As a gamer of three decades I have collected quite a number of dice of different sizes, styles, colours and manufacturers. Trying to pick out a favourite is going to be a bit tricky so I’ll cheat a bit here and list my all time favourites rather than a specific die.
My speckled Torg die is amazing and there were only available in the Torg boxed set. Later editions of the game swapped this speckled die for a regular D20. I understand that these may have been manufactured by a company called the Armory as they did a similar looking set of dice called Torgish. Unfortunately the company no longer makes dice and I was never able to track down a set.
Glow in the dark:
I have several glow in the dark six-sided dice. One made by Koplow and the other by Flying Buffalo Inc . The Flying Buffalo dice have a skull in place of the 1 on the die.
I have two sets that I’m fond of. One of them are the all metal dice from I think Crystal Caste but I’m not sure. The dice are heavy and appear to be biased or at least the D20 is certainly biased towards the upper end of the range; great for OGL D20 games, not so good for Pendragon. I’d chalk this up to an anomaly if the fact that all three of the dice all exhibit this behaviour.
The other set is the Traveller 5th Edition dice set I received from the Kickstarter, in black, white, red and yellow with the numbers moulded into the material.
This post is probably one of the easiest to write as in all my years of gaming one character stands out head and shoulders above them all: Garvine of Shadowdale.
Garvine was a second edition AD&D character created using the excellent Chronomancer source book. This was back in the day when the game was awash with new character classes and by TSR it was 100% official and it was a tricky thing for a dungeonmaster to turn down. If you hadn’t already guessed the Chronomancer was a magic user who could manipulate time, so spells like Haste were available at second level rather than third.
One event irked the DM at the time, we had all fallen a long way down a shaft and while he was calculating falling damage I announced I was casting a spell which enabled me to cancel the previous game round; then as we were about to open the door again into the shaft I declared I had a bad feeling about the move and cast Feather Fall which caused us to descend to the bottom unharmed.
Armed with a Wand of Lightning, Oil of Impact and his battle cry of “swingy-swingy-clonk” before hitting his foes with a quarterstaff I had lots of fun playing him. His partner in crime was Einar the one-eyed Viking warrior and together they had several exciting adventures. When Garvine retired from play he was 12th level; I have never had a character reach such a high level since then.
I’ve got a few gems in my collection and trying to gauge rarity is a bit tricky as what I think is rare may be uncommon or the second hand game shops in your area is flooded with them. On top of that you have to decide for yourself if I’m telling the truth or pulling your leg with a wild exaggeration.
I would say then that the one game I can really say is rare is Dune: Chronicles of the Imperium a limited print run of 2000 copies; most of which sold at GenCon, a few made it to the UK and a friend snapped his one up at GenCon UK. My local games shop Leisure Games had brought a couple back from the US and that’s how I got my copy.
I’ll confess that most of the games I own don’t deal with heavyweight matters or delve too deeply into the philosophical nature of existence so trying to come up with a game for this post is proving difficult.
The only one that comes to mind is the out of print game The Last Exodus by Synister Creative Systems. I acquired my copy from a friend and while I haven’t given it the thorough read through it deserves the game does deal with some interesting religious themes.
I doubt it will ever get played, just sit in a pile of books yearning to be read.
Much as though I hate to say it, it involved the somewhat awful game Cyborg Commando and a drive. Even to this day we refer to an in game misunderstanding as a driveway moment.
This months carnival is being hosted by Mind Weave Role-Playing Platform and they want to know about dungeons.
In all my years of gaming the groups I have played in haven’t really done much in the way of dungeon crawling, our fantasy adventures tend to be wilderness or urban themed with the usual mixture of combat, problem solving, barge burning and diplomacy. That’s not to say we haven’t done them, they’re just a rarity.
The one dungeon that I do love more than all the others is the first one I ever ran in module B1: In Search of the Unknown; the Caverns of Quasqueton .
The great thing about the dungeon is that is had advice for a novice DM as well as letting you stock it yourself from the charts and tables in the back of the book. These charts had treasures; both magical and mundane plus monsters appropriate to the level of the characters. This ensured that although the general layout remained the same, you could never be sure what lurked in the next room. On top of this there are several unexplained events so that the dungeon retains a magical quantity.
I found it the ideal starter dungeon and this is why I will come back to it time and again for the nostalgia and the happy memories of me running it.
The scariest game I ever played in was the old Game Designers Workshop classic Dark Conspiracy 1st Edition. A near future horror game involving all sorts of strange going ons but tied together with a relatively consistent background.
I vividly remember this one game session becoming more and more engrossed with the atmosphere being set by the GM that it became almost like being hypnotised; our collective consciousness focussing on his voice more and more until someone in the house banged a door which made us all jump out of our seats.
I’ve never experienced anything like that since.
I have lots of games I’d love to play on my shelf but never had the chance to do so.
If there was one game I’d love to play it would have to be All Flesh Must Be Eaten.
The classic red box D&D is the most old school game I have. This is the one that I really got to read and make my decisions about gaming. Sure I had the AD&D players handbook but there were all sorts of other books required whereas the red box had it all in one package.
I even have the stub of crayon and dice that came in the box 🙂