In 1967, in Tampa, Florida, Richard John and Frankie (named after FDR) Mae Moscatello received their only son, Richard Anthony, somewhat to the chagrin of his older sister, Deborah Lynn. The father was a landlord and businessman, the mother a real estate agent and homemaker, although in later years, they retired insomuch as any hardworking people can, and devoted their time to antiques and collectibles.
Ricky’s early years were spent typically, with perhaps a bit more time than most spent playing on an Atari. In 1977, little Ricky got his blue box Dungeons and Dragons set and began what has been a lifelong love affair of games and gaming. Axis and Allies, Divine Right, Titan, and many other boardgames filled his youth, and in the late ‘80s, computers, and computer games came to his attention.
Empire, Bard’s Tale, Populous, the games grew as he did, and soon Rick found himself going to gaming conventions. The realities of life sank in however: one cannot make a living playing games. His income at this time was mostly working for father, cutting down trees, digging up sewers, scraping blood off rental home walls, and learning most thoroughly to avoid real work whenever possible.
Thus, although he was an indifferent student (not even graduating in the top 10% of his class), Rick knew he would need to go to college to get a cleaner job, although he did spend a20few years in heavy metal, country, and 50’s music bands. Once he heard of a subject called “game theory”, even though it was in the much dreaded field of mathematics, his major was chosen.
A quick trip to Gen Con during his college years found him winning the Warhammer Fantasy Role Play Gamemaster award, more prized, perhaps, than an award he won but a few years later for research into game theory (second place went a student from some place called ‘MIT’).
College graduation found him with a degree in mathematics, and a misguided desire to get a taste of reality. Thus, Rick became a stockbroker, riding the ups and downs of the market, traveling to and from New York, and learning much. Alas, a year of such reality was all he could take, and so he took his profits and invested in graduate school, starting at the University of South Florida. He spent a few years there, teaching classes in auditoriums, before getting a fellowship at Tulane, in New Orleans.
At Tulane, it was more mathematics, but the best times were playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends, and playing a nifty new card game, Magic: The Gathering (1997 Louisiana State Champion, by the way, and 4th place the year after).
After teaching as a visiting professor there, Rick moved on to Southeastern Louisiana University, seeing and experiencing horrors best left unwritten.
Great fortune came to him and he was offered a position at River Parishes Community College, a tiny, but growing, institution some miles east of the closest approximation to civilization, Baton Rouge. While he was lucky enough to move out of New Orleans but months before Katrina devastated it, cancer reached out and clawed at him, causing much of two years to be a blur of unpleasantness.
In between the gaming, mathematics and life, Rick wrote extensively for gaming magazines, such as Dragon, Simcoarum Systems Bimonthly, General, TopDeck, InQuest, Scrye, Computer Games magazine, Tuff Stuff Collect!, Wizard, and quite a few others, and still writes regularly for Knights of the Dinner Table magazine, a hysterical comic fanzine that touches the fun parts of all aspects of gaming.
Rick still lives in Louisiana, doggedly improving his indifferent classical piano skills, nigh futilely training to pass his 4th degree black belt exam, and running his full D&D campaigns, in between much, much gaming, mostly on his Alienware computer, and on his custom designed computer desk, large enough to allow him to run tabletop miniatures games on it while the darn computer boots up.
He also has taken to writing fiction novels, such as The Rise of Deadhand, a book that tries to take a closer look at the villain, making the bad guy more than just the insubstantial godlike being that is so common to the genre, with goals more comprehensible than the standard “destroy the world” spiel that folks like Sauron, the Dark One, and Lord Foul tend to pursue.
Another novel, In the Game, addresses how heroes living in the demented fantasy worlds of MMOs, view their lot, as well as a few other things, and perhaps it will be published soon.
Where to find Rick Moscatello online
This member has not published any books.