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Dungeoning Dragons: My Search for a System

February 20th 2015

Once Upon a Time, I was in the local mall with my Grandmother.

It was because of her that I had a deep and passionate love of games in all of their forms… So, when we came across a store called Wizards of the Coast which had chess boards, miniatures, boxed games and more in the window, I coaxed her to go inside.

She ended up purchasing me my first TTRPG book that day, The 3.0 edition Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook. And I was instantly hooked for life.

3e had a lot of flaws of course, but at the time I didn’t know that. I read that book vigorously, and when the idea came to my parent’s heads to head to the mall again (eventually) I was able to obtain the complete set. (I am actually fairly certain that a Holiday or two were involved… But I try not to let the truth get in the way of a good story).

I read them a lot, taking them to school with me (and, on one occasion, nearly getting them taken from me by the authorities there for a painting of a harpie in the Monster Manual). I talked about them all of the time, annoying my friends to no end, I am sure. Until one day I mentioned them to my therapist.

The next session I had with her, she handed me (free of charge) the complete first edition AD&D book set.

It had been her son’s, at one point, but he grew out of it as he grew older. I will remember that, should I ever grow out of this… Though (at the risk of embarrassing future me) I doubt I ever will, as it is such and has been such a large part of my life.

But I now had two editions. These two would serve me for quite some time, and I was not really willing to spend another $120 and many months saving up to obtain another system. I eventually would recieve an invite from my girlfriend to play in this Pathfinder campaign a friend of her’s was playing in that summer.

Pathfinder (IMHO) is basically a cleaner version of 3.5e, with some expansions and paradigm shifts, so I jumped right on that.

I met a close friend of mine there, and we played in and ran a bunch of campaigns for a while, trying out Shadowrun at one point. Things died down a bit after that, mostly due to DM fatigue (both on my part and on their’s).

But anyway, the reason I am writing this right now is that I am currently starting to design an adventure for my brother and I (and maybe another person or two) to play. I’ve been looking through various books, and have mostly settled on one of the following for the system: OSRIC, Pathfinder, Numenera, and Shadow of Yesterday.

And I am leaning heavily toward OSRIC or Pathfinder right now, because of my roots, I think.

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