"No, I killed Blackleaf. With a rusty cleaver, in this kid's basement."
Ah yes, but did you use Mind Bondage
while doing so?
(Jack Chick would have made a great games designer... if only he wasn't bat sh!t crazy*)
As for my sordid history... I discovered the ADnD books at my local library in my early teens. I distinctly remember thumbing through the Fiend Folio and becoming enthralled with all the weird creatures contained within. I also remember going up to my Mum and mentioning that I was interested in roleplaying - only to have her flip out (but not in a kewl Ninja way) and make me swear that I wouldn't get caught up in that horrible activity. I think she had seen a news article about kids in America (it's always America with Mum) killing each other with swords down in the sewers while 'roleplaying'. I swore I would stay away from the evil of roleplaying.
That's the point that I stopped talking to my Mum about what I was really doing. My local library also had a good selection of the old Fighting Fantasy
titles, but I was more interested in the Lone Wolf
series. The thought of a persistent character you kept from book to book was much more appealing. When I got to high school I naturally gravitated towards the other geeks and found myself in a roleplaying game within the space of just a few months. The first game we tried was Call of Cthulhu
. None of us had read any Lovecraft, nor did we have much an idea of what we were doing. It's was more a case of the book looking interesting and there being chances for action. The game didn't last too long as people started slowly drifting away from roleplaying and towards wargaming. There was also a brief infatuation with Magic: the Gathering
, but that only lasted a month or two.
It wasn't until I got to university that I started roleplaying properly. I joined the uni roleplaying club and had my first taste of DnD (3rd Ed), Shadowrun and some others I can't remember now. It's worth noting that I was in full denial mode with my parents at this point, so on Tuesday nights when I was out roleplaying, my parents thought I was at the student bar. It was also at this time that a friend of mine told me that there was this new espionage game coming out soon. He knew I was a huge fan of the James Bond movies and thought I might be interested. That's how I encountered Spycraft
. I signed up to the forums (not the previous ones, or the ones before that, we're talking the OLD
forums here) and things went from there.
My friend started up a Spycraft campaign once the books finally arrived locally. His GC-ship lasted a grand total of one mission before he passed over the reigns to me. This was partly due to the fact that he really wanted to play this really awesome (yet horribly twinked) psionic character (it being an SFA campaign) and partly because my Faceman had technically died outright three times during the mission. I still hate having to make rolls when my characters have to repell from helicopters to this day. The campaign lasted a little over a year before we decided to call it quits. Everyone had a good time, and nobody complained about my sometimes loosely drawn plots.
In case you were wondering, I did eventually 'come out' about roleplaying to my Mum. It was after a birthday lunch a few years back. I had a copy of the 60's Decade Book
with me and I showed her my Additional Writing credit. I explained what it was and, funnily enough, she didn't bat an eyelid. It seems she had forgotten the whole "chopping up other people" promise and was pleased that I was happy. This was also the same birthday lunch where she asked if my being single for so long was because I was secretly gay - but that's another story altogether. All I'll say is, my Mum is special like that.
EDIT: I did have a brief dalliance with White Wolf. I played in four sessions of a friends Mage
game, before being killed off by the GM for playing in character. The GM had a habit of bringing about character death for his own amusement.*No offense meant to religious folks - just Jack Chick.