Armagideon Time

Archive for the ‘Role-Playing with the Changes’ category

Looking back at my RPG purchases from that year, 1989 was apparently “The Year of the Expensive Hardback.” I bought three of the damn things during those twelve months, each one wielding an outsized influence that went beyond the gaming table. While I underwent a good deal of buyer’s remorse over Realm of Chaos and […]

Through the rest of the spring and early summer of 1989, I got into the habit of picking up stray issues of White Dwarf from Excalibur’s large inventory of cover-priced back issues. I tended to stick to the ones that included relevant material for Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, but ended up spending more time checking […]

By the time the spring of 1989 rolled around, the post-traumatic shellshock I experienced following my mother’s death faded into a constant state of restless boredom. I welcomed the sense of stability living with my grandmother provided, but there was a part of me that had difficulty adjusting to a life where horrible shit didn’t […]

I spent early part of 1989 settling into my new routine of school, work, and visiting my father on the weekends. It only lasted about ten weeks, but it felt much longer because it was the buffer between a pair of big life-changing events. During that stretch, my interest in role-playing games became eclipsed by […]

Despite the upheaval caused my my mother’s death, it didn’t take long for me to adjust to the new abnormal. My grandmother had the spare room done over into a proper bedroom, which I shared with Lil Bro and the one family cat we were allowed to keep. The situation felt unreal and unsettling but […]

The two months following my mother’s death felt longer than the sixteen years before it and the twenty-nine years since. The psychic wound was so raw, the trauma so unprecedented, that even the the most minute details permanently imprinted themselves into my memory. I spent the night of her death at a paternal aunt’s house, […]

The autumn of 1988 was an oasis of calm before the impending shitstorm. My family’s dysfunctions had metastasized into a weird state of equilibrium. My mother was still a basket case and my father was still out of control, but there was a sense that the situation had leveled out just enough for me to […]

While 1987 had been a non-stop shopping spree of (mostly ill-advised) game purchases, 1988 ended up being very subdued on that front. My family’s dysfunctions had begun to enter their terminal phase, marked by violent outbursts which made me increasingly reluctant to have friends over. Money became tight. My brother and I lost the paper […]

By the beginning of 1988, my enthusiasm for Dungeon & Dragons had reached a low ebb. My group tried multiple times to change things up with unofficial house rules and other ancillary material, but none of was able to mitigate my frustration with the system’s limitations and overall clunkiness. We were still into fantasy genre […]

Sometime during the last few weeks of 1987, my pal Scott spotted something interesting in the back pages of the current issue of Dragon Magazine. Buried between the ads for custom character portraits and play-by-mail adventures was an ad for the Compleat Strategist, a small chain of stores specializing in role-playing and other games. What […]

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