How I Became a RPG Enthusiast

3 Oct

I will always remember fondly the day my dad bought home a video copy of clash of the titans for me to watch at the age of five as we sat down to watch it with our sweets I was captivated by the Pegasus, the hero and of course the monsters that the hero fights. Hooked by this genre of film I searched everywhere for books, games anything to do with the fantasy genre. It was inevitable that sooner or later I would come across the fighting fantasy series in particular the book Deathtrap Dungeon being a keen reader of the choose your own adventure series and being raised on a staple diet of Knightmare on TV I was hooked, the book part game part story offered you the chance to be the hero whilst battling monsters and of course trying to foil the evil lords plans. The game had a really simple system two six-sided dice were used to attack and defend with as well as having something that fast became something really amazing to me, The mechanics.

Statistics determining how much health you had how good with a sword you were and how lucky you were,  it soon occurred to me even at the tender age of 8 you could quite easily devise your own challenges following these core rules. As I ran a series of gauntlet style challenges for another person to try to complete as I developed both as a person and with my imagination the challenges evolved too with multiple combatants and shops for the players to spend their hard earnt treasure on there were even simple missions and objectives still hooked by the fighting fantasy franchise I found more and more of these books some set in the future whilst others had you wielding magic etc there were even a couple of present day ones one being where you controlled a superhero (Appointment With F.E.A.R.), whilst another had you in the role of a monster (Creature Of Havoc).

Then at the age of ten I was introduced to a game which literally blow the fighting fantasy series out of the water for me, Dungeons and Dragons well to be more precise Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as I struggled to get to grips with THAC0 and the various new stats that were involved I remember feeling slightly uncomfortable but determined at the same time by these new odd shaped dice thta had been given to me to use. In the days long before the critical hit song I remember sitting there staring at my dad the DM trying to prompt him to tell me what the result I had rolled meant for my character and that of the party (being a simple fighter I was aware that I wouldnt be throwing any fireballs at my enemies), after the game session I remember feeling confused but still interested in Dungeons and Dragons although did crave for a slightly easier mechanics system THAC0 at the age of ten is enough to give anyone a headache.

Using some of the elements that I had learnt from Dungeons and Dragons I began improving my gauntlet games even more and even had a few friends who would play every so often. At the age of 17 whilst in Loughborough on the way to a training centre I found a book shop with the Dungeons and Dragons third edition box set as I hurriedly went into the store to purchase it I read the contents almost immediately when I got home and was hooked plain and simple, eventually I moved on to buy the core rule books (DMG, Monster Manual and Players handbook) and set about building challenges for friends to complete.

When edition 3.5 came out for the game I was already prepared as a DM unwilling to try the campaign manuals such as forgotten realms I set about devising my own campaign with a mixed degree of success, and with 4th edition I started as a player in a Forgotten Realms campaign (vobeskhans) and moved quickly towards becoming a Dungeon Master again. I guess I owe my enthusiasm to RPG’s to my dad, clash of the titans and of course Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone, without their influences I probably would never have become such a fan.

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2 Responses to “How I Became a RPG Enthusiast”

  1. vobeskhan October 3, 2011 at 5:40 pm #

    Having read a Ladybird book about Hercules in Primary school, and then being lent a copy of The Hobbitt at the age of 7 1/2, my fantasy roots were deeply embedded and then being given the old Red Box from a friend of my brothers at the age of 10 when he ha a garage clear out – well, to steal a quote from Bilbo Baggins “the road goes ever on and on”.

    I remember the Fighting Fantasy books of Jackson & Livingstone (and still have several originals) and somewhere in the depths of the cupboards I have a collection of “Proteus” magazine which was a cheaper, monthly version. For those that are interested Mr Ian Livingstone can be seen “enjoying” 4E D&D in a colelction of celebrity vid-casts (the first episode).

    I loved the old Ray Harryhausen monster movies of old (Clash of the Titans, Golden Voyage of Sinbad, Jason and the Argonauts) and you can find so many fun things to steal for your games in them (especially if your players arent actually old enough to remember the movies lol).

  2. dogbombs October 5, 2011 at 11:32 am #

    My first introduction was by a student teacher at junior school – they brought in Red Box D&D and we had a single lunchtime session. Fighting Fantasy books followed (started my daughter on them recently and we’re looking forward to the Kindle editions that are coming soon). AD&D 1E at Grammar School, 2E at university and now Castles & Crusades, Regime Diabolique and a couple of others. I remember reading through the PHB for 3E and thinking “Er, no. I think I’ll leave that alone now.” Nothing Iv’e read about 4E has made me change my mind. But I still have a set of 1E books around!

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