There was a time when I was a gamer. A proper, full-on, buckets of polyhedral dice, stacks of books gamer. I knew how 1st ed AD&D overbearing, grappling and pummelling rules worked and I had a 216:1 bell-curve mapped in my head. It was Owlbears and Rust Monsters all the way down. Then, for a while it was more than a hobby; it was my living. Travelling the world, meeting gamers, showing my face, yet I was still a gamer myself. Those days are in my past, but every so often, I get reminded of how much fun it was to gaze upon a random table of Artifacts and Relics or to wonder at what a Bohemian Earspoon looked like. Remembering an old Paladin or Thief, cleaning Citadel Acrylics off a sable brush, rolling for initiative.
Nostalgia is a powerful drug and I hope the mere mention of a Bohemian Earspoon triggered something in your brain like it did mine. If not, imagine Sahuagin, clambering over algae-covered rocks at Saltmarsh or a party of adventurers, quartermastering supplies and packing mules in preparation for a descent into the depths of the earth. If none of these images awaken memories of simpler times, you missed out on the early days of gaming; the roots of what the computer guys are doing today.
What are the memories that have stuck with you through the history of gaming? Nostalgia it up, give us some of those Proustian Madeleines of gamer gold, transport us back to days of trying to understand how hit points worked in Traveller. For my part, I’ll leave you with one that has stuck with me since the Basic Set: Bree Yark, bitches. Bree Yark.