April 2

In the beginning…..

I have spent some time considering this post, an origin story of how I got started in gaming and rather than stew on it for much longer thought it about time I put pen to paper.

My first ever RPG was 1st edition AD&D, I spent a weekend poring over the players handbook which I purchased from my local games store; the long since closed Games World in Hammersmith for the sum of £11.95.  After much deliberation and some consultation with the DM I created a cleric.  We played one session as the group sort of broke up after that.

At that point I was hooked.

I played with several different games systems from the heavy simulationist Phoenix Command and the sci-fi version Living Steel to other systems.

Phoenix Command Combat System (PCCS) was a real revelation to me, I had never imagined such a detailed game could exist and I devoured it, charts and all.  Of course some people claimed it was cumbersome and somewhat unwieldy in play and I agree that they were right, but if you wanted to know the effect of a bullet on the body you could certainly do so.  I still have the books and supplements but haven’t played it in a very long time indeed.  In fact I don’t think you could play it, rather experience it would be a more apt description.

Living Steel was the futuristic equivalent of PCCS  and had everything I wanted in a game; power armour, teleportation, strange aliens, a lifepath based character creation package which threw you into various periods of the climatic battles before your character was frozen and shipped off for revival at a later date.  The problem was that it was rather deadly and also a sandbox environment.

I still played AD&D then but I seemed to prefer the modern day or futuristic games.  I remember one of my friends getting Traveller and playing through the character creation process; the idea that your perfect character could die during the process lent a note of caution when rolling for survival.  The idea that one more term could potentially kill you left the galaxy full of 36 year-old ex-servicemen or that’s how it appeared to me 🙂

I lusted after more strange worlds to plumb the depths of my imagination during which period I stumbled across  Call of Cthulhu the game of Lovecraftian horror where your poor character could go mad rather than die.  I have a lot of fun with CoC, even if I do make the occasional blunders as the GM and trying to maintain an atmosphere is very tricky but it is a game of the Jazz age and who doesn’t like the idea of standing on the running boards of someone’s roadster while blazing away with a tommy gun?

So there we are, a brief if somewhat rambling introduction.



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Posted April 2, 2014 by GeneralTangent in category "RPG

About the Author

I've been gaming on and off since about 1989 and during that period have played with numerous game systems. I'm fluent in a few, have a basic understanding of quite a few more and can get by in others. Somewhere along the way I found time to be a playtester, contribute to an unpublished game supplement and be associated with another gaming magazine written by far more talented people than I. This lead to one infamous article being written in which I followed the letter of the adventure and torched the parties river barge. I'm also listed on http://rpggeek.com as a game designer.

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