06 December 2006

Dungeons and Dragons

I was caught in an Internet snare today called Wikipedia. I think every fantasy character, object and place in the world of Dungeons and Dragons has a definition there. The cataloged memories started flowing back with a warm glow. I was entranced.

I played Dungeons and Dragons when I was in my early teens. Though many sessions ended up like this. Video games sucked back then but there was something fascinating about dungeon maps and those incredible 20 sided dice and the charactor sheets we were constantly re-designing and running off on the library photocopier. I was a bit obsessed for what was probably 4 yrs. I was a Ranger 4th class, or something like that, possessing excellent tracking skills, woodsmanship, could talk to animals, hide in the shadows and wielded a magical sword named, "The Nunguneer," later in my career. Then I took up being Dungeon Master for a while. I even invented my own module called, "The Stronghold of Blah, Blah" (can't remember) where the castle near the sea would be infiltrated and the party, if they could, would discover a Nautilus type of submarine at the end and escape certian doom out to sea. Where is my D&D stuff now? Probably in a landfill to be uncovered by future archaeologists that will look at the Monster Manual and decry that our age worshipped horrible beasts of every shape and size. I especially liked that blob of a creature called the Bezerker with one giant eyeball and 20 other eyeballs at the ends of fleshy stalks. Power of vision +20! I still snicker at that one.

Did I ever finish a campaign? Never. Did I ever finish a module? Maybe two. Did I do many drawings based on the fantasy? All the time because if you've ever had a look at the materials that TSR produced, the drawings and paintings looked like they were drawn by fans. I always thought, "This is what can get printed and sold? I could TOTALLY do that!" One more reason to draw.

So, when I discovered Wikipedia had all these photos of the covers of the modules (pre-made adventures) online, I went searching for the ones I purchased. I think a couple came with the box edition of the basic and the advanced games. My favorite was, "Expedition to the Barrier Peaks." A journey to snow covered mountains with the discovery of a crashed spaceship with laser guns and robots. A little bit of humor as one of the the robots was a "workout coach." Another robot was still furiously working on a cure to the disease that had wiped out the crew; a great mix of science fiction and fantasy. At any rate, sprinkled throughout this post are the cover shots of the modules I played.

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