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Niles

Confessions of a 50 year old Dungeons and Dragons Player Part III

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"The world is changed. I feel in the water. I feel it in the earth. I smell it in the air. Much that once was, is lost." -Galadriel. So Krynn is where Lolth flung us, and it was an epic world indeed. It took us a long time to travel through Krynn with my character Shandorf playing the part of Flint Fireforge and Randy's character Evro taking the place of Tanis Half-Elven. We didn't make it all the way through Krynn however. During this time, Randy got married. You might be inclined to think that it was because he got married is why we didn't finish. Not at all. His wife Anne was a great host, bringing us platefuls of sandwiches and brew as we played. We made it all the way to DL6 before we stopped. Life just got busy and D&D once again faded in to the background of our lives.

But a strange thing was happening at about this time. The gaming world was beginning to go concave. Galadriel's future monologue above began to echo through time to this point of the story. What was this profound change? Computers. I remember going to Randy's apartment to see his new computer, a lovely monster of a machine. "Listen," Randy told me, as the dial-up modem emitted electronic beeps and the modem connected, making sounds only R2-D2 could decipher. "I love that sound." It was intriguing. He showed me a new game he was playing. Ultima Online, a top down view D&D type game. It included a cloth world map that Randy had tacked to the wall. It was incredible, but I missed the feel of a 20 sided die in my hand. Another invention began to come out at that time called the Playstation.

Now with life being a bit too busy to tabletop game, we both took separate paths, Randy embraced computers and I embraced the console. I always gravitated to the RPG's, Randy was bit more flexible, venturing in to sci-fi and flight simulators. But different gaming platforms would not be the only separate paths we would tread. Randy moved to Boise, Idaho. I got married in Seattle and stayed there until 2005. But during that time, I met another kindred spirit in the gaming realm. We went over to the house of my wife's best friend Robin to visit. Her husband TJ was not home but it didn't take me long to find his man cave. The first thing I saw was a model of the Starship Enterpise hanging from the ceiling. And amongst all the other various geek items, I saw them. A library of D&D books. I didn't know this guy, but I knew this guy. I knew we would get along just fine. And we did. Hit it off right off the bat, and it seemed we never had a lack of things to talk about. But our D&D adventures didn't begin for awhile.

We ended up moving to Spokane, Washington. It's hard to game at a table top when you're spread out between Spokane, Boise and the Seattle area. 15 years had passed since that last Dragonlance adventure. With no one to game with, I remember buying the 3.5 D&D Basic set, my wife was game to play. But over all, it wasn't her cup of tea. Then around 2008, we discovered virtual tabletops. We tried some free ones with corny names like RPG Tonight that operated right in your browser. And then one day TJ discovered it..."Hey, there is a virtual tabletop with interactive record sheets and 3D dice. The interface looks awesome..."
"What's it called?" I asked
"Fantasy Grounds."

Did you see and hear that? The bright light and angelic choir again...

Continued in Part IV

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Updated July 16th, 2015 at 02:27 by Niles

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  1. JohnD's Avatar
    Did you miss out on Neverwinter Nights? Too bad.

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