View Full Version : For the Old Timers!

2007-04-27, 12:58 PM
If you're not 40 years old, or more, please don't post on this thread. I want to see what oldtimers are around in here, how long you've been playing RPG's, what your favourite game system is, and maybe share a highlight or two.

I've been playing now for over 24 years. My favourite system has to be Talislanta, especially 4.0 or earlier (I can't comment on 5.0 since I haven't tried it). It's such a unique setting and a simple system.

Over the years, I've come to really appreciate quality roleplaying. The character's equipment, spells, and abilities hardly even matter any more to me (it was not always the case). Now my characters have depth. They have religious views, and personality quirks. They are flawed in many ways, sometimes deeply. They have obvious weaknesses that enemies may exploit at will.

One of my favourite characters from about 10 years ago, was a bard that wrote poetry. Sometimes I would do it on the fly, and other times I would write poems between adventures. My RPG group loved this character so much that nobody has tried to play a bard since. He sort of "defined" the class. His name was Teloric the Wanderer.

Anyhow, that's enough about me...

Rob Knotts
2007-04-27, 01:04 PM
I've been gaming for 22 years, I remember Talislanta, I even remember Skyrealms of Jorune, but I'm under 40, so I guess I don't count:smalltongue:

2007-04-27, 05:20 PM
I guess I'm intruding, as I'm not yet 40 for another.... (does math)... 91 days.

Started playing in 1980 (I think, my memory sucks!), in the summer, when a friend of my mother's introduced me to a gang of gamers at the local game store. 'Games People Play', for any of the oldtimers in the Puget Sound, they were in Lynnwood.

Shortly into our gaming experience, there was an intra-party schism, and I had to act - and I killed my friend's character. He quit playing D&D, and I had to find another way to get to the store every week! Moral: Don't kill your ride, lest your adventuring career be hindered!

I started my own campaign within say, about 6 months from when I started. Maybe less than that, maybe even within weeks. A school friend of mine wanted to DM a game for me, but then prompted me to DM for him after a few sessions. Once I did, I was hooked, once he got to play, he never wanted to go back to DMing. A match made in heaven.

About 3 years later, after said friend went to Florida, I officially restarted the campaign when I linked up with a new friend. I specialize in DMing for a single player, I find the campaign is more steady if I need only count on one person making it every week. Other players came and went, that one friend was always there.

I eventually started using some of my earlier work, so that first 3 years worth of campaign development was not to waste, and I eventually realized my 1st campaign was not scrapped and restarted, but instead I merely started into a new area. The old campaign was ported into my new campaign, as the 'far coast', and I started fleshing out what was in between. That was 27? (fails 'math' saving throw) years ago, and the campaign continues today, now online.

I've played in many gamesystems, but D&D has always held my primary loyalty. Rolemaster was too overwritten - I tried it, but that one day that I wanted to hoist myself up onto a 5 foot high platform so as to flank an enemy from a high advantage point, only to fail because I hadn't put any ranks into 'climb', well, that pretty much ended it for me right there. Gurps was way too munchkin-y. Yes, I know that even a child with a penknife can kill you with a lucky blow, but even more dangerous was the player who took the most specific set of spells and skills that gave him the 'instant-win' over anyone who didn't plan out a counter several weeks in advance. I want the fight to remain somewhat mundane and measureable, not find some archaic loophole in the rules that allows for the total pawning of your opponent.

3rd edition, to me, is both the culmination of all the house rules we all had been using for many many years beforehand, put together in a logical manner and balanced against each other.... and at the same time, a grotesque accumulation of the worst traits of Rolemaster and Gurps put together! The ruleset of skills needs me feeling like I need ranks in 'blowing nose', lest I die of allergies (can 'blowing nose' be attempted untrained, and what is the DC?), and just look around the board and you'll see the threads on how to optimize your character in order to 'win' D&D. Frustrating!

Technically, I don't play 3rd edition. I used the character creation process, and stole some mechanics, but hey, most of those mechanics I was already using anyway. (Who was confused by Attacks of Opportunity? We had those back in 1980. And the experience charts, the new system of leveling and multiclassing, and just hordes of other details, those are all stuff we'd been using for years before. The experience point chart in particular I think was developed by me, then stolen by Wizards. I developed it in the 90's, showed it to local gamers and store owners, and Wizards is just down the street... yeah, I think it's possible it came from me.)

But for bulk of the online gaming, I really don't concern myself with crunchy rules so much, instead keeping to the roleplay and whatever feels the most cinematic at the time. I feel I need to make it more conforming to the rules, and so I'm finally sitting down and actually reading the 3rd edition rules so I can actually understand all the details to them. Expect my own re-write of the rules forthcoming in 3...2...1....

I usually only play low levels, and 3rd edition works fairly well in the low levels (Alexandrian Recalibration!). I also have a tendency to reuse characters without needing to keep the 'levels' I earned previously. I remake a character to the new system, starting from scratch, but I tend to keep the previous experiences and history, even if my current DM disregards them. One character I have, Jarath, started in Gurps, was ported to D&D1e, ported back to Gurps, I think took a shot at Rolemaster but I could be mistaken, reused for another D&D game, and now is in my 3rd edition game, having done a cameo in my online game, but my player's PC fell in love, so he's apparently here to stay. I think I better finally make up a character sheet for him, so back to the rulebooks I go! He'll be made to be 'experienced', which means he might have 3 or 4 levels to him, which is under the 5th level of the PC. Odd, really. The 'experienced veteran' being lower level than the PC, but that's only because we assume 'experience' means 'competant'. Jarath's been around, learned alot of hard lessons. He's not necessarily taken all those lessons to heart. :smallwink:

My current campaign (which is, of course, the same campaign as what I started with, 27 some years ago), is my hands-down masterpiece. And of course, I owe it to my current player, Ledriver, without whom, it would be nothing. We focus on roleplay, and we suppliment it by writing stories to go along with the game. Sometimes real life schedules intrude, but in our heyday we were playing a Saturday session, then she'd write a story, I'd write a story, and we'd collaborate to write a story together... all in time for next week's Saturday game. My computer is filled with files and files of short stories, and combined with the chatlogs we have enough to publish a long series of books. Whether or not anyone would read them... well, I should find that out sometime.

LeDriver doesn't want to DM, but she likes designing, and so in a couple of years I'll be running a new campaign set in Nerevaln, an area just north of where we are playing now, but totally designed by her. From the previews and sneak peeks I've seen, it looks impressive.


Having a Campaign still running strong after 27 years? 1,000,000 gp!

Having that same Campaign world reaching new heights of detail and a richness of atmosphere you never thought previously possible? 10,000,000 platinum!

Having your player doing the bulk of the design work for said Campaign? Priceless! :smallbiggrin:


So, disregard this post for now, but in 91 days, please add my name to the 'Happy Oldtimers Gamer List"