Role Playing Game (RPG) Week: 1 of 6

by Nathan Stout (of

Welcome to another fantastic theme week here at According To Whim. This week’s topic is RPGs or Role Playing Games. For those of you who don’t know Role Playing Games are essentially board games without the board and with a lot more detail. I really doubt any of you don’t know what a RPG is so that explanation should be enough. This week Chris and I are going to talk about different RPGs we have played and some of our most memorable moments.

I got my start with Role Playing Games in the early nineties (or VERY late 80’s, I’m not too sure). All during my child hood I had heard of RPGs but it was usually in a very negative connotation. During the 80’s RPGs were labeled as evil and dangerous in the general, ignorant public. Being a kid I knew better (of course). I do remember my first real encounter was my Dad’s roommate in later part of the eighties. He was really into RPGs and had all these Dungeon and Dragons boxed sets all displayed in his room (which I didn’t go in, but could look into). I thought it was weird that they were all set up in a display setup, like a store or something.

Dungeons and Dragons was the ‘big player’ in the RPG field and almost everything I knew about RPGs at a younger age involved D&D. In the 80’s TSR (the owners of D&D) released a toy line and I remember seeing these toys and was able to finally get some when they went on clearance. I had the Dragonne, Hook Horror, the Warduke figure, and the Fortress of Fangs. I was so amazed by the level of detail on the Fortress of Fangs.

One of the big draws (for me at least) early on was the use of cool dice in RPGs. In the mid 80’s the neighbor who lived next door moved out and the new people had a kid so we played alot at their house. In their driveway I found about six RPG dice. A huge 30 sided one and few smaller ones. I still have them and they are still awesome. When I opened my shop in 2003 I bought a ‘pound of dice’ bag off Ebay and bought some more expensive sets from some other company to sell as well. The ‘pound of dice’ bag (wich you can still get) are generally fine but there are usually some irregualar ones in lot.

So back to the late 80’s / early 90’s. My friend Eric in High school brought me this RPG book that he thought was cool. It was Robotech. This was my first real venture into the world of Role Playing Games. He got it from someone else and thought it was cool and that I should look at it. Not only did that event start my enjoyment of RPGs but it lead to an unhealthy fascination with Robotech.

Now for those of you who don’t know what the heck Robotech is, here is a brief history: Robotech is a cartoon from the early eighties. It was actually from Japan and was transported to the states with some rewriting and reediting of the animation footage. In the later part of the 80’s Pallidum (an RPG company) produced a Robotech RPG. It took the robots and equipment and gave them ‘stats’ so you could use them in a game. There were some basic rule that weren’t too hard to learn and poof! you could now be in the Robotech universe. One of the things that attracted me to the RPG was the cool drawings where gave the cartoon a real life look. From there I started reading the books, watching the show, and getting everything I could get my hands on that had Robotech on it.

Tomorrow Chris will start his series of blogs in this week of RPG posts and check out my next part on Wednesday when I will write some more about Robotech RPG and my entry into the world of D&D.

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