Sunday, August 3, 2014

#RPGaDay #1-3

The last few months have been kind of a doldrums for me, which is why I haven't been posting regularly. But hopefully, getting back to posting will help me get back to my old self and get some other things moving. So I decided to participate in the RPGaDay blogfest

I'm doing the first 3 posts as 1 today for a couple of reasons. First of all, I'm starting late. Secondly, events did not take place in an orderly fashion, so I think I'd rather present them in chronological order rather than blogfest order.

#3 First RPG purchased

The first RPG book I ever purchased would be GURPS Horror, First edition (Stapled binding, Brom art on the cover) back in 1998. A pretty girl (who later became my wife) had shown me her copy of GURPS Wild Cards and I wanted to get her something nice. When I saw a used copy of GURPS Horror at the local game shop for a price I could afford (3-4 dollars, I want to say), I thought it would make a good gift. They were both GURPS, right?

It wasn't until I presented her with the gift that she explained that she had the Wild Cards book because she was a fan of the novel series. The game book was a good reference to the series and she had no real idea or interest in the precise meaning of the game stats presented for the novel characters. (She did wind up loaning me some of the novels to read. Good stuff.)

I was kind of hooked, though. I had to solve the mystery of exactly what a Strength score was and exactly how this sort of game was played. Over the next year, with whatever I could save up, I wound up getting the GURPS Basic Set (so if this was supposed to be about my first core rulebook or basic set, there you go) and a few other books.

Which leads me to...

#1 First RPG played

Amusingly enough, it was Rolemaster. Looking up GURPS resources on the internet I found a website done by a guy who ran a GURPS game not far from where my girl and I were living back in 1999. He listed an email address, so I dropped him a note. It turns out he had just finished up a GURPS campaign and his players decided they wanted to give Rolemaster a try.

With no real knowledge, but a healthy dose of enthusiasm, I asked if I could join the campaign. He consented, but since I had no clue about the system, he wanted to generate my character before I got there. Apparently, the process of Rolemaster character creation is complex enough that a spreadsheet was used to streamline the process.

The GM decided to do a Rolemaster conversion of the Temple of Elemental Evil.

I seem to recall only a few sessions of that game coming to pass. I think I wound up dropping out because of transportation reasons. I either had to leave early to catch the bus or pay through the nose for a cab after each session.

And now...

#2 First RPG Gamemastered

Since the last 2 covered the years of 1998 and 1999, we now come to the year 2000. The first RPG I ever ran was D&D 3rd edition, which was new out that year.

I bought the books because they were well designed and well priced. I had been in the habit of picking up a $20 GURPS softcover supplement on my pay days, so $20 for a lovely hardcover book was a brilliant deal.

My first long-term campaign as a player was D&D 3e at about this time. But not all of my D&D-interested friends were playing in that campaign, and some people who were playing were also interested in doing another campaign. But since every campaign needs a DM, that had to be somebody. I think I had started picking up Dungeon Magazine by this time, so I figured I had the resources to DM if nobody else had a brilliant campaign idea.

It was clumsy and awkward and a learning experience for all involved. I've gotten better, but I don't think I'm up with the Greats yet.

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