Yeah. I'm still alive. Suffice it to say there's been a drastic upheaval in my professional life, and I now own the firm. I'm the boss, the head cheese, the Leader of the Stronghold in more ways than one. But that also means an entirely new, elevated level of stress. Wow, does it. Not the least of my problems is figuring out cheap but effective advertising and, oh yeah, how do I pay the minions next month?
But all that's taken its toll. I haven't been gaming much, or doing much reading or writing.
And then this happens. Right over there, on the right. What better way to get me back blogging than a meme/challenge? OK, it's a crutch, but a darn fine one, and it comes at a good time.
So: let's get started.
How did you get started?
I'm going to cheat here and refer back to my second-ever post on this blog, because it says it pretty well.
I was introduced to Role Playing Games (RPGs) in the late 70s by a friend at school. At that time, the game-play between us essentially consisted of moving the lead figures about in mock battles with very little regard to the rules or to dice-rolling, although there was more of the latter than the first. Stats meant very little. These were, at the time, essentially small, hard action figures to us. We used up A LOT of Testor's enamel paints painting up these little guys, and painting them up BADLY. Of course, they were masterpieces to our eyes.
My first mini, if I remember correctly, was a dwarf. I'll dig him out and post him up sometime.
I was one of those poor saps that went around the family and around the neighborhood twice annually selling gift wrap and greeting cards. You remember the school programs: here's a catalog of all the cool stuff you can "buy" with your sales points. Of course, they don't tell you that you have to sell the equivalent of Oregon's annual paper output to get enough points to earn the really cool stuff.
And of course, just how many people need to buy THAT much gift wrap twice a year?
But then came one year: 1981.
There in the catalog was this: The Basic Set. Erol Otus' adventurers worked their magic on me, even through the long distance of the catalog page. I was hooked: I ran my tail off selling cards and paper that year. My parents at the time had no idea what it was--they thought it was just another board game. To be honest, I wasn't much better educated than they were about it, but I knew that I just had to have it.
I can still remember where I was when I first opened up the box: in the basement, sitting on the floor in front of the couch. Blue and green shag carpeting in front of the enormous Magnavox console television.
I peeled the cellophane off the box and proceeded to remove every last item in the box, almost reverentially.
First thing I did? I colored the dice with a white crayon.
Then I rolled up characters for the rest of the night.
I think that was where my parents first started to worry. The worry quickly turned into a near-Jack Chick-like obsession against gaming. I played on the sly, going through reams of graph paper creating dungeon after dungeon, world map after world map. Then I added Star Frontiers, Doctor Who, and Star Trek to my list of games. I still have a binder full of starship drawings I made in High School when I should have been listening in class. [I forgot to include Car Wars and Champions in the list the first time around.]
Yup. Hook, line, and sinker.
I admit that I put them aside for a while through undergrad and grad school. Got married, enjoyed my first six years of marriage...then broached the subject one day on a long road trip for a job interview.
And I found out I'd married a past gamer myself.
And shortly thereafter I got reacquainted with my inner dwarf.
Since then, I've been a player once again.