Sunday, February 9, 2014

Days 8 & 9: Of Dice And Worlds [D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop]

Why is it Sunday already? Somebody needs to be blamed for this ... Anyway, for now I'll keep the rhythm I am at. Two answers per post as long as my answers are short seems reasonable enough, I guess.

First Dice?
First Campaign Setting?

The dice were from the Midgard Basic Boxed Set, my first role playing game (I wrote a bit about it here). Do I still own them? ... Honestly? I don't know. There is a good chance, though. Using that word again should be an SEO nightmare by now, but I've been at many conventions and dice tend to migrate a lot with time and on different tables. I lost track of those things a decade ago.
To make up for my short comings (at least in this regard, ha), I'd go and tell you a "first dice" story my cousin once told me. It was about his first own set six sided dice. It's a bit crazy and, I believe, worth sharing.
Where I grew up, gumball machines were something you could find in every neighbourhood. For some change (Pfennige) you could either get gum or, if you were lucky, some toys that had been in the mix. Some of it you could make out by looking beyond the transparent walls of those machines.

Those things often were near playgrounds and ways to schools [source].
Some of the stuff you could get were plastic rings, rubber balls, rubber animals and ... six sided dice. So my cousin had started to play with us and didn't own dice at first. There were enough of those at the table, but, as every gamer worth his salt will do with time, he wanted to have his own set.

While I'm not quite sure where he got his first D20 (or even if he bought those other dice before the six sided dice), I know for sure those dice were the first of it's kind he owned. And yes, he had deliberately bought them from a gumball machine.

You have to realize, now, that the output of those machines was random. So he had seen the dice somewhere at the front behind those plastic windows, had felt the urge to get them and had to, literally, buy his way through hands full of chewing gum and plastic toys before he could get his loot. I really admired his determination.

As you can imagine, he loved those dice with all of his heart. And he was lucky with them. So very lucky.

Don't know if he still owns them, though. Have to ask him ...

And I have to say, what a trip down memory lane. Those gumball machines are history now. Haven't seen one (or thought about them) in ages.

My first campaign world was not a D&D world, but an official Midgard setting called Alba. It had been a mix of medieval Scottish culture on a fictive continent with some low fantasy elements in the mix. Here is a map to give you an impression:

Ain't she a beauty? [source]
You see all that free space on that map? It had been perfect. A solid frame and enough room to fill the blanks with the own creativity. Had been my longest lasting campaign, too. I should revisit it some time in the future.

For now I'd just say that the mix of real world fantasy for flavour and the basic fantasy tropes (with lots of room to navigate in between) had worked very well for the campaign and it reminded me that it's worth thinking about the importance of setting specifics like this in our games.

This is a Blog Hop - So get hopping!

Stelios V. Perdios is hosting.

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