Sunday, January 01, 2012

Reverb Gamers 2012

Atlas Games is starting a new RPG blogger group called Reverb Gamers 2012. You can follow the results at their website and also on Twitter @ReverbGamers. For each day in January they are posting a prompt for RPG, MMORPG, and LARP players to discuss. I will endeavor to write a response, however brief, to each one.

Prompt for the 1st:

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #1: What was your first roleplaying experience?
Who introduced you to it?
How did that introduction shape the gamer you've become?

How should I answer this one? Do they mean formal roleplaying experience like with rules and stuff? Everyone's first roleplaying experience is when we are little kids and we imagine that we're the 'police' chasing down our 'robber' friends or some similar game. Do I count the Milton Bradley published Hero Quest, which is really a boardgame now that I look back on the experience? You know what? that's it.

Hero Quest 1989

It was designed by Stephen Baker, according to HeroQuest was developed by GamesWorkshop, you know The Hobby Games guys. It was released in 1990 in North America by MB so I must have first played this game when I was 8 or 9 years old. It was the go to boardgame for me, my brother, and our best friend Chris. We would all imagine we were our characters and take them on each quest in sequence in the game. We'd take turns playing as the evil Zargon. Eventually we upgraded the game and got the two expansions as they game out. Kellar's Keep and Return of the Witch Lord. And when we finished those we started 'hacking' the game. We made up new heroes using the stats for the other characters mixed up. I think one of the characters we made was really weak in dice rolling but had access to Zargon's spell cards. We also made a ranger. And we upgraded some of the characters so we could play the game with fewer heroes and really roleplay one character at a time(in the three player games we usually played two heroes per player for balance reasons).

It is the earliest in my life that I considered game design as a career path. I think I was 10 or 11 at the time. I always dabbled with the idea in middle school and high school. Turn the clock forward 20 years and I'm finally starting a career in game design. Just last week I was looking through some old notebooks and found card designs for MtG from the mid-nineties that I wrote while I was in high school. So I guess the lesson is pay attention to the career dreams of your 10 year old self.

My copy of the game is pretty beaten up. It is not at all like the video I posted above. My heroes and a few goblins are painted but are chipping badly. The box is not holding together and some of the cardboard furniture is missing. This game was a gift from my parents so thanks Mom and Dad for making sure I was a lifelong hobby game enthusiast. It is something of a treasure that I will never think about parting with though.


Anonymous said...

This was one of my more favourite games too, to bring out when my friends were over.
They could grasp it with far less difficulty than D&D at the time, and yes, I too began hacking the game, adding lead figures and creating story lines to go with them

Eric Lytle said...

It's definitely a great introductory game for role-playing. With the evocative GW minis definitely lends itself to hacking. We eventually followed up play of this with Dragon Strike with that awesome video.