That’s the prompt for today’s (I did write this yesterday) Stream of Consciousness Saturday from Linda G. Hill.
Those two letters brought me back immediately to my childhood days of playing Dungeons & Dragons. Why I don’t play now, I simply don’t know.
For those unfamiliar with D&D, “XP” is “experience points.” You get them for doing stuff during the adventure — killing monsters, finding traps and treasure, etc. You get experience points to grow your character. For you social media folks, it’s simple gamification. Do stuff. Get points. Mo’ power.
The first time I saw anything D&D related was either in a toy store (on Kirkman in Lake Charles, I think it’s a hardware store or something now) where I picked up the first Monster Manual and flipped through it. I have a vivid memory of the . . . shoot, grub worm or something which had a drawing of a fighter’s arm and a worm eating it’s way out of it.
I’ll put a photo here once I finish.
Or it was in a SPARK class where Joel can’t remember his last name but we both played football in high school where his toe got stepped on his junior/my senior year and it slowly turned into a yellow pussy mess over the season. Thankfully, no photo of that. Yeesh, there are more pleasant things in my life I can’t remember, but THAT sticks in my head. Joel ran an adventure or two in class around the same time I saw the MM.
From there, I was hooked. Got a my Basic Edition set and was off. First designing adventures for my Dad. Then with a few friends — Clyde and Bobby and eventually Kirk, my little brother.
We totally enjoyed our nerdy pastime. It kept us from touching girls (my shyness was extremely unhelpful in that regard too), but expanded our imagination, got me into reading about different mythologies around the world, and just generally was fun.
And what’s up with this being a “nerdy” thing to do. I mean, WTF. Who gets to decide that drinking and puking and driving up and down the street is cool or what you should be doing. Or watching sports or doing woodworking or whatever “non-nerd” things are.
Man, people out to stop labeling shit and just enjoy what they enjoy and leave other folks to enjoy whatever it is they enjoy. I’ll leave that there as I feel a rant coming on.
D&D, and in college, GURPS mixed with Call of Cthulu (which, crazy, because your character is chasing ancient evil and will eventually go insane — based on H.P. Lovecraft’s stories).
As I’m typing this, I’m thinking maybe I should find a local group to join or even online. Be a good way to pass time and as long as I avoided snacks, probably help me lose weight! Or, as adults, sipping on the whiskey would be a good thing to replace the Coke and Mountain Dew from the younger years of playing.
It’s a fun hobby. You expand your imagination. You get to pretend to be someone else. Someone with awesome powers to boot. Who doesn’t want to be someone else for a little while, now and again.
Via D&D I got my love of miniatures. I still have most of them, though I do regret not hanging on to some of the old school Ral Partha and Grendier. Miniatures today are better sculpted, but those old ones with the flash and chunkiness have a certain charm.
OK, that’s my 30 minutes. That was a fun trip down memory lane.
My brother and I are thinking about writing a book going back to the first module I ever owned — Keep on the Borderlands. I think it’s time to stop thinking about that and start in on the doing. Probably won’t be all that good, but it’ll be a lot of fun. And that’s good.