Day 18: First gaming convention you ever attended.

Heh. Easy one. GenCon '89. It was the summer between the freshman and sophomore year of college. Dad suggested that he, my brother, and I drive out for the convention. We rented a car and left Tuesday night. Dad and I alternated driving, since my brother didn't have his license yet.

I still have the clipboard and the mug I got from that con. Also have more than a few memories
  • The 3 morning Dungeon Master workshop ("Neon" signs that say "Don't Adventure Here")
  • Narrowly losing out as the best player in the Villains and Vigilantes game
  • The AD&D open
  • The one non-gaming memory: Watching people "step-to" when Dad flashed the AmEx Corporate card (never seen hotel staff move like that before or since)
  • Gazing around in wonder at the dealers room


It sparked something in me that hasn't been extinguished yet. I still work cons, I just don't go to many "big" ones, usually due to some combination of time and money.

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
So, I hope that the gamers among you are enjoying this trip down memory lane with me. It's certainly been fun for me so far.

I'll be completing the rest of the entries, don't you fret. Don't know how good I'll be about them this weekend, as I'll be at Mysticon this weekend in Roanoke, VA with the family. Not a bad drive, and it's a fun three days. I'll be there in my official capacity as a member of the SJG MIB, so I'll be running some events.

Meanwhile, the guy who nominally started/coordinates this Bloghop Challenge has posted what they thought were some of the stories that stood out to him...and one of my entries (Day 4) made his list. Cool!

You can find his blog entry here. There's some good stories he links to.
Day 17: First time you heard that D&D was somehow "evil"?

It would have to be Mazes and Monsters. I had been playing for a while when I saw that, and knew it to be bullshit, even then. Fortunately, so did my parents. It was obvious to me even then that the people in question had their own huge sets of problems - the game was not the real problem.

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 16: Do you remember your first edition war? Did you win?

Does anyone really win in a war? ;-)

To be honest, I've never been involved in any such thing. By the time such things became "commonplace", I was already of the opinion that the system was less important than whether or not people were having fun. I may have systems I prefer over others, but anytime arguments break out over which game/edition is better, I just walk away.

I think [livejournal.com profile] muskrat_john said it well in this Dork Tower strip.

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 15: What was the first edition of D&D you didn't enjoy? Why?

Well, that would be 4th Edition.

And here's why: It doesn't *feel* like D&D to me. It feels like a D&D skin over World of Warcraft.

Now, this is not necessarily a bad thing - Hey, if it brought people into the hobby, then that *is* a good thing. But it wasn't for me, and is part of the reason I turned to Pathfinder.

I know a lot of people agreed with me. And a lot of people disagreed with me. This is why we have more than one game system at our FLGS, right?

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 14: Did you meet your significant other while playing D&D? Does he/she still play?

I sort-of met [livejournal.com profile] mousecat0 playing D&D. Lemme 'splain.

Technically, the first time we met was in the scene shop at WMC, when I (allegedly) nearly clocked her with a 2x4 I was getting down from the lumber racks. I don't exactly remember this, but she says it happened, and in the interest of being able to sleep in a bed, who am I to argue? However, we were first introduced to each other at one of the next Sunday night gaming sessions of the college gaming group, the Knights of the Sextagonal Table.

And yes, she still plays...

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 13: First miniatures you used for D&D?

The first minis that my brother [livejournal.com profile] stoooooooo & I used, we got at Christmas. It was one of two sets, and to be honest, I don't remember which set we got first. So, in the interest of nostalgia and fun, I'll present both!

ONe Christmas, we received these two sets (1 each, I think my bro had the monsters)



and



However, I also remember us getting the following diorama sets another year.:



And yeah, I do still have some of each of those sets. Including the lower (spider) half of the drider, which still gets pulled out from time to time.

Bonus material! My favorite minis I ever bought: The Comedy Lords set from Grenadier



Not shown above: The invisible stalker mini!

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 12: First store where you bought your gaming supplies? Does it still exist?

Hm. The first store I can remember going to specifically for gaming supplies was in the Burlington Center Mall. There was a game/hobby store down the JC Penney's wing on the second floor, almost to the end. Assuming I remember correctly, the store logo had an 8-ball in it. Damned if I can remember the name.

Anyway, they didn't last too long - maybe a year. Bought more than a few gaming items there.

As I said before, South-Central NJ never seemed to be much into gaming. Damn shame.

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 11: First splatbook you begged your DM to approve?

I don't know that I ever did. Remember, I've spent most of my gaming career behind the DM screen.
I'm the one that was being begged - and truth be told, I don't remember anyone begging me in any real way.

Boring, I know, but there it is...

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 10: First gaming magazine you ever bought?

Easy one: Dragon Magazine. Picked up the occasional copy, then my brother and I would get a subscription every Christmas.

When Dungeon came out, I got a subscription to that.

I loved the anticipation of getting that in the mail. And when it came in, I hungrily devoured every bit of gaming goodness within those pages.

Later, I would subscribe to Shadis, Kobold Quarterly, and I am a current Gygax magazine subscriber. I'm still a gleeful kid when the magazine comes in, and I still devour every word with relish.

(But not ketchup - too sweet!)

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 9: First campaign setting (published or homebrew) you played in?

Hrm.

Not 100% certain. Mainly because I don't recall (and I'm certain that one of the Knights of the Sextagonal Table will remind me) if Mr. Steve's game was set in the Forgotten Realms or not. If so, then the Realms it was.

If not, then it was the homebrew setting known to us as "Decker's World".

Either way, it wasn't until college. So there's that.

Personally, I've ran more campaigns in the Forgotten Realms than anywhere else. They had a lot of sourcebooks available for me to work with. I don't create from whole cloth really well, but I do a really good job of synthesis - taking multiple sources and turning the parts I like into a cohesive whole. Not that I *can't* or haven't created on my own...but it's not my strength.

Right now, my game is set in Golarion - the official Pathfinder world. I've changed bits of that as well, bringing in parts of other worlds.

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 8: First set of polyhedral dice you owned? Do you still use them?

First set I owned came with the Blue/white box. Had to color in the numbers with a crayon so we could read them easier. First set I bought outside of a boxed set was a set of translucent blue dice with white ink. I had this idea of getting a full set of each color that the store had - never got that far, though.

And yes, I still have some of that original set. My brother has some as well, IIRC.

Those blue ones? Yep. Got them too.

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 7: First D&D product you ever bought? Do you still have it?

Y'all gotta be kidding me, right? Remember that comment I made yesterday about my memory? Lemme tell ya something, Mr. Jack Daniels and his friends (especially O Captain, My Captain) have not been kind to my memory over the years...

But, let's see. Most, if not all, of the 1E hardcovers I owned I received as Christmas gifts. It may have been a module, but I have no idea which one it would have been. (The first module I really recall buying was I6 - Ravenloft, but I know I bought stuff before then...)

OK, I think I have it: The World of Greyhawk boxed set. Read those books from cover to cover. Decided to give each race real-world language analogues (Dwarven=German, Elves=French, etc). Not sure I ever really did anything with those other than read them, but it was definitely a fun read. I still have the books, and the maps. Don't have the box, though.

And if it wasn't that it might have been one of the sets of these:

(Yep. Still got these as well)

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 6: First character death. How did you handle it?

First character death? My first character. As I've said in previous entries, my first character was a thief (Not a "rogue" damn you! We were thieves and PROUD of it. Young whippersnappers...) by the name of Laggamundo. He perished in the caverns of Quasqueton, unhallowed and unremembered by most.

How did I handle it? I have no idea. This was more than 30 years ago, people! I'm doing good in my dotage to remember 30 days ago!

That said, I couldn't have taken it too hard. After all, I'm still playing, right?

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
Day 5: First character to go from first level to highest level possible in a given editon? Or, what's the highest level character you ever ran?)

Here's the thing: I've spent most of my time behind the DM screen. I don't get to *play* all that often. The highest level character I've started at 1st level was the aforementioned Gelentan - got him up to the low teens, IIRC, but that was a homebrewed system loosely based on D&D.

More interesting is the high level character I played once at a con - a dwarven Monk/Drunken Master (5/10) with an ever-full icy burst mithral tankard +5. Played him with a bad scots accent and always at least a bit tipsy.Had a great amount of fun interacting with the Minotaur warrior (who spoke no common) with lines like :"Wai' Wai' - I know hae ta talk ta 'im! Moo!")

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my FaceBook)
(Reposted from my Facebook entry of Jan 26, 2014 https://www.facebook.com/Grayhawk/posts/10202543147396625?stream_ref=10)

So, the Olympics are coming up in less than 2 weeks. Once again, I am certain we will be watching. I've always enjoyed the winter more than the summer. More of a hockey fan than basketball, and skiing, bobsled, luge, etc always appealed more to me as a spectator than track and field.

But with the Olympics comes a slew of bullshit. Yes, I am aware of the hideous Russian laws. And no amount of people watching or not watching will change them. Only the Russian people can do anything about this - the rest of us are flapping our gums in the wind.

In the meantime, our athletes, who have spent a lot of time preparing, are competing on a grand stage against others who may have nothing else in common but their sport. And at the end, they (usually) set a good example for the rest of us by congratulating each other after a hard fought competition. THAT is one of the things we should be taking away from this - that we can find common ground and respect for one another regardless of political boundaries, geographic differences, skin color, ethnic persuasion, or any other difference, real or imagined.

Even during the height of the cold war, there was respect for the Soviet Bloc athletes. Sure, it was grudging at times, but it was there.

I think the world in general could stand to learn this lesson: There is always something that we can use to bridge the gaps and come to an understanding, to come together in peace and fellowship - even when competing with one another.

That, to me, is the Olympic Spirit.
Day 4: First dragon your character slew (or other powerful monster)

Um. Wow. Heh.

I'm gonna leave out the loose group of characters we had that slew a few gods and assumed their powers, then got the ship from S3 - Expedition to the Barrier Peaks functional through some carefully worded wishes...

Many of my characters never got into the higher levels, mostly due to a lack of long-term games (South-central NJ never seemed to become a hotbed of gaming...). It wasn't until college that I had a character advance into the higher levels of power. That mage, Gelentan Turana, faced two truly powerful enemies that he and his comrades prevailed against: an aboleth and a demon. I believe the demon was the first we took down. Well, I took down.

No really, it was me.

See, I had a magic item in that game that (among other things) allowed me to cast "Flesh to Gold" once per year. I still remember the look on the DM's face when he failed first the magic resistance check ("WHAT?!? OK, no problem, he'll make his saving throw") and then the saving throw. Bless his heart, our DM felt it necessary to determine *exactly* how many pounds of gold a 12' demon would be.

Damn near wrecked the local economy... ;-)


D&DBloghop
Day 3: First Dungeon I explored as a Player Character or ran as a DM

I'm gonna answer both of these:

First Dungeon I explored: Laggamundo's first (and last) adventure took him "In Search of the Unknown", exploring the Caverns of Quasqueton, home of famed adventurers Roghan the Fearless and Zelligar the Unknown. This was the adventure that came with the boxed set; I think I still have that copy, with Dad's hand written notes in it.

First Dungeon I ran: The Keep on the Borderlands. For many a Saturday morning, I ran my dad and brother through the myriad dangers of the Caves of Chaos. Didn't do a great job of it, IMO, but hey, I was young and new to being a Dungeon Master.

Y'know, thinking back, everyone was having fun - so I guess I didn't do too bad a job. If everyone was having fun, then the game qualifies as a success. Plus, it introduced me to the joys of Owlbears, so there's that!


D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my Facebook)
Day 2: First person who I introduced to D&D. What edition? First character?

I had to think about this one. I've been playing D&D in one form or another for, what, 33 years now? Gotta say that I've been lucky - I've always found people who already played the game.

Still, there are two people who I've introduced the game to, and both they and I are glad for it. In fact, their only complaint is that we haven't found time to play the game.

Those people are my daughter (B, her first character is the elven ranger Alexia Eveningfall) and son (F, whose first character is the dwarven warrior Franush Doomhammer). They were introduced on D&D 3.5, but we have moved over to Pathfinder.

D&DBloghop

(x-posted to my Facebook)
Found this on Big Ball of No Fun and it looked like it'd be fun - so here I go!

(I'm a few days late getting started, so bear with me...)

Day 1: First person who introduced me to D&D. What edition? First character?

The first person to introduce me to AD&D was my dad. I received the Holmes Blue Box edition for Christmas, 1980. He was the first to read the books and get us (my mob, my brother and I) started on our first adventure.

That's right. My dad was my first DM. I can feel the jealousy dripping off of you... ;-)

My first character was Laggamundo the thief. Sadly, he did not survive his first adventure.

(x-posted to my Facebook)

D&DBloghop

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Frank N. Huminski

February 2014

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