Thursday, 14 April 2011

Old, But Not Forgotten

There are tables, then there are tables.  This particular table, albeit a rather light and tiny affair, holds a special place in my evil DM's heart as it was the first - yes, THE first gaming table from which I ran my opening role playing session.  And many more would follow.

The game: Dragon Warriors.
The place: front bedroom, Hanover Street, Canton in Cardiff.
The players: Steve (the lad from next door), and a guy called, 'Cat' - otherwise known as Neil (but if you knew him, Cat suited him far better).

So, there I sat on one side of my home made dungeon master's screen, and beyond sat my two, wide eyed and slightly excited, players.
Below, as you can see, is the table and dungeon master's screen in question.  For those of you sharp enough to notice, the calendar is dated 1996, but this was very much a later addition, as I began DM'ing roughly around 1986.  I never saw the point of changing it once we rolled into 1997 and beyond; it was just reference for timelines and days/weeks/months of elapsed game time.

Copyright © 2011 Mark Kelly.
Copyright © 2011 Mark Kelly.

Character creation was the usual fare of four D6 rolled, discarding the lowest, 1s were re-rolled.  My players chose the following class of character: Steve > Barbarian, Cat > Mystic.  After much careful thought and consideration, the new characters were named 'Grudge' (Steven), and 'Tarl Lamarche' (Cat).
Good start.
Copyright © 2011 Mark Kelly.
 Player side

Copyright © 2011 Mark Kelly.
EvilDM side
For those wondering, the tea towel was a noise
dampener, also reducing unnecessary dice bounce. )

Like a border guard on a cardboard version of the Berlin Wall, I scrutinised the two apprehensive players before me and eyed their character sheets, all pristine and free of rubber smudges and coffee stains - this would not last many sessions.  Now all I had to do was think of a sensible way of introducing an uneducated, psychotic barbarian and an educated, quick-witted, mystical jack-the-lad, without bloodshed and mayhem.  That meant a tavern was out for starters.

Now, let it be said, I never play favourites.  But seeing as I had known Steven since the day he was born, I knew he'd be more than slightly shy in the company of the older Cat, who was, if my memory serves me correctly, a year or two younger than myself at the time.  All three of us were bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, so-to-speak.
But I still felt for poor Steve.  Cat, on the other hand, had played D&D before, so he was a bit of an old hand at the rp thing, so it soon became quite evident that 'Tarl Lamarche' had acquired for himself a very willing (and enthusiastic) side-kick in 'Grudge'.

*For any of you who know Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser will know instantly how I pictured these two freshly rolled characters ... trouble - Grudge being Fafhrd, and Tarl, the Grey Mouser.*

Needless to say, their first encounter resulted in a brawl, some mystical powers, thievery and a lot of very fast running.  And so my rp dungeon master 'career' had begun, and what fun lay ahead.

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