I was introduced to AD&D at school when I was eleven and I still remember the excitement of getting my copy of The Players Handbook (I believe it was Christmas 1982). Over the next five to ten years I bought and played game system after game system. While we probably played more Middle Earth Role Playing (MERP) than anything else I had Runequest, Paranoia, Traveller, Shadowrun, Cyberpunk, Tales From The Floating Vagabond and loads more that I can’t even remember anymore. Like many people who gamed as teenagers I gradually found that I didn’t have the time necessary to game when I was older and once I was married in my early twenties I completely stopped playing.
After years of saying to my brother that we really must get a set of rules (my books had long since disappeared) and play a game sometime, just to re-live our youth, he bought me the old red Basic D&D set for Christmas (2013). I’m slightly embarrassed to admit how excited I was when I opened the box and so a few days later I rolled up a couple of characters with my boys (8 and 15) and we started playing the adventure in the first book.
We had a lot of fun but I realised that what I really wanted was AD&D. Looking at the prices of the books I remembered (I’d never even played second edition let alone third) I realised it would be cheaper to just buy a current version but I wasn’t convinced by the reviews I’d read of fourth edition. After doing some research I decided that Pathfinder was probably the closest I was going to get to the game I remembered and bought the Core Rulebook, I wasn’t disappointed.
Having played a couple of sessions with the boys I decided that I needed to find a good adventure for first level characters and bought Retribution (by Raging Swan press, more on them another time) from Amazon where it got glowing write ups. All I needed now was players so thinking I might find a couple of mates who were interested I posted up an “anyone fancy playing D&D one night” post on Facebook and suddenly found I had fifteen interested people.
To cut a long story short I’m now running a games night in a pub’s function room every four weeks and a separate session between so that my Pathfinder campaign can run fortnightly. I’ve bought almost every adventure that Raging Swan press have released and have a campaign roughly planned out that could easily take over a year to run its in entirety.
Last night was my first time GMing properly for over 20 years and I was quite tense about it but, while it didn’t go quite as smoothly as I was hoping, everyone had fun. I only needed to open the rulebook a couple of times, I managed to cope with doing silly voices for different characters without being terminally embarrassed and everyone (including the donkey) survived.
The primary reason for this blog is to have somewhere to post the logs of my Pathfinder campaign but I’m also interested in why gaming has grabbed my imagination so firmly and what my friends, children and I are getting from it so I’m expecting to post some opinion pieces as well.
Okay guys, roll for initiative…