Armagideon Time

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

My ninth grade year was a bright spot in an otherwise dismal junior high experience. It was the year I managed to hone my dorkiness and social maladaptation into something resembling a persona — a goofy pastiche of performative eccentricity and clearance aisle Hawaiian shirts. My delayed embrace of Dungeon & Dragons connected me with […]

If you haven’t been able to figure it our thus far, my younger self purchased a slew of role playing games which saw little (if any) actual play around our gaming table. I’ve delved into the various reasons for that in previous installments of this feature, so this time around I’d like to discuss the […]

In the last installment of this feature, I talked about the giddy accumulation of stuff which comes when one dives head-first into a new hobby. This week, I’m going to discuss a regrettable adjunct to that strain of over-exuberant consumption — the signal-to-noise ratio which causes the occasional jewel to get lost amidst the torrent […]

There’s a stage in every hobby when measured fascination risks turning to into unquestioned obsession. The mechanic is similar to addiction behaviors, where users try to offset diminishing thrills by increasing the frequency and dosage of each subsequent hit. Geek pastimes are particularly prone to this pathology, due to their long-standing conflation between consumption and […]

Toward the tail end of the Summer of 1987, I began spending less time with my buddy Scott. There was no drama or ill-will behind this slow drift. Scott was a hyper-motivated Type A personality on a fast track to success, and that brought a host of CV-building obligations that cut into his free time. […]

The bulk of my adventures in RPG mail-order were carried out through Games On Call, a Texas-based firm that advertised heavily in Dragon Magazine. A phone or mail inquiry would net you a free copy of their current catalog, a meticulously categorized newsprint directory containing all manner of ludographical treasures available for purchase. The selection […]

I got into role-playing games during the market correction which followed the fad-driven boom times of the early 1980s, when ads for the D&D Basic Set dropped out of “respectable” publications and slid back into the realm of funnybooks. There were no dedicated game shops within biking distance of Woburn, and the places which did […]

After successfully completing a marathon playthrough of the Temple of Elemental Evil “mega-module,” my little brother and my new buddy Scott were itching to take their absurdly overpowered characters to new heights of loot-intensive glory. As it happened, I had just the adventure for them…. …The Mines of Bloodstone. A follow-up on what had intended […]

Though my attempt to run Tomb of Horrors turned out to be a glacially paced fiasco, it did result in a new friendship with yet another kid named Scott. Scott lived two streets over from me and that geographical proximity led to Scott spending a good deal of time at my place during the summer […]

After my buddy Mike and I went our separate ways, I gravitated into the orbit of a trio of geeky underclassmen — Scott, Christian, and Damian — I met while doing independent study for a “cool” English teacher. What began as dorky lunch table conversations about shared interests soon escalated into a consensus that we […]

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