Thursday, May 30, 2013

Games that Defined Me

So, no models ready for show yet but I had always felt this shouldn't be just a museum blog so I'm going to try to remember to blog about other stuff. My son has been tentatively interested in role playing games and that easily flipped my nostalgia button. There are all kinds of things that defined my gaming hobby as a kid and my views of fantasy, and frankly of women (which is a whole different post).

Something worth referencing is a few games, or how I was introduced to certain games, that had an impact. I don't talk much about Dungeons and Dragons on here but frankly it is my favorite game and the measuring stick I hold all other games to. Be that right or wrong it is so and this guy is part of why that is...

...he is the hero (faceless you'll note) on the cover of the Red Box set that my sister received for Christmas some year when I was around 10 (give or take). That box with it's dice was my first exposure to something this amazing and it obviously had an effect.

Well, that might not be true, actually it might have been a copy of Keep on the Borderlands and a couple old Dragon magazines, but they were close together I am sure of that.

Either way D&D was as impactful on me and it was on myriad other gamers and hobbyist. I often yearn to have been about 18 in the 1970's and enjoy the "golden age" of D&D.

That aside a couple other influences would be Legacy of the Ancients and Might & Magic.

Might & Magic (Book One Secret of the Inner Sanctum) was a game my friend Keith had on his Commodore 64  (luckyyyy) and it also amazed me. We would take turns playing with his party, which was the default party, which you can see named in the photo to the right. Crag the Hack was a mofo let me tell you he just cut down orcs and flesh eaters (aliens) like you wouldn't believe.  It was my first digital closeness to D&D on a computer (I found Wizardry much later) and it was pretty much dead on in feeling. Today we read about "open world" and "sand box" games like it's innovation. It isn't, it's an attempt to get what was already accomplish in games like this and Legacy. Speaking of which...
...Legacy of the Ancients was just as amazing even though it was the lone adventurer instead of a well organized party but THAT COVER WORK oh my goodness what a heroic scene and what the heck is that he's facing down?!

Legacy with it's inventive and what I would call submersive DRM tool in the form of a code disk with planets and precious stones let me adventure in earnest. The wilds between towns was filled with strange monsters you could eat if you had to and the sounds could put a chill down your spine. It was not a game I finished, and frankly I didn't get too deep into the story but it is one that has influenced me greatly and I would love to have a module one day that is as good as this game is.

On a sadder note apparently Mr. Jack Vance has passed away. I am not a reader of his works (yet, i'll get there) but he influenced me indirectly. The magic system of D&D (original D&D) is sometimes referred to as "Vancian magic" for Mr. Gygax being influenced by the book "Dying Earth" and the way magic worked in it. It is sad to hear of another great author leaving this mortal world.

Well, that's a post without miniatures in it and it felt good to write that. Although I should point out that in the tabs now the Grey Knights have their own page where you can peruse the entire army to your pleasure. Take a gander and leave a comment or some criticism. I thoroughly enjoy interacting with the anonymous in the interwebs. Next post should have some pictures of the Great Crane, or my best attempt to bring him justice.

Oh, one more thing. Some words; impactful, gamers, and submersive. Blogger indicates the first two to not be words and I know for a Google that they are but apparently "submersive" is not a word at all that I can find. Although I would swear I have heard this word before or read it.

Either way, it is now!


  1. It's amazing ho w many miniature gamers I know who got their start with D&D. I certainly did, and it sounds like at about the same age.


    1. Yeah, it seems like most the mwg's I know have similar experiences. D&D is still sweet to me and I would like to see it played much more tactically than it usually is. I liked 4th edition b/c of the tactical aspects of it.