My birthday's today and that's got me in a nostalgic mood. Related to the matter of this blog, it's got me thinking about how I developed the various hobbies and interests I have now. Some of the pivotal incidents have been forgotten in the years since, but here's a selection of what I do remember:
Gaming: In my very first post I discussed how I got into gaming in the early eighties. I don't remember exactly when I played that first game, but I do remember the character I used. In fact, I've still got the character sheet. It's worn enough to look like it might be a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls or the like, and its now in a plastic sleeve to preserve it for posterity. The homemade, blue-ink pin, imitation of an official AD&D character record gives his name as "Grimlin" and relates that he's a 13th level elven fighter. His equipment list is extensive and written in precise, cursive script that I don't think I could replicate today. Among the notable items: Medusa's head, a "magic hawk", a "mirror of souls", a "lazer [sic] gun", and a "ring of ion shield." My memory doesn't extend to what sort of adventures my cousin Tim, my first dungeonmaster, led us on to acquire those items, but the list itself tells me they must have been epic.
The first rpg I played, besides assorted editions of D&D, was the second edition of Gamma World. Again, my cousin was the gamemaster. Probably because I was a little older then, I remember not only my character (a mutated humanoid with four arms named Ace Beta) but my brother's (a mutated armadillo named Norg), too.
Chronicles of Prydain, The Book of Three. I'm sure the first Sword & Sorcery I read was Conan, but I can't remember whether I first borrowed Conan the Barbarian or Conan of Cimmeria (the Ace reprints of the Lancer paperbacks) from Tim. Fafhrd and Gray Mouser came close on Conan's heels. I'm certain I first read the Ace edition of Swords and Deviltry--again borrowed from my cousin. Clark Ashton Smith entered the picture when I discovered the the Ballantine Adult Fantasy edition of Zothique in a used bookstore in Albany, Georgia.
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