Friday, March 28, 2008

Brew Meister

A month has passed now since I took the plunge and got those PDF copies of the original D&D (OD&D) books, volumes I-III. I’ve been spending hours and hours tailoring my Solstice setting for the Of Fortunes and Fools campaign using the original books written as a guideline, a tool kit. The creative freedom that OD&D has given me is perfectly suited for my style of campaign design. It’s allowed me to take all of those notions and conceptions that I had about ‘the rules’ and shatter them. I was always a fairly hard core home brewer with AD&D, inspired mostly I think by Arduin and it’s wackiness, but that was mostly just *adding* new races, classes, monsters, spells, artifacts, etc. Now, I am working with a basic guideline and I am defining the actual rules and descriptions to my own taste. It’s an entirely new level of home brewing. And I am totally hooked on OD&D now. I haven’t even played a game using the rules yet, but I can tell that with the amount of creative effort I am putting into this, Solstice will truly be ‘my world’. Maybe the first time I can call a setting that, it’s truly mine.

Through all of my internet research, I’ve come to realize that basically every DM playing OD&D is doing the same thing to a certain extent. What I mean is that we are all doing something different, yet the same. We are all home brewing, maybe not to the extent that I am, but we are all making stuff up and creating something unique. This is not Greyhawk or The Forgotten Realms here. This is not AD&D with it’s rigid rules set. It’s all new, if one can call playing OD&D ‘new’ at all. It’s really made me appreciate the works of Gygax, Arneson and Hargrave in an entirely different way. While I am not using their OD&D settings (Greyhawk, Blackmoor, Arduin), I can see in a new way where they were going with these worlds. Maybe I was just a little slow on the uptake, being so deep into AD&D for as long as I was, but I see now that DM’s were doing this very thing in the 70’s. Everything was, essentially, home brewed.

Then AD&D came along. Theories abound concerning the impetus behind such a rigid, encompassing set of rules. TSR wanted to have a concise set of rules for conventions and tournaments, or that TSR was trying to ‘shut down’ the home brew competition by making D&D much more rigid, or (much more likely) TSR was trying to generate more revenue by making a more desirable ‘advanced’ product. Whatever the case may be, AD&D in my opinion stunted the creativeness of a lot of DM’s back in the 80’s. I do appreciate AD&D for what it is, and I still consider The Dungeon Master’s Guide by Gygax to be one of the finest role-playing products ever printed. Unfortunately, it just sent D&D down a more narrow path.

Now, I also realize that a lot of players probably appreciated the AD&D approach more. Things were more defined, there weren’t as many surprises, monsters were recognizable, there was a certain comfort level. You knew going in how pretty much everything worked. AD&D probably saved the world from a lot of bad D&D sessions by helping define everything. I think a good OD&D campaign requires a more advanced DM, someone capable of taking these very basic books and creating a living, breathing, cohesive world out of them. It’s like rolling into a strange town, your first night out you need to pick a place to eat…you can go to a known quantity, say ‘Chili’s’, or you can be a little adventurous and head over to ‘Mack’s Ribs’. You pretty much know what to expect at Chili’s, and maybe Mack’s is terrible…then again, maybe Mack’s is the best joint around. Personally, I’d pick Mack’s joint.

Solstice, I hope, will be the best joint in town for my players once we start the new campaign.

Monday, March 17, 2008

AD&D Disassociation

The past three weeks have found me reading, studying and dissecting the original three volumes of D&D by Gygax and Arneson. Primarily Vol. I, Men & Magic. Speaking as someone who is used to playing AD&D, I have found that the original rules for D&D are disorganized and vague. Now, first off let me say that I shamelessly borrowed from the accumulated knowledge of many much more well versed posters at the Original D&D Discussion board. The research and homework required had been undertaken and shared unselfishly by some great members at that site. So, I added some other home brew and even some information which was supposedly used by Gary Gygax in his own house rules versions.

Now that I have spent time attempting to clarify and interpret the class, race, combat, armor and weapon rules, I have managed to move on to Vol. II, Monsters and Treasure. Here, now, is where I have really come to appreciate D&D as originally written. Here is a sample passage from Vol. II describing the Ogre:

“OGRES: These large and fearsome monsters range from 7 to 10 feet in height, and due to their size will score 1 die +2 (3-8) points of hits when they hit. When encountered outside their lair they will carry 100 to 600 Gold Pieces each.”

Couple that with the information from the Monster Reference Table:

No. Appearing: 3-18, AC: 5, Move: 9, HD: 4+1, and some Lair and Treasure info.

Also, their positioning upon the table might be inferred to mean that they are in some way related to other ‘mundane’ humanoids in D&D, but no definite theme other than their being a race of humanoids exists.

That’s it. No drawing, no physical description, no real flavor text about Ogres. The rest is left up to the DM’s imagination. One can play them as is, a collection of numbers and a mythical, large fearsome Monster from legend and lore. Or, one might undertake some real home brewing and make Ogres more interesting. This aspect is why I am having so much fun with original D&D. I can describe Ogres how I see fit.

This is not some ground breaking revelation, and I must admit I was inspired by some threads over at Original D&D Discussion, and also Jeff Rients’ shared OD&D module where he did this very thing with a handful of Monsters he was using in that dungeon. So, a tip of the cap to all the great members at Original D&D Discussion.

Eager to sit down and start detailing many of the traditional Monsters, particularly ones I have already placed into my Mega Dungeon Ulin-Uthor, I had to attempt to displace all of my memory of AD&D…how Gary Gygax and others detailed and described those very Monsters in AD&D. The process is two-fold in that I need to not rely on those images I have held to be true for so many years, but I also need to attempt to add some of that very mythological flavor to give said Monsters a fantasy connection for the players (well, a little bit, anyway).

I just put the finishing touches on Solstice Monsters I. A mini supplement of a dozen Monsters I’ll be using in Ulin-Uthor, only one of which is not described at all in Vol. II. My Gnomes ended up being based on some German folklore passages, the Ogres on an idea I had for an area in Ulin-Uthor, and the new entry, Leprechauns, being based on an old version I had worked up for my now abandoned old rules, Blackthorn.

Here, then, is the entry for Ogres as found in Solstice.

“Ogres are huge, looming humanoids with great bulging muscles. Their massive, powerful arms nearly touch the ground, and their rock hard fists deliver punishing blows for 1d6+2 damage. These unkempt, foul beings have an odor which is unmistakable, and they shamble about clumsily, but at an efficient pace. Ogres have a mysterious history. It is not known exactly how they came into being, whether they were created with this world, or whether the union of some eons past races gave spawn to them, as Ogres do not have gender nor do they reproduce. What is known is that there is a finite number of Ogres in he world, and their very existence is threatened by the rise of man. Ogres apparently are immortal, and even those Ogres who have been slain and laid to rest are never truly dead, for their souls are tied to this world. With the proper unearthly rituals and dark magic, Ogres may be brought forth from the shroud of death and reanimated into a suitable body. Ogres are extremely resilient and resistant to many forms of decay and attack, but nevertheless an Ogre spirit needs to be housed in an intact body. Ever so slowly the Ogres of this world are decreasing in number, despite the efforts of their own preservationists. Ogres are not known for their intellect, but rather lack thereof, although their physical might is fearsome indeed. On a roll to hit of 20, the Ogre has snatched up the victim after dealing 1d6+2, and will toss him into a solid object, or smash him into the ground for an extra 2d6+4 damage. Foes hurled in this manner must expend one entire round gathering their senses. Ogres are 7-10 feet tall, 4-6 feet broad at the shoulders, with a reach of 4-6 feet! These creatures are often found to be patched together, comprised of stitched or otherwise connected parts and pieces of various Ogre bodies. Ogres at one time served Giant-kind, and many are still found in such a role, but for the most part these chaotic, destructive Monsters are found in the deep down, following the orders of some leader who might help preserve their existence. Ogres dine almost exclusively on raw flesh and bone, and will attack Elves upon sight, never fleeing or parleying and fighting (as they usually do anyway) to the end. It is not known where this animosity began, but it must have something to do with their origin upon this world.”

Ogres are essentially, for lack of a more appropriate description, some fantastic, magical version of Frankenstein's Monster in the current campaign. With body parts put together in arcane laboratories in the deep down.

I’d like to share my over the top Gnomes and Leprechauns as well, but I don’t want to spoil any surprises my former AD&D players might have when they first encounter these mischievous spirits of the earth.

So, as it turns out, there is simply much, much more that I can detail in my own fashion, or as I go along when putting together an OD&D campaign. I could do the same with AD&D, it’s true, but then…why play AD&D at all?

Now, I really need to get back to Mega Dungeon design!


Thursday, March 13, 2008


The recent passing of Gary Gygax (after the initial shock passed, and now eight days later) got me to thinking about not only other icons I respected from my younger days that have also now, sadly, passed away (Joey Ramone, Joe Strummer, L. Sprague DeCamp, Akira Kurosawa), but also of David Hargrave. Dave passed away at a very young age, in 1988 at the age of 42.

In 1988, news of this sort didn’t travel very quickly. I think I actually learned of his passing when I purchased AG Vol. VIII, and sadly read the announcement in the front cover. This of course meant that the planned Vol. IX would never been written by Dave. I’m guessing a year may have elapsed before I knew Mr. Hargrave had passed away.

For some reason this also made me recall an adventure from ‘83-84 or so that John, one of our gaming group players had sent us on while he was taking a turn behind the screen, in which we were to rescue a one ‘E'varg-Rah’. It was actually a few sessions later that someone spelled it out backwards and discovered the hidden meaning. I don’t think we ever finished that particular adventure, though. I wonder if John can remember that gist of that one, almost 25 years later…I’d like to know the plot now!

Say what you might about Hargrave, and he did indeed have his detractors, but I always enjoyed the frenetic feel of his ‘Grimoires’. Dave’s creative energy literally jumped off the page in certain areas, and his warped sense of humor was evident in many places.

When our gaming group was heavy into DnD, we were playing AD&D with the three hard covers rules books. Well, we were USING those three books…it was hardly really AD&D. I was first exposed to the Arduin Grimoires when sitting in with a bunch of the older kids, and playing in one of their campaigns. They used the Critical Hit Table (the seminal Hargrave house rule) from AG I, AND the legendary, even nastier Non Weapon Critical Hit Table from AG II. I was hooked, I quickly added the trilogy to my own campaigns…not realizing at the time what I was about to unleash.

Before you knew it, everyone in my campaign was playing Deodanths, Phraints, Throons, Star-mages, Runeweavers, and on and on. Hargrave himself would’ve been proud. Let’s face it, a bunch of 15 and 16 year olds with those hot little brown Arduin books, who wanted to play a Gnome or Dwarf Fighter *yawn* when you could be a jet black alien cross between an Elf and a Vampire?!?! (I had not even read Vance’s Dying Earth, let alone knew what a Deodand was at that time).

I think what Hargrave ultimately did for us, the generation that basically missed OD&D and the three little brown books of Gygax and Arneson fame, was to show us how D&D COULD be played. We had the AD&D books, which were very serious and rigid for the most part, and then along came these crazy rantings of this far out DM from California with Critical Hits and Deodanths and Shadra the Castrator. It was like the Punk Rock movement in D&D, and it blew the doors off of the stodgy old hard line fantasy formula that seemed so predictable at the time.

From those days forward, I home brewed like mad. Years later I had honestly begun to embrace AD&D for it’s own awesomeness, especially the DMG by Gygax…still my single favorite RPG book. It really wasn’t until recently that I thought back with fond memory to those early Arduin days, this time not with a sideways glance at an immature set of rules (and I do use the term loosely), but rather with an understanding that Hargrave was basically shaking the foundations of D&D and RPGing in general. I think Hargrave truly embraced the original message of D&D, and I hope that others can remember his work for it’s significance in that regard.

Love him or hate him, David Hargrave and Arduin are landmarks in the history of RPGs.

Here’s some linkage to a great recollection of Hargrave by Ethan Karp.

This might be 20 years too late now, but I never had a suitable forum for such a message:

Rest In Peace, David Hargrave.


Sunday, March 9, 2008

Nice Op-Ed bit

Here's a nice Op-Ed bit from the NY Times by Adam Rogers of Wired.

Click Me

I'm in the process of finishing up my home brew rules clarifications and forthcoming supplement for Original D&D. The entire campaign, mega dungeon and supplement for this game is being dedicated to the memory of E. Gary Gygax. R.I.P.


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Gygax Rules!

As a tribute to Gary, and in his honor, I decided to roll up a D&D character on the day of his passing. Straight 3d6, six times, in order. I carefully selected three six siders I felt would do this momentous undertaking some justice, and made a quick warm-up roll, as I am wont to do so often.

6, 6, nice…last die, 6.

A natch 18. Unreal, This, then, was no warm-up roll.

So, with that I proceeded to roll the next five attributes. I couldn’t believe my luck. It seemed almost improbable. I ended up with what is likely the best set of attributes I have ever seen for a straight 3d6 character. 18-13-14-16-10-14.

These dice were hot! So, I kept rolling. 8, 9, and 7. I stopped there. The dice had cooled off instantly.

I have not yet decided what to do with this character. It will certainly end up as a NPC in my campaign.

Honestly, it seems like a waste to not play this set of attributes as a PC, but I doubt anyone would ever believe those rolls unless they had been here to witness them.

I like to think that Gary saw them.

Yeah, I know, I’m a silly, sappy old gamer.


R.I.P. Gary

The great Gary Gygax passed today. It was with sadness that I learned this news upon returning home this evening. My prayers go out to Gary’s family and friends. Gary will be missed, but more importantly I hope remembered as a true giant in the gaming industry.

My own ramblings here cannot do the man’s life and accomplishments justice.

I’m tempted to go retrieve my tattered old Dungeon Master’s Guide from my gaming closet, the original tome I bought back in the day as a youngster, and used diligently for many years before replacing it with a newer, less ‘loved’ copy. I’ve said before that if I were forced to choose a single gaming book as my only source of gaming inspiration, it would without a doubt be that classic of Gary’s, the AD&D 1st edition DMG.

If you’ve never read it, now is the time. If you think you’ve read it, now is the time to read it again. If you own it and used it, but never read it cover to cover, now is the time.

Excuse me while I go and worship at the altar of gaming quintessence that is the DMG, by the one and only E. Gary Gygax.

R.I.P. Gary…and Fight On!

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Jeff just ruined my day. I suppose I can forgive this unintentional transgression by considering the fact that he maintains one of my favorite blogs here in the blogosphere at :


As far as I’m concerned, the guy’s a gaming genius. Granted, this post is over two years old, but nevertheless he really pissed in my cornflakes this morning when I found this post:


Hopefully he won’t mind my linking said blog here, I cannot even begin to associate my own blog with his excellent long running Gameblog.

Anyway, the meat of the post is:

Let's get this out on the table: D&D was a fad in the mid-eighties. Nothing more, nothing less. Like any other fad a handful of social misfits continued to hold it near and dear to their hearts long after the rest of the world stopped caring. You and I are those rejects. And our beloved hobby will almost assuredly never reach the heights it did back in the day. Just get over it, please! Don't attempt to position RPGs in the mainstream. They were already there and the mainstream world moved on.

In many respects, Jeff is 100% dead on. Regardless, his comments were like a big downer for my sensibilities concerning the greatest game ever. I’ll admit that yeah, it was a fad in many aspects. There was a great media fueled spotlight that was placed on the game in the late 70’s/early 80’s, 99% of which was negative publicity. As it turned out, the old adage of any pub is good pub was true for D&D. It soared to heights never seen by any game of it’s ilk before. Keep in mind that in saying ‘ilk’ I am referring to hobbyist type games in general, before D&D these were pretty much limited to old school wargames.

I suppose that over the years I have come to accept this fact, that D&D simply isn’t going to ever capture the hearts and minds of potential game geeks the way it did in those halcyon days. When that landscape is littered with mega million dollar video and computer game corporations, insidiously sinking their talons into these young souls and destroying their creative nature at such a young age, who can argue with this fact? We live in an era of instant gratification, fueled by hundreds of TV channels, DVR’s, video on demand, internet instant information retrieval, and well…fast food.

The notion that some youngster might want to actually take the time to read a book, even a comic book, let alone DESIGN a campaign and find other like minded kids to join in on a pen and paper, dice rolling excursion into old fashioned role playing is naïve at best.

These are my own views on gaming today, and I too have succumbed in the past to the allure of video and computer games. I honestly doubt that if I grew up in this day and age I would ever have the patience to discover the joys of pen and paper gaming without proper guidance and exposure from some wiser soul.

What irks me is that I don’t think D&D should ever be forgotten. I just don’t think that the game gets it’s proper due.

D&D forever changed the landscape of gaming.

Fad? Yeah, I suppose it was. The notion that it should be remembered as simply a fad deeply disturbs me. To Jeff’s credit, the true intent and message of his post was not to write off D&D as simply a fad, but to send a message that D&D simply is NOT ever going to return to the peak it reached in the 80’s. With this observation I cannot argue. That is a fact.

It saddens me to think that D&D might indeed be viewed as simply an 80’s fad, though. I’ll say it again since it bears repeating:

D&D forever changed the landscape of gaming.

From where I stand, D&D was the jumping off point for gaming as we know it today. While others might argue this point, and say that it can be traced back to wargames in general, or Tolkein, or REH or other great influences, D&D by Gygax and Arneson was the untamed barbarian from the frozen North (Midwest) that rampaged, pillaged and conquered gaming. It’s essence is found everywhere in gaming today. The very notion of role playing, of classes, levels, races, experience, hit points, quests, and dungeons might still to this day be uncharted territory were it not for D&D. Yes, D&D had it’s own influences and inspirations that birthed it’s existence, but it was the game that started it all, the first one to really capture the throne and reign supreme.

Without D&D, would we have such games as Diablo, World of Warcraft, or any of the other direct descendants that owe so much to D&D? No. I would even go so far to say that Mr. Garfield never would have developed Magic the Gathering were it not for D&D. D&D made gamers out of so many of us. I doubt I would even consider myself a gamer were it not for D&D. Nearly every game I have ever enjoyed was spawned by D&D. Period.

The thought of D&D as a fad, though, is like saying Punk Rock was a fad. Or Monty Python was a fad. Or…OK I give up. It was a fad. Jeff and Travis Bickle were right.

(But damn, what a fad it was. Luckily in this age of hundreds of TV channels, DVR’s, video on demand, and internet instant information retrieval, I can relive many of these fads ad nauseam.)


D&D Soap Opera

So pretty much what I’ve been blogging about is my view on D&D, or recollections of my D&D memories. I realized during all this rambling that I am a “Defeatist D&D Player“. While I will openly espouse the virtues of the greatest game ever (no, not golf) within the confines of the internet, and amongst fellow known gamers that I find therein, I’ve never been a walking advert for D&D or gaming in general. This has caused me to lose touch with D&D for the most part. I have not broadened my potential player base since the early 80’s.

It’s always been a dirty little secret of mine. Maybe that’s insecurity, I’m not sure. Here I am, 41 years into this life of gaming, and I still conceal my favorite pastime from friends, neighbors and coworkers? WTF I ask myself? Why?

I blame my childhood pals from the block, the neighborhood where I grew up (well, in theory only, my Wife will vehemently dispute my status as a grown-up). I had managed to discover D&D on my own, self-taught and met a few other like minded wannabe gamers in school. I would meet up with some of these other kids and play after school in our basement at my parents house.

Now, back then, where I grew up, there were lots of kids within a similar age range, most within 2-3 years of one another. Pretty much daily, before I discovered D&D, we would go knock on one another’s doors and join up to either:

1. Play street football
2. Play pick-up hoops
3. Shoot fireworks at the Wrights’ house, or
4. Sit around and argue whether Ted Nugent was the greatest guitarist ever.

Now, this was all fine, and I enjoyed most every delinquent activity we joined together in, but…as soon as I started playing D&D, I couldn’t find refuge from my positively NON D&D pals, even holed up in our basement. During a game, my Mom would inevitably at some point come downstairs to check on us, and tell me that Johnny or one of the other NON D&D gang was at the door, looking for me. I would have to go explain to whomever it was that we were busy playing D&D.

Suffice to say that this was never a good answer as to why I wouldn’t join the neighborhood pals in some 70’s standard fare fun and games. After much ridicule, I realized then that playing D&D was just not acceptable. This was ingrained in me during those very first few months of playing. It was later underlined and high-lighted once I started playing at the after school D&D Club in high school. I told absolutely no one that I was a member of said club. After all, I had an ‘image’ to preserve.

I managed to preserve this image through high school, and hone the skills needed there to blend in with various cliques and become a fairly well-rounded semi-popular guy. The majority of my friends were regular, NON D&D Joes.

However, one particular instance truly justified why I had been toeing this line all those years, and not mixing my gaming geek side with my normal social side. Back then, there were no girls in the club, none playing D&D that I knew of. It was Senior year, and I was good friends with a particular gal named Christine. I had a big teenage crush on her, she was cool and into field hockey and girls lacrosse.
Anyway, I decided I would ask her to the Prom. She gushed and said “Yes“, and all was well in the world.

Fast forward a few more weeks, and Christine confronts me with some lame ass excuse about not being able to afford a dress, and that her parents were mad because she had messed up their Saab and it was going to cost a bunch to get it fixed, and they were not going to buy her a dress because of this…and stupid me wanted to believe this. How lame was I? Very lame in retrospect.

Now, I’m never afraid to admit that I wasn’t really girl-centric at that point in my life. That happened a couple years later in college, and in spades, so it’s all good now looking back at those earlier days of viewing girls as alien life forms. Anyway, I bought that line of Bull, and decided I would now have to scramble to find another date. Another gal pal of mine told me what REALLY happened. As it turns out, Christine had caught a lot of flak from the other popular gals, and the quote that got back to me was “You’re going with HIM? He plays D&D….Ha ha ha ha ha!” And with great shame said target of my teenage crush turned around and crushed me.

I got over it quickly, and it wasn’t a big deal. But it was just another straw on the camel’s back. It really hit home once again that my hobby was positively not cool. I haven’t even thought about this for decades, but the topic at hand made me think back to examples of why I have always tried to maintain a super secret alter-ego. It’s quite comical actually.

So although I was lucky enough to make great life long friends with other ‘just regular Joes’ who happened to share my love of D&D, I’ve never been able to meet other players since that old D&D Club in high school due to the fact that I don’t share my interest with anyone other than those I know ahead of time are also gamers. For this reason, I sit here trying to figure out how to get my old gaming group back together and relive those great memories from the 80’s. I’ve managed to defeat my own efforts at pursuing my favorite hobby by being a secret D&D player.

I guess I’m still pretty lame, even now.


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Just So Much Road Kill

My Gamma World post got me thinking about the measuring stick for what our gaming group considered a ‘good game’. We were so busy playing D&D and it’s variants, supplements and home brewed campaigns that anything else was normally just cannon fodder for the fantasy behemoth unleashed upon the world half a dozen years earlier by Gygax and Arneson. Everyone in my immediate gaming group, and really in our school D&D Club, had limited funds. I’m sure there were adults out there at that time that could just buy pretty much everything that hit the hobby shop shelves, we really had to pick and choose (and I made a lot of bad choices back then, I have plenty of games that are really just space wasters in my gaming collection, such as it is). This led to the majority of available funds going to the ‘sure thing’, that which we were all playing, D&D.

Nevertheless, someone would always show up, either at the Club, or at the Saturday Gaming Group, with some new fancy sounding game. There were so many that sounded fun, looked good, and were presented in a very professional manner…but just didn’t stick (with us anyway). Other than D&D, there were constant debates about what was good, and what was bad. Many of the Club members hated Arduin, that much I do remember. My Saturday Gaming Group loved it, though. I think that series of craziness by Hargrave was one of the dividing lines between the ‘fun’ camp and the ‘serious’ camp. The serious camp seemed to be more into wargames in general, turn based hex map table top games filled with hundred of tables and thousands of tiny cardboard chits that were impossible to not loose or find years later semi-mutilated under a sofa cushion. The fun camp were the guys who spent several sessions playing The Mansion of Mad Professor Ludlow, or talking about how great Booty and the Beast was.

Regardless, fellow gamers would inevitably end up touting some new title which they had invested their hard earned gaming money into. We played them all, at least once. Most were played once, and then forgotten, placed on a shelf, and are probably to this day in some middle aged former gamers musty basement, or like so many of mine, lost somewhere at a parents house, in a box in the attic. Some of those games, though, resonated with us. Perhaps it was the owner investing enough of his own time in making the game fun and playable, or perhaps it was a game like Titan, a classic that you just couldn’t NOT enjoy if given the time to play. Provided you didn’t lose the chits it came with.

Here then are the games I actually remember playing more than once, games that we enjoyed, whether it was twice, or a dozen times, these games seemed to capture our gaming sensibilities long enough that we could set aside D&D for more than a single sitting.

Champions - Tom ran a fun campaign, Some of the players got sick of it, though. I never did.
Dragon Quest - an old SPI D&D type game. Tom ran it for us a handful of times.
Elric/Stormbringer - we were all HUGE Moorcock fans. John ran a nice series of games for us.
Top Secret - we always ended up ruining the plot with Walthers and Uzis blazing. Larry ran this one for us.
Call of Cthulhu - one of my personal favorites. I ran this one and had a never finished campaign.
Gamma World - as mentioned before. I love this one.
Arduin - mainly as a D&D supplement, but I did have a mini campaign for it.
Titan - ‘nuff said. Dave C was infamous for his Titan gaming.
Diplomacy - an evil game, my first wargame ever. My older brother was goooood.
Illuminati - I never really played a full game of this, but it was very popular. Chris planned to run it PBEM.
Car Wars - I ended up making this into a campaign, ended up taking too long to play this way, though.
Traveller - nice game, ahead of it’s time. Too sci fi for me, but I have a ton of the mini books. Mike ran this.
Rolemaster - those tables, those tables!
The Fantasy Trip - very early, old school, played it with Lee a lot.
Talisman - Tom and Mike loved this one.
Warhammer 40K Epic - We really got into miniatures for a long while.

There were others that I’m probably forgetting now, unfortunately.

Ones that got away that I always wanted to try, and never did:

Paranoia - don’t hear much about this one. I always liked the look of it on the hobby shop shelves.
Tunnels and Trolls - looked like a well supported game with a good fan base.
Rune quest - I’m told it’s a great game.
Metamorphosis Alpha - went with Gamma World instead
Boot Hill - I don’t know anyone who played this.
Empire of the Petal Throne - just sounded so cool.
Squad Leader - probably best that I didn’t get into this one. I’d still be finding chits in the basement.
Harn - I actually own this one.
Skyrealms of Jorune - just based on the ads in The Dragon.
Space Opera - again, I don’t know anyone who played this.

Much later we got stuck, thanks to me, in a CCG rut. I was a MtG addict. Never again! More on that in a later post, though.

The moral of the story is then that there are simply TOO many good games, and not enough time.

I think I’ll stick to D&D, and just remember fondly most of this cannon fodder for the fantasy behemoth unleashed upon the world thirty years ago by Gygax and Arneson.