November 10th, 2008


The strata of my youth

Originally published at Figures of Text. Please leave any comments there.

I’ve been clearing a lot of junk out of my mother’s house over the last week (trying to get the place ready for her impending return from the hospital), and today I cleared out my old bedroom. Unsurprisingly, it was a journey into nostalgia and very bad sci-fi books. Some observations:

  • There were definite phases to my gaming. The newer card games, like L5R, were all found on top of a great many Magic cards; Vampire books sat on top of old D&D gazetteers.
  • I had a lot of old D&D gazetteers. The cover art on a lot of them wouldn’t look out of place on an Avalanche Press book, but the content’s great. GAZ3 Principalities of Glantri is still my favourite gaming supplement.
  • I found all sorts of old character sheets, notes, print-outs and notebooks full of old spells and magic items. A great many of these were conversions of AD&D2e spells to basic D&D, but I had no idea what the spells actually did - I just created my own versions based on the name and any context available from old Dragon articles. 
  • I have no idea what my old D&D campaigns actually involved. I know there was one lengthy plotline involving underwater adventuring, and another was a weird mix of Prince of Persia and Aliens using a hive monster from the D&D Creature Crucible. (The urge to run an old-school game is rising once more.)  
  • I remain fascinated by obscured complex structures, which means I really enjoyed reading hints for computer games I never played in Dragon.
  • I bought more than one Quantum Leap novel. 
  • Beneath everything else was a solid bedrock of Acorn computing magazines, beyond which I dared not go.