Admin Spotlight: Greg Marks

Today we continue our series of posts that help us to learn a little more about each of the members of our Adventurers League Admin team. Next up is Content Manager Greg Marks! 

What's your role on the Admin team?

I am one of the Content Managers and the lead for the Dreams of the Red Wizards campaign. That means that I am in charge of coming up with the plot for the storyline and the individual adventures, doing development on the adventures, as well as managing the authors, editors, and layout staff. 

How did you get started playing tabletop games? in AL?

When I was very little, my newly divorced father took me to some new thing called Gen Con that was being hosted at UW-Parkside (a state university about an hour from where he lived). He had some friends that were into civil reenactment and they were trying to get him into miniature wargaming since they knew he was a history buff. Since he heard it was a convention about games, he thought I might like a day there. While he was playing a miniatures game, I went into the hallway to play with a little car and an army guy that I had brought along. A few minutes later, a “grown-up” came up to me (I realize now he was probably a college student) and said “Hey kid, what are you doing?” I did my best bravely explaining that I was playing with my army guy. He said “Great, come play a game with us.” He was an adult, so I went along. It was a different time.

Anyway, he went into the tabletop area and told the guy marshalling some event that I was his table’s alternate. The marshal was skeptical, but sat me at the table with a bunch of other “adults.” The student that found me explained I was a barbarian like Conan. I was excited because I knew who Conan was. I should roll this d20 and do what he says. We proceeded to play the most amazing game of my life. I kicked down every door and hit everything with my axe. I am sure the other players were not as enthused, but I was too young to notice. Also, it turns out we were playing the second round of the D&D Open and my team didn’t have one of their players show. They slotted the first little kid they found in as their “alternate.” We did not advance. It was still incredible.

As far as an admin, I have been admin for D&D organized play for over twenty years now. When we moved to 5e and the D&D Adventurers League, I applied for one of the three positions. I didn’t get it. Wizards of the Coast decided they wanted all new people on staff to bring in new ideas. Made sense. I think it was about two or three weeks later (well before the campaign started) that they realized with the hiring of entirely new staff, they were losing a lot of institutional knowledge. The decision was made to expand the team from three to six; three new bloods and three old timers. I managed to retire from being an admin for about two weeks. 

Do you have a favorite type of character to play?

While I have played probably every race and class possible, I most like characters with flexibility and lots of options. Because of this I often play a spellcaster, though sometimes I multiclass too. I enjoy being able to fill multiple roles and help the party with whatever they need today. It’s one of the reasons I leapt at the chance to update the Factotum from 3.5e to 5e for Mirt's Undermountain Survival Guide. I love the idea of being able to help out with more than one thing.  

A lot of folks have a favorite D&D setting -- do you?

I love Planescape and Greyhawk. Both have great world(s) spanning stories with lots of flavor and background. That said, I love Ravenloft most of all. While I enjoy happy stories, I tend to like a darker, grittier story and Ravenloft gives lots of choices for domains that let you tell very different stories. 

If your pet was an NPC, what class would they be?

At the age of 22, my cat Lyta is the youngest sister of three (the others having passed on at 24 and 26). She’s always getting into trouble by jumping or climbing up high or opening cabinets she shouldn’t have been able to unlock. As she has aged, and her sisters left us, she has become very social; loving to talk and sing (and scream). I think she probably used to be a rogue, but has since multi-classed into bard.