There was almost no written-down system, aside from a bit about combat (and even that seemed very fluid, outside of a detailed hit-location vitality-and-wounds based damage mechanic); rather, Cary would just call for d20 rolls all the time. It's unclear as to whether there were numeric bonuses added to these rolls, or if people only cared about the die. About half the time, players didn't know what they were rolling for.

Natural 1s and 20s were a big deal. On a natural 1, "fate was turning"—it brought ill-fortune beyond the scope of the original roll. It wasn't exactly a "critical failure" and definitely wasn't a "fumble", since it seems like a natural 1 was often a nominal success, quickly followed by a much greater danger rearing its head. Out of the frying pan, into the fire. A natural 20 was similarly outside-the-scope good fortune. If you rolled a nat 20, you rolled again; Silmenume describes several moments where a player rolls 3 or more 20s in a row, to stupendous results: unlooked for, the cavalry of Rohan crests the hill just in the nick of time, and your foes scatter; stuff like that.

It often seemed like the d20 rolls were there for timing, or pacing of Big Events. Player does something, Cary says "Roll a d20", on anything but a 1 or a 20 Cary just says what he was thinking all along. But on the 1s and 20s, something Dramatic happens, bam!

They very highly valued player skill. You never made a charisma check for an inspiring speech; if you wanted to inspire someone with your words, you actually had to give a speech, on the spot, and be damn inspiring. This went beyond social mechanics: If your character was an archer, you were expected to learn how medieval archery actual worked, how a bowyer and fletcher did their jobs, know when to string and unstring a bow, how to choose a good arrow. Players were expected to take leadership roles among groups of NPCs, act without hesitation, to command.

Cary was a master railroader and manipulator of his players' emotions, when he wanted to be. He had his group wrapped around his finger, had them shouting and high-fiving on natural 20s and actually weeping at the table at deaths of beloved NPCs. But it also seems like he often genuinely had no destination in mind, was truly playing to find out what happened at the table.

So. Have any of you played with Cary Solomon? Or ever sat at a table like his?

Primary Source Links to the Forge archive!

 

Jeremy757

Registered User
Validated User
He was part of a larger group and not the main GM

http://www.angelfire.com/nj2/arda/

I see you have posted this on other websites without much success. A quick google search turns up a Cary Solomon that has both a IMDB profile and a Linked IN profile. I don't know if it is the same guy but if you want to get stories straight from the horses mouth it might be worth shooting him a message on Linked IN to see if it is indeed the same guy.
 

Jeph

生き物
Validated User
He was part of a larger group and not the main GM

http://www.angelfire.com/nj2/arda/

I see you have posted this on other websites without much success. A quick google search turns up a Cary Solomon that has both a IMDB profile and a Linked IN profile. I don't know if it is the same guy but if you want to get stories straight from the horses mouth it might be worth shooting him a message on Linked IN to see if it is indeed the same guy.
Huh, I'd known that there was another group on the east coast playing the same game, but I'd never thought to look for it. Cool find! As I understand it, the west coast group was founded in the 80s when Cary moved to LA to work in the film industry, but the two groups still traded players when someone was visiting cross-country well into the 2000s.
 

Destructobot

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Validated User
Afraid I can't add anything to your search, but I wanted to thank you for posting all the same. This is absolutely fascinating!
 

Elvish Lore

Hello!
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I was tangentially involved. But he started making borderline creepy demands on potential players and life is too short. I want to have fun with my hobby, not be involved in some GM's psycho-drama who wants to maintain total control.

And he's not exactly a small-time filmmaker given he's the one who directed the first D&D movie back, was it... in '99? '00? The terrible one with Jeremy Irons. But it was a major release in thousands of theaters. And he was at least a producer connected to the other D&D sequels.

And he was involved for years in a lawsuit against Warner Bros trying to maintain control of rights to any film connected to D&D. Which resulted in him being connected with the current big budget movie WB is making.

Cary is an... unusual dude.
 
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Jeremy757

Registered User
Validated User
And he's not exactly a small-time filmmaker given he's the one who directed the first D&D movie back, was it... in '99? '00? The terrible one with Jeremy Irons. But it was a major release in thousands of theaters. And he was at least a producer connected to the other D&D sequels.

And he was involved for years in a lawsuit against Warner Bros trying to maintain control of rights to any film connected to D&D. Which resulted in him being connected with the current big budget movie WB is making.

Cary is an... unusual dude.
That was Courtney Solomon.
 

nightwind1

Active member
Validated User
Are you sure it's not "Corey" Solomon, the writer/producer/director of the Dungeons & Dragons movie? Who produced 4th Edition Traveller (aka: Marc Miller's Traveller. aka: T4) along with Ken Whitman (yes, THAT Ken Whitman)?
 

Jeph

生き物
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Are you sure it's not "Corey" Solomon, the writer/producer/director of the Dungeons & Dragons movie? Who produced 4th Edition Traveller (aka: Marc Miller's Traveller. aka: T4) along with Ken Whitman (yes, THAT Ken Whitman)?
Yes, it's Cary Solomon who makes inspirational Christian movies and schlocky supernatural thrillers, not Corey Solomon who did the D&D film!

Different people who happen to have similar names and work in the same industry in the same place!
 

devlin1

Human Paraquat
Validated User
Are we sure we're not talking about Cal Solomon, one of the original members of the Sugar Hill Gang who was kicked out the group because he was bad at rapping?

No?
 
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