Friday, July 31, 2009

Japanese Giant Robot and Monster Shows

Warning: YouTube nostalgia ahead!

I used to watch many of these shows and now inflict them on you!

For some reason I used to want to fly around in Rodak's bat wing space ship thing with the glowing white disco ball embedded in it.

Yikes! I'd forgotten I used to watch both Spectreman and Ultraman until I watched the openings!

"Use robot punch!"

Okay. . .I never saw this show when I was a kid, but I now want that guy's helmet.

Okay. . .I never saw this one either, but If I'd seen this when I was eight it would have been my favorite TV show ever. I would have then created a D&D campaign where they have laser guns, swords, and werelions on horseback.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Three Headed Monster Games

One thing I've always admired about the indie rpg scene is the very real way in which those folks support each other in publishing, promotion, and even just actually playing of each others games. It's nice to see a bit more of that sort of creative support coming together in the OSR. So check out the guys over at Three Headed Monster Games:

I keep thinking about this fellow when I hear the name:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Where I First Saw OD&D

I mentioned this in my previous post, but I though I'd expand on this story because the memory now haunts me (but in a good way as you'll see).

I was a kid living in Crystal Lake, Illinois when I discovered D&D, and I would often make trips to our local bookstore which, despite it being an independently owned shop, was located in a mall. I can't remember the name of the store for the life of me, but it was something like "The Book Hollow", but their bookmarks, as I recall, had the image of a small gnomelike fellow with a beard standing next to an old gnarled tree.

So in around the spring of 1982 I discovered one of the later editions of OD&D in with a bunch of other D&D stuff at this store. The box set was from the last set of printings which have "Original Collector's Edition" written on the box. In addition to the box set they had individual copies of Men & Magic and the other two volumes from the boxed set. I'm also certain they had copies of Gods, Demigods, and Heroes, Chainmail, and Eldritch Wizardry.

These books confused me as I hadn't seen them in any of TSR's catalogs such as their "Gateway to Adventure" catalog which had come with my Basic Set. Maybe it was the cover to Eldritch Wizardry which said: "Okay ten year old Nick this one isn't for you. . .and besides HOW are you going to get this one past your Mom?" I don't think I even had a clear understanding that these were the original rulebooks--I probably thought they were freaky old miniatures supplements for AD&D. Only years later did I realize what those little white booklets were.

Now, I keep thinking: if only I'd bought them!

Yet I think it was this memory which was fired when I stumbled across places like the Knights & Knaves Alehouse and the OD&D Discussion Boards. Soon I bought the OD&D PDFs from RPGNow, and I was off into creating my houseruled version of OD&D.

I think in that initial flurry of the OSR it felt a bit like we were excavating the origins of so much stuff that's now central to our hobby. It was exciting. And all that made me love D&D again.

Friday, July 3, 2009

My Gaming History

Its far too late and I should go back to bed, but this just crawled into my brain and so I thought I'd post this. Here's what I've played from when I was a wee gamer until now.

This is a long post (I've been gaming on and off since 1982).

(I've stolen this idea from a thread at Vincent Baker's blog Anyway)

Here's mine:

Played made up "dungeon" game with a six sided and a dungeon board drawn on a piece of construction paper in my fourth grade English class (we weren't supposed to be doing this).

AD&D ran by a friends older brother (it was Against the Giants)

Got Moldvay Basic.

Left Moldvay behind for the siren call of those AD&D hardbacks.

I see one of the later editions of the "white box" in with a bunch of other AD&D stuff at our local bookstore. They also have copies of Gods, Demigods, and Heroes and Eldritch Wizardry. They confuse me as I haven't seen them in any of TSR's catalogs. If only I'd bought them!

Played Dungeon! over at my friend Tom's house.

Top Secret.

Gamma World.

(Wow there's a horrifying infomercial on right now for a "male enhancement product". That's what I get for being up this late).

Lots of AD&D!!

Lots and lots of Top Secret (This was our main game for several years).

Call of Cthulhu (this game blew my mind and led me to read the pulp trinity of Lovecraft, Howard, and Smith).

Traveller (we never used the Third Imperium Setting--I made up my own setting ripping lots off of Dune).

My friend buys GURPS claiming it is the Holy Grail of Gaming: you can play ANYTHING. That's intriguing but we never end up playing.

Marvel super heroes. I only got the original basic set and then wised I'd waited and got the "advanced" set--which was really a much better and more complete game.

Paranoia at my friend Mike's house. We all kill each other and laugh about it.

AD&D 2nd edition.

TMNT and Heroes Unlimited

Car Wars (I'm not very good and die quickly in our arena combat).

Pendragon (great game).

Top Secret/S.I. This continued on from where our old Top Secret campaign left off (with the same characters).

I don't game for about two years.


More Cyberpunk.

AD&D 1st edition Dragonlance.


FASA's Star Trek.

Amber Diceless (I've fallen in love)

Lots of Amber.


Ars Magica.

I buy the Different Worlds printing of Empire of the Petal Throne.

I buy Stormbringer (4th edition) but never manage to get a game going.

Gene Wolfe inspired fantasy thing using a AD&D 2nd edition and later a freeform system without dice (inflicted mostly on my friend Erik).

More time not playing.

Epic Mekton campaign that lasts almost two years.

Run a great long running Amber game.

Don't game for a few years.

Various homemade Amber-inspired settings using freeform rules.

Another Mekton attempt that crashes and burns.

Amber inspired thing using the FUDGE rules.

Supernatural themed FUDGE game inspired by British TV shows like Sapphire and Steel.

D&D 3.0

We convert our D&D 3.0 campaign to Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying System (which becomes our go-to system for a while).

Follow up/alternate take on our FUDGE amber inspired game using the Basic Roleplaying System--this one ends up being a grittier modern era game.

Abortive Star Wars game using Basic Roleplaying--the system finally fails us.

Pendragon (5th edition) using the Great Pendragon Campaign.

Figuring out what I want in D&D.

Discover Philotomy's Musings and the OD&D boards.

OD&D baby!

Simultaneously discover indie scene and the Forge. Now I have too many games to play!

D&D (4th ed)

GMless X-men thing.

Talisman with my wife and friends.

The 9th Division.

Tell me yours?