Monday, 28 March 2011

My Gaming Memoirs Part 6 - 1988

It took a little while for things to get off the ground. First of all my family and I had to move house - in which several books of my collection and many figures went missing. I managed to replace the gamebooks that disappeared (luckily, none of them were any of the original prints that I had acquired) but I could never replace my orc warband and bolt thrower, but mostly I could never replace the missing model of my first ever RPG character, the badly-painted slinking thief Jamm Donut. It was quite a blow and I was sorely disappointed.

It took quite a while to settle into the new house, but gaming soon commenced. Along with my two friends and regular gamers Mark and Paul we set about delving into a huge Star Wars campaign, starting with some simple adventures that eventually grew into huge campaigns. I got my inspiration from the movies - if we'd been to see it at the flicks, then I'd run a game based on it. Aliens? Kelly's Heroes? Rambo III? Top Gun? If you'd watched it, I'd GM it. There were times we'd get back to my house, still buzzing after watching a suitably high-octane movie, and say 'Hey - maybe we could do a Star Wars version of that!' and out came the dice.

It was fun, but this is where the problems started. Firstly, we'd made a mess of the character development rules so the PCs were advancing at an incredible rate, which made the games almost impossible to enjoy when some rolls would take more than a dozen dice. We rectified that pretty quick, I can tell you, and basically started our characters from scratch with a couple of extra building dice.

Then there was the problem of recreating the movies. The games started to become flat and dull, with predictable stories and obvious plot changes to make the adventure seem original. It was just someone else's creation with a story change and the serial numbers filed off, and out of all of us I was the culprit. I was in danger of stunting my interest in roleplaying games because I was starting to become thoroughly bored with the whole thing.

But then, for Christmas 1988, Paul got MERP, and things changed. I finally began to understand what the word 'role' in 'roleplaying' actually meant.

1 comment:

  1. That's always been your biggest strength as a GM, as opposed to other gamers who only focussed on the rules and technical aspects of the game. You're always striving to finesse your GM skills and not get too stale, while always keeping the 'feel' of a Jon Hicks game. I think that's why your settings and game systems are so spot-on, you understand what makes a game work so well.
    Yeah, thinking on it those first few months of SW RPG (I still have the map of the first game you did, the warehouse with the security guards) were pretty generic, but we were all so stoked to be playing SW RPG - who cared! It would have been easy not to analyse it, but you did, and what followed was far better!