Monday, November 23, 2009

You Know You're Old When ...

... other gamers unironically talk about the release of the D&D Rules Cyclopedia in 1991 as "back in the day."

34 comments:

  1. *wince*

    When did we become the grouchy auld fherts?

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  2. And that was conveniently when I got into d&d... at the age of 11.

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  3. Oh, I know it was almost 20 decades ago. That's kind of my point. I don't think of 1991 as being that long ago, even though it's long enough for a child to be born and graduate from high school. At some point, my sense of what constitutes "long ago" seems to have shifted so that 18 years ago doesn't seem legitimately long enough to qualify as "back in the day."

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  4. A few weeks ago, I popped into our local games store (Games Workshop)and rather foolishly asked if they had any dice sets. The assistant got me a box of d6 and started to tell me about how they could be used for Warhammer, yada yada yada. I asked "Where are the D20s?"

    "We haven't used D20s for years" he replied. And to make my day complete, the young boy (perhaps 10or so) involved in a painting workshop near the door asked

    "What's a D20?"

    It was at that point that my inner Grognard started to rumble into life, and I knew my task - to inculcate Junior Grognard into the ways of Old School had assumed an urgency it had not previously possessed.

    It's kind of meaningful that at least one small boy is going to grow up knowing what a D20 is.

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  5. Paradoxically, 1991 to me feels alternately "long ago" and "just yesterday", depending on what angle I look back on it. If I'm talking about my college days, it IS "back in the day". Conversely, if I'm talking about D&D, BITD was around 1980 - 82. It is odd how perspective on the past changes as you grow older. Of course, if I ask my 100 year old grandmother about her BITD, I get answers about the 1920s.

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  6. I was 14 when that sucker came out, so yeah, I could probably say it was "back in the day" for me.

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  7. Just remember, there are still older grognards around that we can make feel really old, James. ^_^

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  8. Now I am no mathamagician by any means, but Im pretty sure 1991 was nowhere near 20 decades ago unless Judas received the Rules cyclopedia for his birthday as a child (Prompting Roman Authorities to blame his suicide on it)

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  9. Obviously, my mind races ahead of my fingers. I was simultaneously thinking both "2 decades" and "20 years" at the same time.

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  10. @Daddy Grognard: I remember Best of Dragon Vol. I with its 'What to do when the dog eats your dice' section, and the fact that the polyhedrals were still newish when I started gaming.
    --Ironic that the d20 is considered Older School than d6-based mechanics. ;) :D

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  11. And here I remember when the Greyhawk supplement to OD&D was new...

    Excuse me, but I think I misplaced my wheelchair and hearing trumpet...

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  12. The very first RPG product I ever bought, at the tender age of 12. (Looking back, I must have been quite lucky to pick it up at that point, because that would have been 1994 - shortly before it disappeared from stores forever.)

    Still got it, still treasure it.

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  13. Nope. You know you are old when you generate a Traveller character and it turns out to be younger than you are when it musters out and is ready to play.

    [At least, that was when I realised that I'd gotten old.]

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  14. @Daddy G, d20s are the standard for most RPGs today so you're not off your mark--that kid is!

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  15. Nope. You know you are old when you generate a Traveller character and it turns out to be younger than you are when it musters out and is ready to play.

    Good one.

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  16. "Back in the day" is another term that has become totally over-used. It just doesn't mean what it did back in the day.

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  17. 91 was a LONNNG time ago I've lived in 4 residences, been married twice and had 3 kids since then.

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  18. What's perhaps just as interesting as how long ago it was that the RC was released is how long it took to **get there** from the time of the original game's birth. I'd never really thought of it before (probably because I was "on break" from the hobby during that period).

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  19. Jay

    The kid was referring to Warhammer, which is all that Games Workshop seem to sell now.

    Time was (back in the day) when GW was the first place you went to for RPG. Now it's the last place.

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  20. I will try to generate a Traveller charcater tomorow to do the Pavane test. I'm allready afraid of the result...

    (at least, I could call him Skind, as the word verification. Captain Skind maybe?)

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  21. "Im pretty sure 1991 was nowhere near 20 decades ago unless Judas received the Rules cyclopedia for his birthday as a child (Prompting Roman Authorities to blame his suicide on it)"

    Well, not Judas... but maybe Brigham Young. Kapow!

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  22. Ah Best of Dragon vol 1 - I managed to pick up a copy dirt cheap recently, what a wonderful investment for any OSR player.

    its a sad experience when your playing with some game you in some way grew up with and have someone go "wow look at that ancient (whatever)"

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  23. It's funny, I bough the book for $6 bucks at a discount book store chain only two years ago and now it's going for $100 bucks on ebay. Luckily I use the ORSIC books as I " hate" to touch something so valuable now ;-)

    I'm joking! I'm joking! ( somewhat )

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  24. My assumed definition of "back in the day" is "When I was a teenager" from the perspective of the speaker.

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  25. I get the same cringe when I see Dragon magazines in the 300+ range (or any Dungeon magazine at all) called "vintage."

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  26. Btw, I can never shake the feeling that d10's are "newfangled dice technology".

    Of course, me being a mathematician and them being non-Platonic solids help, too.

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  27. Delta

    I remember the very first polyhedrals, that resembled nothing so much as boiled sweets (and crumbled as quickly). You got D6, D4, D8, D12 and a D20, numbered 1 to 10 twice. Then came the D20 numbered 1-20, then D10, then percentile dice; until these came out, we'd roll two D20 and say "greens is tens" or something like that.

    Now there are D5, D7, D16, D34 (although I am now the proud owner of a D30). Where will it all end?

    Now who's sounding old?

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  28. @Daddy Grognard

    Don't forget the (in)famous Gamescience d100 by Lou Zochhi. Guaranteed to keep rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and rolling and...

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  29. The d100 makes a great golf ball, if you run out...

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  30. Or a rolling boulder in a Raiders-style temple trap, or a mini Death Star, or you could put Blu-tack eye stalks on it and call it a beholder, or....

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  31. "You got D6, D4, D8, D12 and a D20, numbered 1 to 10 twice. Then came the D20 numbered 1-20, then D10, then percentile dice; until these came out, we'd roll two D20 and say 'greens is tens' or something like that."

    Yeah, that's part of what I'm saying.

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  32. @ Delta

    I guess that I concur: if we could get by with just that starter set back in the day (and I'm 44, so I'm talking 1978 onwards), I kinda wonder why we need the new-fangled stuff. Especially the modern percentile dice that have one dice with 00,10,20,30 etc rather than just a single number, 0,1,2,3. Are dice dumbing down?

    However, as I mentioned earlier, I've got me a D30 now, but that's because I hang out at Carter's Cartopia a lot, and he is a big fan.

    Word verification - impiness. The state of just being demonic for the hell of it.

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