Sunday, 24 August 2014

Blaugust Day 24 RPGs - my potted history

The history of my love of fantasy gaming goes back to around 1982. My sister bought me a copy of basic Dungeons and Dragons. I'm not entirely sure she knew what it was and neither did I but a friend and I pored through the rules of that game and tried to figure out how to play it. He managed to roll characters and even run a few fights, but without any kind of mentor, our 11 year old brains couldn't get our head around the concept of role playing.

It was then this kids brother came on the scene. A good five years older, he got the concept straight away and began DMing basic adventures for us. We then got a grasp and brought others into the fold. The group grew, spread out and soon enough, we moved to Advanced D&D. That was the heyday of RPGs. Huge Monster Manuals with reams of creatures and hundreds of prepublished adventures at our fingertips.

At around the same time, I discovered Warhammer Battle, a mass combat tabletop game, and found other people who enjoyed that. Not long after, the Warhammer RPG came out, a favourite if mine and among other games Dragon Warriors, Rolemaster, Middle Earth Roleplaying, Paranoia, Judge Dredd, these became our bread and butter. Summers were spent morning til night running through games. I fell into the role of DM for most games, and he 80's flew by. 

Toward the end of the decade, college began and I started playing games by post, Play by Mail or PBM games. Through that I met several friends, some of whom I'm still close with today and as I moved away from home and our gaming group disbanded, I turned to PBMs for my main source of entertainment. it wasn't long before I started to run my own games by email, incorporating some of the players from home, along with my new friends from other Postal games. Craig's PBeMs was born. Several years later, computers caught up and email took over from post as the form of communication for these games. Cheaper and more efficient, the pace stepped up and the amount of games I ran increased. At one point I was running 6 campaigns for various game systems. Craig's PBeMs became Knifesedge PBeMs and the name stuck as my handle for most internet dealings.

As work and families have grown, most games have come to an end. Currently, Knifesedge Games runs just one game, set in the 1920's Lovecraftian world and even that drags as players have less time to commit, but I still hold out hope. Computer games fill the gap that RPGs left behind and while I still not for those good old days, MMO's are a good second best.

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