Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Best...

I don't remember much more about my gaming experiences in gradeschool. I know we played a few other games... Star Frontiers, Gamma World, Palladium Fantasy (then, just known as "Palladium", since the company hadn't produced any other games at the time), Champions... I think there was one called Thieves' Guild too... a little independently produced game.

Star Frontiers was fun, but it was more realistic scifi, as opposed to more fantastical stuff. You had to obey the laws of physics and all that. pft. heh.

Gamma World was post-apocalyptic, where you had mutants with crazy powers, intelligent mutated animals and plants, robots and lasers and destroyed, radiated city ruins. I didn't play that one much, but I still have my plans to run a big game of it someday. It's just a fun concept.

Palladium, I really liked. It took D&D a couple of steps further, giving you many more races to play (like orcs, and goblins, and trolls, and kobolds), and lots of skills for your characters. One annoying part was that the writer seemed to have a bone to pick with D&D, and pointed out how his game was far superior at every opportunity he could get. The adversarial nature of the writing got a little tiresome. Overall, not a bad game, though.

Champions was fun, since you got to create a superhero character in fine detail, and they had the rules to do pretty much whatever you wanted to do. I once created a character that was a telepathic brain in a metal sphere, and the rules were there to let me do that (Disadvantage: Physical Limitation - No body, 20pts). The problem with it is that it took FOREVER to play out combat.

However, on to the actual topic of today's post... I moved on to highschool. I went from the top tier of my old school to the bottom tier of the new one. A humbling experience, and I wonder if they do that on purpose. Along with this, I met new people, which included two brothers that were in my homeroom, Francis and Mike Steel. We called Francis "Frank" at the time, but it's so foreign a thing to me now, that I can't call him that now, even reminiscing back. :)

Both of them were in The Squires with me, which is the junior "branch" of the Knights of Columbus (my dad is still a member of the KofC), and I found out that Francis also played D&D. His DM was his best friend, Steve Nemec. So, Francis introduced me, and I arranged to join in a game with them. Another guy in the Squires, Jeff, joined the group, and another friend of Steve and Francis (I think they knew him from gradeschool), Bing.

I played Alron (reincarnated), a ranger. Francis played Merlin, a wizard. Jeff played Conan, a barbarian. Bing played... a thief, I think. I honestly can't remember. Bing spent most of the first session with his shirt collar pulled up over his head, and his head down on the table, sleeping. I don't think he played much past the first session, if at all. Jeff lasted longer. We also had some secondary characters. I played an elven bard named Aubrey, and Francis played a monk named Chuck Norris (damn, we were ORIGINAL back then, weren't we??).

As our first adventure, Steve proceeded to take us through. . .

It was a fun module. It's a fairly simple one, but generally considered to be of the highest quality by those that play the game (here's a review). We had a great time, and it was a very fun start to a very cool campaign for Steve. He had even created his own world, with a huge map of all the terrain and political divisions, his own gods, and he used a lot of his own monsters (sometimes coming up with them on the fly, it seemed). We continued on with Danger At Dunwater, and The Final Enemy, which are the sequels to Saltmarsh, then went through The Caves of Chaos, from the original Keep on the Borderlands adventure module.

Those all went along rather swimmingly... okay, well, the delve into the Caves of Chaos took a disastrous turn when I got overconfident. Francis wasn't available to play, so Steve and I continued on for a session, which had me trying to shoot down an evil cultist with an arrow... that only did a few points damage, and he had a lot more hit points than that. That quickly devolved into a really bad combat that had us all knocked unconscious. We found ourselves chained to the walls of a large cell, with the evil cultist high priest going from character to character asking why we were here and why we had attacked them. I spouted off more overconfident BS and really didn't help our position at all... so he had us tortured, one by one, starting with my loudmouthed Ranger. Ooo, FUN! I learned to keep my mouth shut after that. heh.

Yes, we escaped from there. I don't recall how, honestly. Maybe Steve remembers.

These were definitely the best adventures, though. Next post, I'll tell you all about the worst adventure we played through!


  1. Thieves' Guild!!

    I lost the rule book for that one about 25 years ago and have been trying to find some mention of it since. That was a neat game, all focused on sneaky rogue stuff. Did we ever get around to playing it?

    Your memory is astounding, Scott.

  2. You know, I think we made characters, but we never did play it... or if we did play it, it was only once.

    Ironic that I can remember all this stuff... my schoolwork? HA! Shows you what leaves an impression on me. Damn, if I could do it in this country, I'd be working as an rpg writer!