View Full Version : Rediscovery (Geezer History)

01-04-2008, 10:40 PM
How to start. Hope you have a minute :)

I started gaming long long ago with family games like Battleship, Risk, Chess, Rack-O, and Pinochle. Then Dad brought home Avalon Hill's Outdoor Survival which was pretty cool. I got further into war games and got Richthofen's War which is one of my favorite wargames. Wooden Ships & Iron Men is another of my favorites. Other war games I got in to were Luftwaffe, Blitzkreig, and Kreigspiel.

About that time I joined the military. I went to the local military recreation center and played a few games of cards and even went to a war gaming convention where I did pretty well with Richthofen's War.

As it happens, one evening after finishing a game of double pack pinochle, I wandered over to another table where a group of folks were gathered around a map. Specifically I remember little periods in front of line drawings of city streets. At one end of the table was a thin yellow cardboard screen. Two the right of the screen, the guy had a large briefcase opened and on end. When I started to see what he had, he chased me away :) I didn't know it then but I suspect it was the original City State adventure.

After several games, I went out and bought the new D&D boxed set. Blue book, Dungeon Geomorphs, and the Monster and Treasure tables. I created some dungeons using the geomorphs and populated them with the monsters and treasures from the tables.

About that time I was transferred to Erlangen Germany. That was where I got fully into gaming. I played wargames with the gaming group and copied a bunch of articles from The Dragon magazines that were stashed in the group room.

I got a gaming group together and we played quite a lot of AD&D. I'd picked up the DMG (with the misprint so I had to send it back to get a replacement), Player's Handbook and Monster Manual. I also picked up lots of other interesting gaming books.

Once back in "The World", I got gaming again. AD&D. Car Wars. Cosmic Encounters. Talisman. Nuclear War. Tunnels and Trolls. I picked up modules and rules from other games. We organized into a club and with the help of the Rec Center staff, we hosted a couple of conventions.

When I got out of the military, I hooked up with a gaming group after we moved. I wrote the group newsletter and organized a get together with another AADA chapter.

The next time we moved, the gaming community was much lighter. I was able to get some games together but it didn't happen often. I got deeper into computer gaming. My friends at work and I got into LAN parties. First at work then at home. My last gaming group consisted of my older daughter's Rifts group. After burning and pillaging my gaming city and minor destruction in my home, I basically hung up my gear.

One good thing about gaming happened several years earlier after returning from Germany. I used computers to manage my games. I learned to program to create character generation and monitoring programs. I got a programming job after I got out of the military and then moved to LAN installation and administration. Novell, 3Com, Microsoft, Dos and OS/2. It's a big reason I moved into LAN parties. I already had a home network. I got into usenet and enjoyed using Mosaic to retrieve information from the new World Wide Web.

I downloaded Slackware Linux to floppy disks and mucked about with it. I changed jobs again from a Windows admin and became a Solaris Unix admin. Irix, AIX, HP-UX, Tru64, OpenBSD, FreeBSD, Red Hat, Slackware, Mandrake, but mainly Solaris.

I'd tried bringing folks into gaming but everyone seemed to be a the level of parlor games and card games. Uno for example. I couldn't even get a good game of Cosmic Encounters going.

I'd considered selling my gaming gear to Titan Games. I packed it all up, got a listing of what I had and submitted it but they kicked back a far too low value and I'd have to pay to ship the 8 or 10 book sized boxes to them. So I just held on to them.

In Dec 2006, after much pestering from my wife, I unpacked my gaming gear with an eye to selling it all to reduce the number of boxes kicking around the house. I got them all out, organized them, and got rid of some miscellaneous papers, and then got to rpg.net. I created an inventory of my games and noted which ones I want to sell and started poking around in the sites that were associated with the games I like. Dumpshock for Shadowrun, Paranoia-Live for Paranoia, SJGames for Car Wars, etc...

In part because I was working from home and didn't have anything in the way of social interaction, I signed up for a new local Meetup group owned by Jon. I went to a game at his place where they'd just finished up a Shadowrun game. Since they were going to start a DnD campaign, I didn't go to any further meetings. Back in August, a Wednesday Shadowrun game started and I started attending that game.

In September I ran a Shadowrun 4th Edition game at a local FLGS, my first time running a game in 14 years. I was totally nervous and afraid. I'd run a Shadowrun 1st and 2nd edition game or three back when it first came out and didn't do very well. But the SR4 game actually went very well. The players were quite patient and helpful. Quite unlike my experience when I stopped playing.

Last month I ran a one shot Paranoia game that the players are still talking about :) Sunday I'm running the 5th or 6th Shadowrun session and we'll be heading off into uncharted territority. And I've submitted a request to run a Car Wars tournament at the upcoming Genghis Con in February.

And for something completely different, I also ride motorcycles. I've put 125,000 miles on my bikes since I got back on them in 2001. I've been to every one of the lower 48 states and most of the Canadian provinces. This year I'd like to get the last two Canadian provinces and Alaska. My wife and I are planning a trip to Europe to do some motorcycle touring.

Well. That was a lot. I see you guys snag the information from Meetup to populate the calendar. I can see our games there including the one I'm running Sunday.

I'll poke around here a bit and see how it's going. I'll see you in the forums.


Edit: Made some editorial changes. Nothing big :)

01-04-2008, 10:53 PM
Well, there's a lot of game around to find.
What kind of bikes do you have? I always loved my bikes.
welcome aboard.

01-04-2008, 11:04 PM
My Sport-Touring steed. IronButt certified 20545. Hayabusa.

My track bike. SV650S.

Dual-sport bike at Berthoud Pass. TransAlp.

I like to ride. Lowest ride temp was this past Wednesday at 3.4F.

States visited.

What are you riding?


01-04-2008, 11:20 PM
That has to be the most thorough introduction I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I tip my hat to you sir for truly introducing yourself. I sincerely welcome you to this community and wish you the very best of luck in finding gamers to populate your games. I'm very happy to hear that you were able to recover your long lost hobby from the jaws of commerce. For finding players the Player Registry (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/memberlist.php) is an invaluable tool and for recruiting players as a DM the Campaign Invitations (http://www.penandpapergames.com/forums/forumdisplay.php?f=17) forum is perfect. I wish you the best of luck in finding gaming bliss in the near future.

01-04-2008, 11:31 PM
Thanks. I'm here because of an e-mail through Meetup by Robert Howard here. He requested permission to post a link to this site in our meetup group message area so I was checking out the site.


01-05-2008, 08:00 AM
Cosmic Encounters, Paranoia, even Tunnels and Trolls ! That brought a lot of memory to my mind ! Thank you for sharing your life story of gamer. I could picture the frowning of your wife about boxes full of games :D

I loved Cosmic Encounter, a very simple yet exciting and tactically interesting game. It sold pretty well in France as far as I know. I even remember creating our own alien races with my friends. Paranoia ! Well Paranoia is in a league of its own. It's the first RPG I read whose comic elements mixed smartly with drama. Every role player should play at least once a Paranoia game. It's a mind opening experience.

Welcome Carl, I hope you like it here.

01-05-2008, 10:33 AM
:) Thanks. Cosmic Encounters is one of the best games we played as a group.

House Rules:

1. 3 Alien Powers.
2. If majority decides to throw in their powers, reshuffle and distribute.
3. On the third reshuffle, everyone has to want to throw in the powers in order to reshuffle.
4. There is no fourth house rule.


I gave my youngest brother a copy of Tunnels and Trolls and half of the modules I had. He liked it for a bit then moved on.

And my wife still frowns a little. I haven't sold the extra gear that I don't expect to use again and have even bought new stuff. Filled out my Shadowrun collection. Working on my Paranoia books (just got Stuff 2) and picking up other books like Call of Cthulhu sourcebooks and All Flesh Must Be Eaten.

Oh well, at least I don't drink or beat my wife :D


01-05-2008, 10:36 AM
Personally, while I like to ride my Harley Sportster around town, I've never been one to ride long distance. I do like riding it regularly back and forth to work though.

As far as coldest weather for me, if it gets down to the low 40s, I'm back to driving the car! Guess I'm just a pussy when it comes to riding the bike!:D

01-05-2008, 10:49 AM
Nah. As far as I'm concerned, as long as you're riding, you're good with me. No one rides for the same reasons as others. I ride in the cold, rain, snow, etc, for the experience and to know how the bikes handle in such conditions.

Since I tour, I might find myself in situations that, if I hadn't already experienced it, would have me stuck in a motel for a couple of days instead of riding it out. So I'll ride in conditions that others might find a little crazy :)




But then I get to see things like:


and my poor bikes look like:


Way too much fun :D


01-05-2008, 10:56 AM
I just bought a used '06 VTX1300s. I don't tour, or anything. I still like to ride when I can. I have had all sorts of bikes over the years.

I haven't rode in the cold for years. Back in college, I had two bikes. When my car broke down, I rode my old Honda Hawk all winter. There was snow everywhere and temps far below zero here in WI. A couple mile trip could feel like hell with wind chills.

01-05-2008, 11:04 AM
I have an Aerostich suit (the high-viz and red suit). With a set of Gerbing's gear (heated jacket liner and gloves), I plug into the bike and stay toasty warm. When it gets really cold, I put a rain liner over the 'stich and all the heat stays next to me and I'm fricking hot :)

Before I got heated gear, I rode a Harley down to Florida from Virginia. 17 degrees, I was frozen. I put a little water bottle on the dash and by the first rest area it was slush.

With the kids grown and gone I have time and being an IT geek I have the funds to go out on rides for two or three weeks. So I might be a little less gaming active in the summer months :D

The VTX is a nice looking bike. Have you modded it yet? Pipes, saddlebags, etc? Just wondering.

Ride safe.


01-05-2008, 03:24 PM
Oh well, at least I don't drink or beat my wife :DLOL that is putting a positive spin on it. I'll have to use that one next time my wife starts nagging me to clean up the growing stack of boxes that is my unsorted eBay RPG collection.

I'd like to add that I'm too much of a pussy to get on a bike at all. I get into a car and the first thing that I do is put on my seatbelt. I feel overwhelmingly unsafe if I'm not wearing it when the car starts to move. Then again I've been in a series of car accidents over the last 15 years which have left my back pretty messed up. I sure would like to be on the open road on a motorcycle though and see an impressive vista like the one you posted a few posts back. I absolutely love scenery and enjoy very long car trips so I can enjoy the changing landscape as I pass over hundreds and sometimes thousands of miles :cool:

01-05-2008, 07:24 PM
Have you modded it yet? Pipes, saddlebags, etc? Just wondering.

Not yet, a very new acquisition. You get the best prices in winter :). It does have bags. My first order of business is more chrome! I have some contacts at a local plating facility.

01-05-2008, 10:34 PM
richtofen's war! kriegspiel! blitzkrieg! the aada! aaaah, man you are taking me back!

and welcome to the community!

01-05-2008, 11:01 PM
I'm surprised you didn't mention BattleTech with such an impressive Wargaming history Freejack. Did you ever have the pleasure of playing it?

01-05-2008, 11:33 PM
Thanks. I really liked the old games :)

As to Battletech, I never got into that. I was a Fantasy gamer mainly. I did do some board games like Car Wars, CE, and Talisman but pretty much bailed from Wargaming.

Since I'm a computer geek and was really into cyberpunk, I got in to Shadowrun. The inclusion of fantasy races wasn't a big deal to me. I never even knew about Cyberpunk the game until years later (same with Deus Ex and the others) and didn't know about Earthdawn until I saw references to it this past year or Battletech until it was mentioned here.

My brother is very into the Mechwarrior franchise and tried to get me into it as well but I never liked it all that much. I'm a first person shooter as far as computer games go. I like Command and Conquer and Starcraft but didn't get into Warcraft or the on line community (other than a few back in the days of Red Alert).


01-06-2008, 03:33 AM
MechWarrior was the video game line for BattleTech. Mechs are piloted by MechWarriors. Tis a shame more people don't know about BattleTech. Wargaming at its greatest.

01-06-2008, 03:04 PM
I liked the video game, and other similarly themed games like Metal Marines.

01-06-2008, 10:03 PM
The Mech Assault games were the best in my opinion. The perfect mix between action, story, and proper representation of the various weapons. I found the MechWarrior games to be overly technical.