Author Topic: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008  (Read 3494 times)

Offline dmcgee1

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This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« on: September 18, 2008, 01:30:15 PM »
The Gamer (homo geekus)

I don't remember when I started gaming.  I can remember playing Stratego, Risk, and others with my brother, hopelessly pounding him into submission on the board (and all of the ensuing arguments).  I had more green army men and tanks and artillery and halftracks than you could throw a firecracker at.  I had a fascination with all things militaria, even as a tike.  I loved any kind of game with a military theme; Carrier Strike!, Chopper Strike!, Tank Battle, etc.  Risk, Stratego, and any other game where conquest and destruction of the enemy were the goals.  I loved sports like baseball, football and play hockey and softball to this day.

I really became a gamer geek in my teens.  When I was 14, my buddy introduced me to D&D.  What a concept!  It was cool to get together with my buds and throw dice into the wee hours.  We played all kinds of other games, including Traveller, Aftermath!, Car Wars, Ogre, G.E.V., Cosmic Encounter, Supremacy, though we never really got into miniatures (I tried, on many occasions, to get my bud to try WWII minis, with little success).  We tried PBM (not PBEM, yet) games, we played paintball (with CO2 cartridges and pump-action markers), and consumed more pizza, chips and soda than a small country.

I joined the military, and was introduced to games like Axis & Allies, Air War, Squad Leader and Talisman.  We formed our own Car Wars chapter, The Ground Zero R.A.D.S., playing out of Ground Zero Hobbies in Bellevue, Nebraska.  We consistently trounced N.O.V.A. in teams events.

While in the military, I got my first taste of miniatures when WH40K came out.  It was a great game, back then; pity what it has become.

After leaving the military, I came back home to Philly, and found that my game group had drifted apart.  So, I found new players, and indoctrinated them.  In time, our group grew.

Now, I play for the shear enjoyment of playing.  My buds and I treat most of our gaming sessions as a excuse to get together and shoot the breeze, with the game providing a distracting backdrop.  Yeah, we still play to win, but the comeraderie, the killing of time and the discussions evolved from the game are the real fun.

So, how did you evolve into a geek, and where are you now?
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Offline joshuaslater

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 05:16:13 PM »
D&D in seventh grade.  Same story as yours.  The eighties were spent playing Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, Star Frontiers, Gangbusters, Diplomacy, Tunnels & Trolls, Mercenaries, Spies & Private Eyes, and lots of D&D.  We always used miniatures for RPG's to set the scene and know where everybody was in the dungeon.

Then, after that awkward adolescence, it was the three G's.  Girls, Guitars, and Gettin' the party on.  No games at all for a long time.

I got back into D&D when 3.0 and 3.5 were going on, and found the landscape quite different in the rules, but the same experience you laid out: hangin' with the gang.  As I got out of my rock and roll lifestyle, I started in earnest buying miniatures.  I remember looking at all the stuff going on online.  I was there when Hasslefree launched , and I bought some of their first releases.  I also found some strange fantasy models for a game called Chronopia.  I saw the Vulture Clan Gauntlet Warriors and thought they were a very different take on the classic fantasy races we had seen for so many years.  I bought the rulebook on ebay and my friend Dalton and I played our first game on a corner of the kitchen table to see how it played.  We were hooked, and brought Bill Meredith into it too.  It wasn't until I read the credits and saw that it was put out by a little company in Clifton Heights called Excelsior.  I was amazed they were putting out this game and were so close to where I lived. 

I spoke to Thom over the phone at length, and put in an order, and arranged to meet for a demo of the game.  It was there that my crew learned all the things we had been doing wrong!!  That was our first meeting with John Tinney and J.P. Demare.  It was a great experience, and I found that Thom and I had a lot of common experiences.  We've been friends now for a few years, and I'm happy he's coming back to the gaming world after being through so much adversity.

Now this forum is seeing all kinds of new things in the works.  It will be a lot more gaming and lot of good times.  I've found this community to have an esprit de corps second to none of any in the gaming world.  It feels like home to me.
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Offline Sylvas

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 05:49:06 PM »
well, before I get too far into this, realize that I come from a really small town in south Texas...rural, mostly farmland, and very conservative in all aspects...nothing like me at all (in some ways, I believe that this upbringing has something to do with the way I grew up)...

anyway, like most people around my age, it started with D&D, specifically the red box (what do you mean what do I do? I'm an elf! I elf.  My parents are very proud.  They were elves too.)

mostly, I played the box set D&D's throughout high school, since there was nothing else to do except drink, do drugs, and make babies (like I said, boring little town), even though unknown to those of us in my hometown, Austin was a scant hour away and therefore some of the classic Steve Jackson Games products were available, unlike in my hometown.

when I went to college (in the thriving metropolis of Lubbock, Tx), I was exposed to other gamers really for the first time (the guys I played with back home I had known for most of my life), and expanded my horizons to other game systems for the first time, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Forgotten Realms (didn't know it existed), Rolemaster, and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay...

also during college, I was exposed for the first time to minis games, specifically 40K...a friend of mine at school had a bunch of marines and eldar and I thought they were cool, and since 2nd ed. had just been released, I was hooked (and still am)...

as for the games that brought me here, I was first exposed to Warzone in 1996 while living in Dallas...A friend of my roomie came over and saw that my roomie and I were playing 40K, and he started talking to us about this game he played that was like 40K, but the rules made a little more sense (not hard, I know)...he got us to start playing with his armies, we liked the game, and my roomie and I "inherited" a couple of armies (me Capitol, him Dark Legion)...

then I moved to Ohio, thought the Warzone game was dead and gone, the figs sat in the corner collecting dust (I'm a packrat), thought never to see the light of 2004, I went to Origins and was walking through the minis hall and saw a game that looked like Warzone, the figs looked like Warzone, and lo and behold, it was was also at that event that I met Stalker, Topkick, Southpaw, and some of the others up here in the Ohio crew...

and that's that for now...
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Offline Durandal

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 09:54:42 PM »
I can pinpoint it right down to the Christmas that I got Heroquest from my uncle.  I must have been 7 or 8 at the time but after I saw that shiny box I knew I was hooked on something.  I played that game until my brother was sick of it and then I just started playing it by myself.  At around that time I also started getting an allowance every week for doing chores (I was such a good boy :D) and each weekend I would go down to my local game store and pick up Ral Partha minis to paint and use in my games of Heroquest.  As time went on I started wanting something more out of gaming so I started looking at other stuff in the game shops.

Then it was in February 12 years ago that for my birthday the only thing I asked for was to go to the game store and buy one thing that I had my heart set on for months before hand.  I walked in and handed the cashier $100+tax and walked out with a shiny new box set for Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition.  After that I was hooked.  I roped random friends into playing it and in my spare time I would set up games and play against myself.  I kept on playing it until around 2002 when the changes in 3rd edition put me off the game and the company and I started looking for alternatives.  I was browsing through the LGS and I happened upon an old dogeared copy of Warzone 1st edition and after flipping through it and seeing all those awesome pictures and equipment charts I was set.  I proxied my Space Marines as Bauhaus and my friend used his Eldar as Capitol and we had a wonderful time pitting armies against each other.

After this I was insatiable for new rules sets and in the years since I've picked up a dozen games I play on a semi-regular basis as well as dozens I don't not including my pet-projects and home brews.  I've also picked 2nd Edition 40k back up and I play a few games of it every month or so just to revitalize my inner child.  Current active systems include but are not limited to:

Ultimate Warzone
Heavy Gear Blitz
Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition
Full Thrust
Warhammer Fantasy Battles
Epic: Armageddon

I can't see myself giving up any time soon and I'm gearing up to start teaching my nefew the ways of geekdom.  When he's old enough I'm getting him a set of Heroscape and letting the Heroquest effect take hold of him. :D

I will make my brother's first (and second when that happens in a few months) born a geek yet.  And then I can work on my own future children when the time comes to have a whole new generation of geeks in the family. :D

Offline Veez

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #4 on: September 19, 2008, 04:24:50 AM »
I open with the question of how is role playing any different than any pretend game you play growing up?  There are dice and the rules are usually more codified but you are still playing army.  From there I started playing D&D in Jr High in small amounts.  Later I got into Mekton and finally Rolemaster with friends from High School.  While other kids were doing whatever normals do in high school I was working, playing games with the only friends from High School I still bother talking to and paying Photon (we had a center down town).  I joined the reserves and took my Mekton stuff with me when we were activated for the war.  During the three month spool-down we would play out of our fighting holes we had dug to give us something to do.  One of our guys had picked up a book called "Rogue Trader" that had seemed promising.  Later I picked up my own copy and discovered the delights of having toy soldiers with rules.  One of my friends liked to experiment with new RPGs and picked up Mutant Chronicles.  The first game he played like a TTG, setting up the small town where we went looking for Dark Legion influence.  When Warzone came out snatched it up and my friends and I played all sorts of battles with Mutant Chronicle figures, the early sculps and plenty of 40k proxies.  I got back to college, joined a local gaming group and had some great games.  Since then I've gone active duty and as such moved around, and haven't really had a chance to get back into a group until now.  Our second session is this weekend (last session got ruined by the Tropical Storm).
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Offline luckyone

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2008, 06:02:24 AM »
WOW great thread!

It all started for me (like everyone else) playing board games with my older brother and step brother. We played axis/allies, risk, and all types of other games I forgot the names to. I then moved on to D&D in middle school. I can remember the all weekend gaming events with the basic, expert and then (books) DM Guide, Players Handbook, MMI, MMII, Dieties & Demigods etc.

Pretty much stop gaming during high school. Other things more important - girls, job, football, power lifting girls did I mention girls?

After joining the military, I rediscovered board gaming during those stupid guard duty weeks we had. My commander loved to "volunteer" the unit for these especially right after a long field exercise. Of course he had no family and no life outside of trying to make himself look great for his OER. I picked up the classic risk, axis/allies, stratego and remembered how fun it was to play these.

When I left the military I got into computer gaming more. Loved to play X-con UFO defense, Betrayal at Krondor and many other turn based games. I did not like the real time games except for Wolfenstein etc. I remeber a fantasy based game (real time) that you could actually turn an enemy into a chicken (forgot the name). I think it was Hexon or something like that. Those only lasted as long as nobody posted the cheat codes. As soon as those were up the game was lost to me.

I then was lost again for about a year after working 12-14 hour days and coming home miserable. My wife (god bless her) said I needed a hobby. Computer was way to slow for the new games out there and the old ones had lost their appeal to me, so I looked in the phone book under gaming/hobby shops.

Went to a store in Hagerstown MD called The Gaming Realm. Met Jeremy (Pugs) Osteen there. Looked around and saw people playing this thing called Warhammer. I asked him about it. He said first what do you like - fantasy or sci-fi? I said I was leaning towards fantasy. He said great since there is a new boxed set coming out for WH Fantasy Battles in less than a month.

Blindly pre-paid for the boxed set saying WTF do I have to lose - just $60 right? Well over 5 grand tourneys later, I am called Lizard Man Tim (L.T.) by that group of friends to this day.

Everyone there knew something was wrong with 40K and no one could do anything about it. Too many rules/revisions and issues with the game. Then a group of the weirdest people come into the shop to demo a game. They were freeky looking and I had been gaming for several years to this point. It was called Warzone (1st edition). The rules were so much better. It actually made sense. I don't have to go first to win, I can wait to move a squad, I only have to roll a d20? Granted there were some issues with the ubber captain with the sniper rifle with laser site and auto healing and transporting etc but it really was better than anything out there. Well of course everyone was playing it for a couple of years after that. It was a sad day when the company went under. A lot of rumors of what happened but I cannot judge since I do not have all the (correct) facts.

Moved to Delaware with the wife and very sparatically played some games. Superior Comics - closed/moved. Common Magic - closed. You get the picture. Just when you think you have a place to play bam its gone.

During all of this I did find a store in Claymont DE - The Rogue's Den. Great store/location and plenty of space for gaming. Would go there on Saturday evening's to get a coffee, chill, paint old figs watch a movie etc. Saw some guys playing what looked like Warzone. Went over met Dave, Prime, and the other gang.

Tried out the new rules with some of Dave's figs. Needles to say it was even better than before. Picked up a rule book. I was told before but didn't realize who Prime was until I turned to the first page of the rulebook and saw his mug there.

Of course The Rogue's Den closed. Surprise, surprise. Was able to pick up all of the remaining figures there and trade/give them out with Dave's stuff during Talamanias.

Continued to play there with the group up there whenever I could. Started to go to the events - Southern Exposure, Dexcon and Dreamation with everyone.

Glad to be part of Talamania I, II and looking forward to Talamania III.
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 07:03:13 AM by luckyone »
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Offline Petru5

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2008, 07:59:42 AM »
My path down Geek Lane started much like those who have written before me.  In grade school, I played tons of games with my brother and mother (non-RPG or war).  Dominoes, King's Corner and a host of board games (I actually liked the board game for the old vampire soap opera Dark Shadows).  Since I lived in rural Missouri, I had a lot of time and imagination to spare.  Thanks to my mother, I have a deep appreciation for fantasy and sci-fi.  That, coupled with that darn imagination, was a perfect fit when I stumbled onto D&D red box.  It wasn't until I moved and was a Freshman in high school that I actually got to play D&D.  That proceeded throughout high school, mixed in with 'regular' high school stuff and a ton of video games. 

In college, my gaming group branched out into new RPGs: Cyberpunk, Shadowrun, Stormbringer and Twilight: 2000.  Axis & Allies was also a hit at that time, as well as video games, work and girlfriends.  After college, I branched out in different ways.  I was an active member of the SCA and played tournament-level paintball.  I like to think of those times as playing RPGs for real.  Gaming took a serious back seat and fell off the radar.

After I met my now wife, things changed.  I now play mainly wargames on Thursday nights at various homes and play mainly board games on Sunday nights at my FLGS.  My closet is filled with over 100+ board games, my shelves are full of rulesets for all genres of minis games and my storage is filled with terrain and stuff to make terrain (more of the latter than the former, unfortunately).  Oh, and I have too many video game systems and games.  Atari 2600, Nintendo, Super Nintendo, Sega Genesis, Nintendo 64, Playstations 1-3...don't ask how often I actually get to play them!

For me, gaming is always my 'escape' way to flex my creative mind and shrug off the mundane routines of life.  It's always mixed in, but never dominates (I hope).  The down side of that is I have too much terrain to create and figures to paint!
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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2008, 09:27:49 AM »
Wow... what a great read, some very interesting (and similar beginnings).

Minot AFB, ND:  I was in 4th grade when my two older brothers started playing this crazy game called D&D out of a few pamphlets with really bad artwork.  I was 9, what did I know?  Then a really cool set of books came out by Gary Gygax that I perused through just to look at the pictures.  I was invited to watch one night and after seeing the panited miniatures and the legos used to make the dungeons I was enthralled beyond belief.  "I was too young to play with the big boys," my mom said, so I was relegated to just watching.

March AFB, CA: When I was ten, my best friend and I borrowed the books and played by ourselves and eventually at 11, I found I knew the rules better than my brothers.  I was invited to play at age 12 and became a regular player in the group.  I was always initially met with scrutiny by the older players, but when they realized, "Hey this 12 year old can really role-play well" they let it go.  It was a combination of the fantasy and the combat action that attracted me to the game, but more importantly just being around my brothers and spending time with them is what drew me to the game.  It's cool to be the youngest of three brothers and accepted as a peer in something that we all three enjoyed doing.  I was purely a D&D player, occasionally played other boards games and such, but most of my time was spent gaming in the wonderful world of paper and pencil.  But while at March AFB, I met a group of players that played Champions.  Tried that for a short time but didn't really get into it that much.

Offutt AFB, NE:  When I moved to Bellevue, it wasn't hard to find the gamers once school started.  I immediately got accepted into a group in my neighborhood and played D&D and guess what... Champions.  Sure enough we found that we liked the superhero game more than anything as a group and played it just about every weekend all day long.  I GM'ed mostly but another player took up the GM mantle and we swapped back and forth.  D&D was still played in the background of course as one-off campaigns or modules.  It had just changed to 2.0 and there was some growing pains with that but we adapted.

Vandenberg AFB, CA:  This is where my gaming experience skyrocketed.  We played everything in highschool.  Car Wars, Battle Tech, Traveller, games I can't even remember.  More champions was played and of course D&D.  But near the end of my high school years and into the first year of college I was introduced to MERPS.  It quickly became my favorite game.

Then I joined the military.

Nellis AFB, NV: I found a group and played D&D and Warhammer Fantasy--plus many many beer and pretzel nights of Wiz War.

Vandenberg AFB, CA:  Came back to play with my highschool friends--much of the same games except for... dunh duhn duuuuuuhnnnn: Warzone!  Yes, in 96 is when it all started for me.  Then of course came Chronopia and I found I liked it better than Warzone.

Los Angeles AFB, CA:  I moved down the road and found a group of players there that played Warzone and Chronopia but we didn't meet often.  It was rough for those 4 years of no gaming.

Vandenberg AFB, CA:  Most of my buddies were still in town and this is where I am currently stationed.  Warzone and Chronopia kind of died off in the group (unfortunately), but we still play D&D 3.5 once a week and one saturday a month.  We always have great laughs and a good time playing so I go mostly for the social aspect.  We're all older with families and responsibilities so we can't be too serious into it.  Its a good way to pass the time with longti me friends.

That's my geekdom!
« Last Edit: September 19, 2008, 09:31:02 AM by Wedge »

Offline MadBrad

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2008, 09:51:26 AM »
As a child, I had an active imagination, and played my fair share of boardgames growing up. 

The road to geekdom really started with my introduction to White Box D&D in 1976.  Several players played at my junior high.  A couple of my good friends and I then discovered Panzer Leader/Panzer Blitz, and the gaming really began.  I began painting miniature for gaming in Chainmail, and in High School began playing Squad Leader, Third Reich, and Star Fleet Battles.  All through this time, I continued to play D&D in it's various iterations.   

I gamed on and off, but have always loved painting minitures.  I have a large Ral Parth elf army that has been gamed in a lot of different systems.  I also painted for some of my friends to raise cash in High School and University.  In college, and for a few years afterwards, I did not game as much, but kept playing RPGs.   

I moved to Denver, began gaming with a group that I had met during my College Daze, and then a new friend told me about this cool miniatures game called Warzone.  I asked who was playing, and what factions.  He had claimed Bauhaus (of course, everyone always goes for Bauhaus first!), and two others had Impie and Capitol.  I told him I would play, but only a small army.  He pointed out Cybertronic.  I read about the AI's and immediately started building the first of my armies. 

For a couple of years, I fell victim to MMORPG's, which were a lot of fun, but really cut down on real life gaming contact.  I also sponsored quite a few LAN parties, and discovered the somewhat more social gaming atmosphere of Frag Fests.   Finally, however, interest dropped off, and the MMORPGs were just the same old grind.  Suddenly, tabletop gaming began to beckon to me again. 

Over the past decade, I have really started gaming a lot more.  I now own over 500 games, and have thousands of figures.   I have friends who regularly play, and I have to admit that my wife is a saint, as she has put up with the gaming.  In fact, she is very supportive, as the gaming crew out here are all nice people. 

There is just no better way to live, than surrounded by people who know and play games. 
Cybertronic - Superior by design

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Offline Archer

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #9 on: September 19, 2008, 11:46:56 AM »

  I started on the road to geek-dom when my cousin, staying with us after he got back from Korea at the end of his enlistment, brought home a copy of the redbox D&D game.  Once I began to play, I never looked back.  I was seven at the time...  I moved on to AD&D about two years or so later and I had a core group of friends in my neighborhood I ran with.  Lots of fond memories of that time... and I still have some of the characters from back then.  One of them eventually became a a staple NPC of my games I ran later in life.

  I branched out into Sci-Fi RPGs, with the finding of Star Frontiers... and more adventures ensued, with my group eventually founding their own mercenary exploration company...  a well armed one too. :)  From there, I got into miniatures gaming with Battletech (Battledroids, actuially) and began collecting mechs and tanks- being a strong proponent of armor back then...  and still am.  I don't play it much nowadays but I do pull out sourcebooks to read and pickup the new rules when they come out.  I'm looking to change the lack of playing... and have plans for this brewing. :)

I joined the Army in '90 and was promptly stationed in Europe... where I ran into more role-players in my unit.  After Desert Storm, I volunteered to stay and load ships- which proved to be a fortuitous thing as I hooked up with some engineers that had brought their 2nd Edition books with them to the desert... and I got a gamer recharge out of playing with them.  Still have one of those characters too- an OA Kensai that has gone on to become legendary in terms of lucky bastard antics with my group back stateside....

Once back stateside, I attended a game convention- Dexcon 2, when it was up in Elizabeth Jetport.  There, I saw the 40k game for the 1st time....  Rushing home late that night, I speed painted some of the marines I had purchased some months before (the old 30 for 15 boxset) and raced back to the con after two hours of sleep to play in a megabattle.  It was there I began to do things with armies that had no business being on the field...  a trend that continues to this day (Cap Rangers have NO business going toe to toe with Bushido Samurai...  none!!)

Through conventions, I got involved with the game community as a whole, eventually running Miniatures rooms for several conventions... and running a convention of my own for a while.  I got to meet many members of the industry through those shows (Dave Frank (in his GW Days), Mike Stackpole, Steve Jackson, Loren Coleman... and a man by the name of Bob Watts of Heartbreaker Miniatures.

  Between his exuberance and that of Bill (Dane) Refsland and Jim (Ratboy) Williamson, I got involved with Warzone and then Chronopia... and the rest is history, as they say.

I am happy to say, I have met many people thru this and the other hobbies I have, from RPG's to Larp to Paintball... and to the Convention scene, where I met about a third of the people I still call friends.  I love gaming and if I were able to do it to the exclusion of eating, drinking and sleeping, I'd give it a shot. ;)  however, reality does need to be given time and one must work to support one's hobbies.  ;D

All joking aside,  I can honestly say it was my hobbies that got me through some tough times in my life... and it was my hobbies that helped me meet some of my better friends I've had and how I met Gun-Moll...  something I can definitely say with confidence that I'm glad for.
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Offline warzoneD

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #10 on: September 19, 2008, 02:38:06 PM »
Love these stories fellas, makes me all warm and fuzzy inside. Keep 'em coming.

Let's see...I was about 8 or 9 (believe it or not).  I had devoured the ring trillogy, LeGUin's Earthsea books, and was focusing my sites on Elric, when my friend's older brother (13) suggested we come down to the basement to try something new and cool...

Now if I was David Fincher this story could get really dark, but happily the only thing he whipped out was a copy of the Players Handbook and the DM's guide. By the time the night was over, my Ranger (Eemayus) had journeyed all of 50' into B1 searched a couple of alcoves for secret doors, rifled through the clothing of some telltale corpse for a fistfull of GPs (heedless of the dire warning their state of deadnes implied), before my companion (a thief) was to reduced to 0 HP by a band of wandering orcs (no doubt trying to remember where they parked their wyvern) who I then picked up and promptly fled with back out into the blessed light of day.

As far as I was concerned I might as well have just gone to mount doom, found stormbringer, and defeated Voldemort.  Henceforth, I was officially a gamer.

After much exuberant blabbing and assuredly a fair amount of juvenile emotional blackmail, I convinced my dad to take me to the only game store in Manhattan, the Compleat Strategist (at that time devoted largely to historical wargaming).  There in the corner was the white box set...but even better the three wondrous books.  It was as if someone had cast a wish spell because my dad let me buy to of the books (DMG & MM), which I buried myself in all through dinner, only seldomly glancing up to eat a morsel of Eggroll of Beef with Snowpeas.  Then something miraculous happened, my Dad actually took me back to the store and got me the third book...needless to say, I plotzed.

From that point forward I was always scrambling to get someone to play.  Middle school was a good time for working out my gaming kinks, even wrote my first modules like R1 river to beyond, and G4 The Castle of the Cloud Giants, but as we got older, players became increasingly scarce.  My big bro was more into sports, my next door neighbor and buddy started to get into music.

Since I couldn't find gamers to game with, I started playing with, not like that (though admittedly I was 13....)   A fellow 8th grader turned me on to a cool new magazine called ARES.  Each issue had a complete fantasy/sci-fi game in it.  GTFO!   And all for like 3 bucks an issue.  Ah the halcyon days of of pre-GW marketing.

The Ares Mag games were all chit based and covered everything from Delta V (a space fighter) to Stainless Steel Rat (think clue with robots and guns) to Albion (an awesome fantasy wargame set in faerie england which was one part rpg one part ttg).  Long nights were spent out-strategizing myself, reading Fritz Leiber's Nehwon series, and NOT doing my algebra homework...which would cause me much trouble in H.S....but THAT is another story. 

It wasn't until H.S. that I found some RPGers again and started branching out into games like VIllains & Vigilantes and Gamma World.  Somewherein my Junior year I was cycling in England and wandered into a store and found a box set of 3 books called Warhammer Fantasy Battles.  Well this, this was impossibly wondrous...a game that let me recreate LOTR and super awesome cool figs (mind you that were DIRT CHEAP!).  I bought everything my lanky arms could reach.  My bike crew was heading to france so I shipped all my booty back to the states...and got home weeks later to find...

...the package had been lost...I'm positive that, to this day, somewhere in Lausanne there's an evil postal bastard still using my figs!

Still it didn't matter.  I knew they'd make more...and I'd be there to purchase them.  Soon enough I had small dwarf facing off against orcs around the Ziguraut of Doom and, man, life was good.

College was the big explosion for me.  I joined the University's game group, and much to my dismay that the weekly D&D game had about 14 players and was generally mayhem.
Also, I was already studying screenwriting and I knew I wanted more than just dice rolling out of my adventures. 

Grabbing four newcomers like myself I casually suggested we try a new game WFRP.  We started at 5 and finshed by breakfast (thank God NYC is a 24 hour town).  WFRP was muddy, grimey, deadly, scary, and the way I ran it...much more about the roleplay and the unfolding story.  Oh sure we had some fights, but I encouraged my players to really create characters, I used lots of accents and voices for the NPC's, I enacted a rule "what you say is what you say and what you do is what you do" Which kept the tone and taught mouthy players that sure they could call the Watch Captain a Squig-Hole but there were going to be consequences.

We played for five years more or less, and several of my players are now game designers and writers I'm proud to say.

I really didn't get into UWZ until right after college, by now I was a ridonkulous gamer, Rogue Trader, Champions, Twilight 2000, Blood Bowl, I either had read or sat least tried most everything coming out.  WFB was my mainstay, I had an awesome Orc Army with over 50 Wolfriders and a dozen chariots (in those days armies felt like ARMIES, and you could afford them - a pack of 8 goblns cost about 5 bucks), and a bad ass, cannon laden, Empire force.

I was attracted to 1st Ed WZ by the great art and beautiful layout.  The system seemed fresh (Alter. act.) and the world was enaging, so me and my friend Scott gave it a whirl and had a blast.

Life took over from there, gaming went bye-bye as I became uncomfortable being a geek (it was the 80's=90's and geeks weren't in vogue, he-men were), so I kinda stuffed everything in a closet and focused on my career and clubbing, dinners, girls, and work sucked up all my time.    The fun thing was every now and then discovering a gamer hidden in the "hipster" scene.

I really didn't get back into gaming (and kinda missed the boat of a lot of WZ 2n Ed playing) until maybe 8 years ago.

Sometimes, it's kind of like a drug, it gives me a rush to play, bringing back all those wondrous flights of fantasy from my youth and the good times we had.  These days I'm proud to be a geek.  As a writer, gaming is a great imagination stimulator and I love the mental challenge of trying to outwit my opponent tactically. 

I'm ever in search of the TTG ultimate system but UWZ comes very close.  Lately I've also gotten into Rezolution which takes me back to the days of watching Blade Runner for the 100th time.

I'm honored to be counted among your ranks gentleman.  Here's to many more tales of Dice rolls that almost were and Nepharites that got away.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2008, 11:28:33 PM by warzoneD »

Offline dmcgee1

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Re: This week in Geekdom 9/18/2008
« Reply #11 on: September 19, 2008, 06:34:27 PM »
I'm slapping the bejesus outta everyone's karma buttons - well done, gents, well done.
If sing, sang, and sung, sink, sank, and sunk, and drink, drank, and drunk, how is it that it isn't bring, brang, and brung, think, thank and thunk, and ding, dang, and dung?

Don't even get me started about bad, badder and baddest.  Run, ran AND run...again?  C'mon!