Bryan was a member of the Science Fiction book club and owned tons of fantasy books. He was a bit anal about how his books were treated and immediately laid the smackdown on me the first time I flipped a book over and set it on the floor, open pages down, to mark my place. He went on to "school" me in the proper reading of a book. He hated creased spines and dog-eared pages, he loathed grease and food stains on the pages and I feared what would happen should a page actually be ripped or removed from one of his books!
One day as we were sitting in his room talking about one of his books that I had just read, he went into his closet and pulled out a new curiosity. "You ever hear of Dungeons and Dragons?" he asked as he set a stack of booklets on the floor of his room. He actually was showing me 1st edition D&D and he also had the Chainmail rules and if memory serves something called Blackmoor. I was immediately drawn to the game!
Bryan quickly explained the basics of the game to me and I spent the rest of that afternoon rolling up a couple of characters while he put together a quick dungeon delve. I still have fond memories of those long summers days, with nothing to do but game to our hearts content! Did I mention Bryan wanted to be a chef? That boy could cook up some mean desserts! We would sit around and stuff our faces and roll dice all day long.
The big turning point for me came when Bryan asked me if I wanted to try my hand at being a DM. I suspected that he preferred playing more than Dungeon Mastering, but I was willing to give it a try. I was immediately hooked on DMing. The complete power and creativity it gave me just blew my mind. I sat around for days creating and populating dungeons, we soon decided that I would always DM and I have never regretted that choice!
The spark of interest I had in D&D soon grew into a raging bonfire! I found a hobby shop in nearby Apple valley and soon I was happily paging through my very own copies of the Dungeon Master's guide and the Monster Manual. I started buying all the dice and miniatures I could get my hands on. I started mowing lawns for money so I could support my hobby! The addiction was immediate and permanent!
Bryan and I even attended our very first gaming convention at the same hobby shop in Apple valley, but it didn't turn out so well (that is another story). Still it did nothing to dampen my enthusiasm for the game.
I eventually ended up moving to Germany, but the damage had been done. I took all my gaming gear with me and found or recruited like minded players over seas. When I returned to the states (New Jersey) after graduating high school, I began recruiting my neighbors, DMing for several groups of husbands and wives. I joined the Air Force and recruited guys from the barracks. Everyone I met was a potential gamer!
I branched out into other games and types of gaming. Warhammer Fantasy Role-play and all the Games Workshop tabletop miniatures games. I was painting and collecting hordes of miniatures. My geek horde was truly massive!
Then something happened, I met a girl and fell in love. Suddenly, I didn't have time to game. I left the Air Force, went to trade school and began a career as a programmer. We started having children and suddenly I had no time for anything else.
Skipping ahead several years and my life began to stabilize again. I had kept my love for gaming and began playing computer games like SSI's Curse of the Azure Bonds, Wing Commander, even the now much despised Everquest( aka Evercrack!), but the demands of family and career left me no time for pen & paper gaming. I was still collecting all the role-playing game systems (and miniatures) I could get my hands on but I never played them.
Fast forwarding to my current life and my four children are now growing up and have been carefully raised and nurtured appreciating all things geeky. My sixteen year old daughter can wow her friends with her spotless imitation of a raging Tusken Raider or her knowledge of the player classes from the current edition of D&D, my thirteen year old son has level 70 characters in World of Warcraft, my youngest daughter plays the priest for instance runs and my nine year old is a deadly adversary on the Team Fortress servers across the intertron. I bought them all the starter D&D sets and my oldest has dabbled at being a DM, but other than board games and a few aborted attempts at D&D 3.0 there has been no RPGing in our household.
So at last, I have finally begun to manage my free time better and I decided that I would return to my DMing ways. Although, I've always kept up on the current editions of Dungeons & Dragons, they only sat on my shelves gathering dust. I vowed this year that all of that would change. Thus, the title of this blog: Ludios Resurrectio - The Resurrected Gamer.
Please join me, as I journey back into the world of pen & paper role playing!