Carving runes on the inner sky of an empyeran, trying to make meaning and hoping that those from without understand as well.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

My Gaming History, Part One

I never rolled well enough on the random encounter table to meet up with roleplaying in my hometown. It wasn't until I went to a residential high school for my Junior and Senior years that I even found out about it. What it was, back then, was this: I collected comics, mainly X-Men. I had newly found nearby friends that were playing Marvel Superheroes. As I was being drawn to their dorm room for the first RPG I'd particpate in, I asked the following question:

"I've only ever played Final Fantasy ... is it anything like that?"

To wit, the answer I received a fallacy:

"It's almost exactly the same," followed by a non-fallacy, "you'll love it!"

Fact: I've wanted a game that played like or intensely reminded me of FF ever since.

So. That was 1995. My ability to grok good RPGs has suffered ever since, and framed much discontent. I'll review my high school years in this post, and illustrate (hopefully) some of how it shaped me.

I had just gotten done reading a teen fiction (?) title by L.E. Modesitt, Jr. title, Fires of Paratime.
If anyone has ever read this, try to get the original version. The part that was smashed together with its prequel was changed, and left a bad taste in my mouth. Anywho, I wanted to be Loki.

Me, to Craig, the GM: "I want to be a guy named Loki!"
Craig, to Me: "That name's taken. What can your guy do?"

Anyone familiar with Marvel Super Heroes knows that in one question there was already some drift (changing of rules, house-ruling). Anyone who isn't: Marvel Super Heroes, like D&D, liked the random roll for your stats thing. It liked it so much it added it into the abilities. You couldn't choose your abilities, you had to roll them on a chart. But I went on to describe what Loki in the novel could do, and then decided on a name.

"I like the new Bishop character's name," I said.
"That name's ..."
I cut him off, "I know. Hmm, a bishop is a chess piece, how about Rook?"
Universal response: "Ugh."
"How about Rookie? The ultimate new guy?"
Universal response: "Yeah!"

Fact: The collective approval of the fiction I try to create is one of the reasons I roleplay.

I know more about Rookie than any other character I've ever created. He had more group approval than any other character I've ever played, and he's the only character who's name I can remember from 13 years of roleplaying.

At high school, I played Marvel Super Heroes, and Vampire 1st and 2nd Editions. I began "running" my own games in my Senior year, but they were more of a story time for me and having the players supply the lines.


Blogger Joshua BishopRoby said...


6:10 PM, February 14, 2006

Blogger Bankuei said...

Man, after FF 3/6, if anyone told me roleplaying would be like it, I would have been instantly sold. :)

"players supplying lines" is a completely awesome summary of Illusionist/Participationist play.

2:45 PM, February 15, 2006

Anonymous Mark W said...

Yep. That rings a bell. In my case, not so much "players supplying lines" as Over Here: Big GM Plot, Over There: Little PC Subplots, Whatever You Do, Don't Cross The Streams.

3:17 PM, February 15, 2006

Blogger Mark Causey said...

Those first fertile moments really did affect the next decade of gaming for me.

Yeah, FFIV and FFVI were integral to me. If I were a designer, I'd make FFIV a reality (I know about timfire's project, btw).

3:36 PM, February 15, 2006

Blogger Mark Causey said...

Little PC subplots were handled this way in our Marvel game: we would ask for something for just one or two characters, and they would be given a 'spin-off' series of one or two games outside of the main game so as not to disturb the timeline of play we'd developed. For this GM and this group, it worked. It's after leaving high school I found out how it's not all like that.

3:38 PM, February 15, 2006

Anonymous Jason M said...

Rock, on, my own ludography is here:

1:00 PM, February 20, 2006


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