Well fall is here and things are in full swing around the office. It’s the time of the year to look back in retrospective as to how things were and where things are going as we plunge into the icy depth of winter. If you’ve been gaming for a long time and are capable of reading and talking some things on this list are old news to you but for you younger or newer gamers here are some things about early role-playing that are great conversation starters over the table.
1) THESE DIE ARE NEAT
The shapes of the dice actually fall into a category termed: Platonic solid (not to be confused with how tight your pants get when you’re standing next to your friend who just doesn’t know). Platonic solids are regular convex polyhedrons, represented in three-dimensional space. To fall within this category the dice have to possess congruent regular polygonal faces with the same number of faces the meet each vertex. Yada yada yada math stuff, the dice are as cool looking, as they are fickle.
2) WAR OF THE WORLDS
Yeah, so H.G. Wells, the guy who wrote War of the Worlds and The Time Machine, was a huge influence on Gary Gygax, and probably invented one of the earliest precursors to modern role-playing games in his 1913 book, Little Wars. The book essentially was a DM guide, containing a set of fairly simple rules for infantry, calvary, and naval artillery. Which doesn’t necessarily make it a DM guide, but Wells also include drawing and photographs, as well as a first person account of what is happening in game based upon one of the fictitious general’s point of view. Oddly enough Wells was a pacifist.
3) GARY GYGAX CREATED D&D…MOSTLY
Now Brian Blume helped with the funding but Gary Gygax set down most of the rules, kinda. The original core rules were actually developed by a hobby shop owner that Gary knew named Jeff Perren. Jeff was a member of the Lake Geneva Tactical Studies Association with Gary in the early 1970s and developed a core rule base for a medieval game called Siege of Bodenburg. Jeff then gave his established rules to Gary who expanded upon them with Dave Arneson and introduced magical concepts, and other refined mechanics into the game.
4) WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE THINK ABOUT THE CHILDREN
For those of you were children of the 80’s you probably were asked by your parents at one point if you were playing D&D, in the same way parents today ask their kids if they’re smoking crack or playing with guns. Historically D&D comes with a bit of controversy that originated in some knee-jerk reactions to some truly horrible events. The accidents and suicides that contributed to the moral outrage towards D&D and it’s suspected Satanism in the 1980’s might have scared gamers at the time but actually did more good than harm. The increased publicity over the controversy actual sold more units than in previous years (to the tune of 16 million) and D&D was eventually vindicated in the eyes of the public over time. Towards the end of these events the New York Times speculated that with the attention D&D drew it would become emblematic of a generation, as Monopoly was during the great depression.
Well there’s some history as to how the geek have inherited the earth. Now try to apply it to real life situations like Canadian Thanksgiving and traffic stops.
About Ryan: So I try to read about 50 comics a week, depending on my ability to pay the power bill. I try to read as much new and independent works as my tried and trusted favorites, and I’ve been doing this for years. Thus, I can roughly say that I am pretty decent at comicology, however I hold no formal degree. Luckily, degrees are no substitute for common sense and that’s how I got this gig.
I am become death, destroyer of worlds.