Part Twelve: It’s All About That Space. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Two RPGs came out in 1982 that tried to attract the attention (and buying power) of fans of a certain type of science fiction. Was the time right? In cinemas we’d already seen the release of Star Wars, Return of the Jedi, Flash Gordon and the first two Star Trek movies. Battlestar Galactica and Buck … Continue reading Part Twelve: It’s All About That Space. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Eleven: Hit or Miss, “Let’s Try This New Game!” A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

I’ve written about two big games that our group tried, both from the same company. One stayed in our rotation, and the other was discarded after limited play. (If you’re not following along, that was Call of Cthulhu and Runequest, both from Chaosium.) There were so many other games that we tried over the years. … Continue reading Part Eleven: Hit or Miss, “Let’s Try This New Game!” A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Ten: And Now For Something Completely Different, Runequest. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

The "Classic" 2nd edition of Runequest This is the hundredth post I’ve made to this blog! Thanks very much for reading. And now we’re up to about 1983. I’d been in a few different groups and had settled into a regular routine. At this point I’d say we had at least two very regular game … Continue reading Part Ten: And Now For Something Completely Different, Runequest. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Nine: Welcome to my Nightmare. Call of Cthulhu, A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

I’ve always had a voracious appetite for reading. But when I was eleven or so my father looked at my books and despaired. I was a smart kid, but he saw me reading genre fiction and thought I should be reading actual literature. He took me to a book store and tried to get me … Continue reading Part Nine: Welcome to my Nightmare. Call of Cthulhu, A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Eight: Where’s My Space Opera? A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Traveller I love RPGs, and I love many genres. Up to this point I was running 1st ed AD&D, and 1st ed Gamma World, both from TSR. I already had one foot in the door of the Traveller RPG. I had picked up the Snapshot board game of close encounters on board star ships, and … Continue reading Part Eight: Where’s My Space Opera? A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Seven: Fantasy, or Science Fiction? A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Now it’s time to talk about the first RPG that I ran in addition to 1st ed AD&D. My first role-playing love had given me fantasy gaming. Evil sorcerers, horrible demons, creatures of the darkness versus heroes and adventurers with bright swords and shining armor. Exotic cities filled with intrigue and plotting. Majestic mountain ranges … Continue reading Part Seven: Fantasy, or Science Fiction? A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Six: Not the Only Game in Town. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

I’ve shared my exposure to the gaming hobby beginning back in the 1970s. When it came to role-playing games, I’ve written about Dungeons and Dragons, the elephant in the room. As has been true for the history of modern RPGs, “D&D” is a generic as well as a specific. Telling someone that your hobby is … Continue reading Part Six: Not the Only Game in Town. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Five: Do Too Many DM’s Spoil the Soup? A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

It was 1980-81, and my 1st edition AD&D campaign had taken off. I needed to build up a decent stable of regular players for my game. I was also interested in playing myself, so I needed to meet some capable Dungeon Masters. I’ll talk about other games in a subsequent post, but for now I’ll … Continue reading Part Five: Do Too Many DM’s Spoil the Soup? A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

Part Four: I, Dungeon Master. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches

It was 1980, and I had discovered a hobby that excited me like nothing before: living out fantasy adventures via a “role-playing game.” The vast majority of people hadn’t heard of such a thing, had no idea what it was or what it was about. I was firmly entrenched in “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons.” I … Continue reading Part Four: I, Dungeon Master. A Historical Overview of Role-playing from the Trenches