I met a man passionate about role-playing gaming in college. His name, Dennis Parizek. He had gotten hooked on Dungeons and Dragons, branched into Traveller and other role-playing games, taught his younger brother to play, formed gaming groups then got me — his wife, Debra — hooked on playing.
Our gaming group played most role-playing games on the market but they didn’t quite fit our needs. The group included players of different experience levels and a gamemaster (GM) with multi-level scenarios planned. Everyone with experience in these types of games wanted less arbitrary character information. We needed a gaming system that was easy to use for the newbies, flexible enough for those scenarios we wanted to play and had more meaningful, realistic character stats.
This situation prompted Dennis to design and develop a role-playing gaming system — EVERYVERSE RPG™ — that offered ease of play so no one’s nose need be stuck in a rule book, flexibility in scenario generation and more realistic character attributes plus one action, The Attempt, to resolve all outcomes. Our group loved the system. For many, it is the only system they will use to this day.
Then, tragedy struck during play testing…
Dennis contracted cancer.
He fought through the first round of chemo and surgery. During his recovery, he gamemastered the play testing, all the while hoping for publication.
For nine months after surgery, Dennis appeared to be fine, cancer-free…. until follow-up blood tests indicated possible recurrence. Later, tests revealed metastasis. The cancer had spread to his spine and lungs.
The last time we met with our gaming group, Dennis, the GM with the big ideas, had none. I knew then it was serious, that Dennis would likely not be meeting with them to game again.
Before the final rounds of chemo took its toll on his immune system, Dennis was able to complete work on EVERYVERSE RPG. During treatment in the hospital, he caught a virus and went into a coma. I remember sitting with him, holding his hand, and telling him to go to the next life if he needed to because this life had become too painful. Finally, the fateful day arrived. The doctor told me, his brother and sister-in-law that there was no spark registering on the EEG. Dennis had taken me up on passing to the next life. It was time to let him go. I will never forget saying “yes” when the doctor asked to remove him from life support. It was the most difficult day of my life.
Dennis died one year to the day after his initial surgery… dream of publishing his role-playing gaming system unrealized.
As surviving spouse, I inherited Dennis’ work — a manual of the basic game rules — EVERYVERSE RPG™ — plus supplements on Paranormality, High-Tech Equipment and Future History information and adventures (10 Eras of human expansion and colonization). Also, he wrote treatises on energy weapons, warp drives, hyperdrives, power plants, radiant energy damage and deities. At the time, I needed to find my way now that I was a widow and had to hold down my corporate job. There were days when the only thing that kept me going was reporting for work.
Still, I held the dream… out of love for my late husband.
It has taken me several years to come to a place of deeper peace after his loss. I loved him dearly and have grieved deeply. As the grief has cleared, I have been feeling a strong intuitive push to honor my husband’s work by publishing it posthumously. Recently, I learned of a renaissance for tabletop role-playing gaming. The timing could not be more perfect. I have had the opportunity to learn about online marketing in the past couple of years and I was laid off from my corporate job, which has afforded me the time to focus on producing EVERYVERSE RPG™ as an ebook. To get all of the aforementioned published, I have a big job ahead of me.
I have been feeling a mix of emotions as I work on this project. — happy to be realizing this dream we shared while Dennis was still alive, excited that I am finally able to keep my unspoken promise to him of publishing his work posthumously and honored to bring his hard work to the public domain. I feel a release of sadness that I didn’t know I still carried within, crying as I wrote of his last days and his last meeting with our group. I feel closer to him because it feels as though we are working on this project together. I have been able to relive fond memories of our group’s adventures. I am sensing publishing his work will be a release for Dennis, too.
Will you help me realize the dream of publishing Dennis’ work?
5 Ways EVERYVERSE RPG™ is the COMPLETE Role-Playing Game
9:30 pm on December 24th, 2015