What were your RPG Firsts?

soltakss

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The first RPG I played is RuneQuest 2, I bought a copy the weekend after I played, so it's the first I owned as well. I have been playing for 38 calendar years, started in 1982, which seems a long time when put that way.
 

Picaroon Jack

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1981 D&D. I got the boxed set for Christmas 1980 but it took a while to figure it out. I remember my dad taking a look and saying, "It's not like a board game, son, you use your imagination." And I was like, "Wait, what?"

110274.jpg
 

Nobby-W

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The first RPG I played is RuneQuest 2, I bought a copy the weekend after I played, so it's the first I owned as well. I have been playing for 38 calendar years, started in 1982, which seems a long time when put that way.
To give it its due, RQ2 has aged far, far better than most of its contemporaries. Even today, one could look at the system and still consider it to be a pretty good system even by modern standards - far more than just an old-school revival. Glorantha is still one of the best settings ever published for a role playing game.
Like many systems it has its share of obnoxious fanboys, but it's far from unique in that.
 

Malleustein

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Basic Dungeons & Dragons was the first role playing game I owned and played.

However, I received it as a Christmas gift alongside the HeroQuest board game, which I credit getting me into the hobby more. I hadn't asked for Dungeons & Dragons, didn't understand it yet and my first game went poorly.

I played Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness and Middle-earth Role Playing before going back to Dungeons & Dragons with a better idea what to do.
 

Necrozius

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Not counting Milton Bradley’s Hero Quest or Fighting Fantasy books, I think the first RPG I ever played was Dungeons and Dragons 1e reissue from the early 90s. The red dragon box, I think.

My buddy used it to run Ravenloft. So awesome.

First RPG bought and owned was WFRP 1e. So many good memories of that game... Doomstones 4ever.
 

Tulpa Girl

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Early 1990 - I would have been 16 - a friend asked me to come along with her because a boy she was interested in was starting up an D&D game (specifically AD&D 2e). She didn't know much about it, and was more interested in the boy than the game, so she asked me to come along as immoral support, since I was the weirdo who read Lord Of The Rings and the Witch World novels and various comic books.

She didn't stick with it. I did, and a couple of months later saved up enough of my allowance to pick up a copy of the PHB.
 

SavAce

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My path into RPGs was a pretty common one, I think, for people from my era.

Step 1: Elementary school. "Which Way" and "Choose Your Own Adventure" style books. I loved 'em and remember buying them from the Book Fair in the elementary school library, or at K-Mart or wherever.

Step 2: Comic Book Ads: I read comics, which of course were still in spinner racks and at the local grocery store and everywhere back then. Inside I'd see ads for D&D, Robotech, Star Frontiers and those "Play by Mail" games that really got me curious.

Step 3: More advanced game books. As in, Fighting Fantasy, Lone Wolf, Grey Star, etc. It's like, Choose Your Own Adventure, but with character stats!

Step 4: In 7th grade I saw a kid on the bus with the 1st Edition Dragonlance hardcover. We talked, and I was in.

First game I played? I think it was "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness"
First game I owned? It was the Marvel Super Heroes Basic set. This friend had the Advanced set, and somehow convinced me to buy the Basic set, because he'd heard the city maps linked up with each other.

So, my earliest games were TMNT, Marvel Super Heroes & AD&D 1e. I still have a genre preference for TMNT & Marvel style comic-booky modern action over fantasy, but... the hobby is super dominated by vaguely medieval fantasy sadly.
 

AsenRG

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I've said it before that I consider gamebooks to be my first exposure to RPGs (albeit limited by pre-planned choices, they also follow the method of "here's the situation, tell me what your character is doing" :thumbsup:). So, I guess, Uzurper! from Way of the Tiger was my earliest game :smile:?

I only got into RPGs after having read well over 200 gamebooks/Choose your own adventure books later. Most of them more than once, because I was usually able to study for high school in an hour or two, and used the rest to read, whether books or gamebooks :wink:.
Also, I met the first two GMs when discussing gamebooks with them (and, with one of them, CRPGs as well, namely Fallout :shade:).


A curious side-effect of that is that my earliest experience has been to approach the situation first, and not the dice. There were gamebooks without a dice system, some of them rather hard to "win", but no gamebook ever was without narration...not to mention that in some cases, no dice would be able to save you if you misread the situation :devil:!
But I intend to post more about this in another thread. So now, just let me show you some covers you've never, ever seen (most likely).



1581201226658.jpeg





1581201396625.jpeg

 

Skarg

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I invented my own graph paper games, including some with RPG aspects, and added some RPG to boardgames. My friends and I also made up some pretend games which bore some similarity to RPGs.

My first actual RPG (to play and to own) was The Fantasy Trip, starting with getting Melee, then Death Test and then In The Labyrinth. (Which I'm about to play today, too.) That was after having played some serious wargames.

Trying D&D White Box and BX after that, they seemed like jokes and became jokes amongst my friends.
 

3rik

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but it was "satanic", so I wasn't allowed to get that


She just played in our games without anyone telling him that was what we were doing.
A simple and elegant solution. Why didn't everybody just do this.

I guess in the end I won that argument though cause later I got married to that girlfriend and we both still play RPGs all the time (and are also still married :tongue:). Hell, she plays in more games than I do.
Did she end up telling her dad, though?
 

EmperorNorton

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Did she end up telling her dad, though?
Their relationship is absolute garbage, but it more has to do with her coming out as bisexual and him being a fundie christian than the D&D thing.

So while yes, he does know we play RPGs still, it is kind of a more minor situation.

EDIT: Just want to add that this was meant jovially even though its truth. Both my wife and I have long since moved past her dad being kind of a dick and put it behind us and at this point it is more of a joke than anything. I realize that without the tone of how I would say it, it comes off as way more "whoa shit got serious" than I meant it to :tongue:.
 
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ffilz

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To give it its due, RQ2 has aged far, far better than most of its contemporaries. Even today, one could look at the system and still consider it to be a pretty good system even by modern standards - far more than just an old-school revival. Glorantha is still one of the best settings ever published for a role playing game.
Like many systems it has its share of obnoxious fanboys, but it's far from unique in that.
Yep, that's why I still run RQ1...
 

BedrockBrendan

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I am still not 100% sure what I played the first time. I know the GM told us it was "Battletech". We were in the fourth grade and none of us had any knowledge of D&D or RPGs. All I know is my friends told me they found this awesome game and described something that sounded like a movie and video game combined. I showed up and there were a bunch of pencils and dice. The GM handed me a sheet of paper for a robot character. Again, no idea what the system was. I think the GM cobbled together a campaign using different rules. But I also believe it might have largely been using the MechWarrior RPG (this was about 1986 and that is when the book came out, so the timing is right). But we never saw any books. Everything was in the GM's three ring binder. We played that campaign for several months, then he started on a D&D campaign (all I remember of that is him using a D&D module and us having an encounter with a zombie that caused paralysis). Got hooked right away though. And was a lot more interested in what was going on in the game than the mechanics of it anyways.
 

Voros

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Started with The Red Box playing with my brothers. Soon we ended up with a heap of B/X, BECMI and AD&D 1e that we mixed and matched with abandon. I don't think I realized they were even different editions until I was in my late teens.

Dabbled in Top Secret S.I., Star Frontiers, MSH, Paranoia, Torg and CP2020. Read Vampire, GURPS and Rifts but they didn't gel enough for me to want to play them.

Took up 2e bigtime when it was released then I discovered CoC and Pendragon and had my young mind blown. After discovering those games a lot of other systems felt lacking in comparison.

I remember buying the Rules Cyclopedia and thinking I wanted to get back to a D&D that played somewhat close to the speed and simplicity of CoC but couldn't convince any of my group to play 'kiddy D&D.' Decided to sell most of my RPG books soon after (thankfully still have my original CoC 5th edition).
 

Nobby-W

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The first game I ever got was Traveller in 1982. Played it a little with my dad but he lost interest pretty quickly. Then I moved schools in 1985 and found folks I could play with more often. I also got hold of Striker about that point and ended up with a massively houseruled Traveller/Striker hybrid.

The next games I got and/or played here and there were MERP,, Traveller, Aftermath, Twilight:2000, Tunnels and Trolls, Flashing Blades, Rolemaster, Space Master, Call of Cthulhu and AD&D - plus some other odds and sods and a few that I got but never got around to playing. Somewhere about 1990 I did hacked about version of the Twilight:2000 system for sci-fi and subsequently moderns. I ran a few moderns games then got in with a regular group where we swapped between Runequest, Tunnels and Trolls and my homebrew sci-fi system. I also did another Traveller game about 1995 or 1996 with a different group but few people were interested in Traveller - at least few that I actually wanted to play with.

In the 1990s students were means tested for student allowance on their parents' income up until age 25, so it wasn't practical to go to university until the mid 1990s. I got very absorbed into the culture of the computer science department - there was a real cameraderie there and many of my contemporaries from that era still keep in touch with each other. This lead to a hiatus in role playing until after I moved to Auckland in 2000 - I played in a game around 2002 but that fell apart as the group was to small and we had that guy.

This led to a hiatus of about 10 years until I found a club not too far from home and played in a game there for a year or so. Then we moved to a different area and my now-ex went back to New Zealand. Around 2015 I got back into a game in Croydon then found another group in Tunbridge Wells a couple of years ago, which I have been role playing with since.
 
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Moonglum

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To give it its due, RQ2 has aged far, far better than most of its contemporaries. Even today, one could look at the system and still consider it to be a pretty good system even by modern standards - far more than just an old-school revival. Glorantha is still one of the best settings ever published for a role playing game.
Like many systems it has its share of obnoxious fanboys, but it's far from unique in that.
The RQ2 first-run materials have probably aged better than anything else from the early period of the hobby. You can open them up and start playing with zero desire to give it the kind of 'OSR spruce-up' that most people want to do with D+D.
 

Stevethulhu

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The RQ2 first-run materials have probably aged better than anything else from the early period of the hobby. You can open them up and start playing with zero desire to give it the kind of 'OSR spruce-up' that most people want to do with D+D.
I'd add the Mentzer Basic Set to that. I was skimming it a few weeks ago and I cant think of a better walk through of the basic concepts of roleplaying games than the first half of the Player's book.

Admittedly, you need the Expert book to build on the concepts, but as an introductory package, the ref box has held up amazingly well.

As for the rules, most people who tinker are experienced. A rookie role player wouldn't have the background knowledge to spot where early games differ from modern sensibilities. Just like old music is new the first time you hear it, an old RPG is new to someone who never played before.
 

Quill

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First RPG ever played: Traveller. Run for me at school in 1979 by a friend who knew his stuff.

First RPG ever owned: Basic D&D by Moldvay. Found in a local bookstore in 1980, picked it up (along with that month's issue of The Dragon) and never looked back. Soon got the Expert Set, then on to the wilds of AD&D, Gamma World, Top Secret, etc.
 

Vidgrip

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First played: OD&D in white box
First purchased: 1e AD&D

Friends and I actually played our first sessions without even having the game. One of the guys had heard about D&D and his talk got us so excited that we made mazes on graph paper, populated them with treasures and monsters, and talked each other through them. No books, no dice, nothing but the concept. It was still fun. Then that white box arrived and we were hooked forever.
 

Moracai

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First time playing was The Red Box. The first character I made, probably a thief, got dieded by the first monster he saw. A carrion crawler under big fallen doors. Probably the first game I bought was Miekka & Magia, a finnish roleplaying game. Then Runequest boxed set, Warhammer.

In those first years we played a lot of TMNT, Heroes Unlimited, Rifts, MERP, some Rolemaster, Cyberpunk 2020, even some Living Steel (a Phoenix Command variant), WEG Star Wars, and some other games I've probably forgotten.

Oh, I had copies of Rapier (a literal elfgame) and ANKH (Adventures of North, Kalevala Heroes) too, although I'm not particularly proud about that.
ANKH has the statistics of Santa Claus in the bestiary...
ANKH-roolipelin_kansi_ja_ohjevihkot.jpg
 
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ffilz

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As an aside, just wondering what the attraction of RQ1 would be over RQ2. I’m just curious...
A lot of it is RQ1 is what I started with, and in 1980 when RQ2 came out at $12 (to the $8 I had spent on RQ1) I didn't want to spend that much money on a game I already had. A lot of it simply has to do with that I didn't own RQ2 until 2005. In the meantime I did have photocopies of the monster section (major difference is all monsters in alphabetical order rather than grouped, and a few minor additions and changes - on the other hand, the grouping is handy because sometimes you need to know how a creature is classified) and some of the charts and tables. Also, the Judges Guild screen has the RQ2 critical tables so I use those.

One thing, I am no wheres near done, but in the vein of my Classic Traveller Section by Section Comparison, I have made some progress on the same for RQ1/RQ2 (I actually had the idea for the RQ one first, but got working on the Traveller one first after reading Tales to Astound), but here's the in progress RQ one: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1Pi8aJ_LNuXXl9b-OrwrtTi4BpGSexKxxIguJqThnW1U/edit?usp=sharing

But there are some specific things I don't like about RQ2:

1. I wasn't really aware of this one, but when I started my comparison I noticed how the weapons list has been been made more uniform and removed some of the flavor. Back in the day, I actually experienced a more extreme version with John T. Sapienza's unified weapons lists that tried to make all the weapons more equivalent. After that, I went back to the RQ1 weapons, and now I see the differences in RQ2 as on the path to Sapienza's but not as far.

2. More importantly, and this is one of the biggest - the changes in armor that allow stacking of armor on the torso. Frankly I just like RQ1's armor better.

3. I haven't evaluated it in depth, but I think the RQ2 previous experience system is more complex and may provide higher skills. I'm not sure, at some point I will make more progress on my comparison and actually compare the two previous experience systems and have more to say.

4. Since I decided I didn't like critical hits and impaling hits, and replaced that with impaling weapons have a 10% crit instead of 5%, I don't like the other special damage (crushing and slashing).

5. I think there are some changes in the magic items that I'm just used to the RQ1 rules (not even knowing that those had changed until 2005 or even later).

That being said, there are other bits I take from RQ2

1. Protection as a variable spell instead of the separate Padding and Protection spells

2. The addition of Spirit Block

3. The cost of Variable Spells

4. Some of the additional combat options in the Appendices.

5. RQ2 critical and fumble tables (partly because that's what's on the Judges Guild screen)

I've even borrowed a thing or two from RQ3.

I used to say I ran RQ1.5...

Note that by using Cults of Prax, I'm inherently making use of some RQ2 stuff (though note that sometimes Cults of Prax actually references skills from RQ1 that were eliminated... like Sense Ambush).

These days I think it's also cool to actually be running 1st editions of games, showing that the original game actually was a good playable game and that we don't need new editions to "fix" broken games.
 

Faylar

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AD@D 1e, then quickly to 2e.
We played that and Twilight 2000 interchangeably until Shadowrun 2nd/3rd edition which overtook our group for a few years.
 

dbm

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Fairly typical entry point for me, Choose Your Own Adventure books led to Fighting Fantasy, when there was just the first three books out. I was 11.

From there, chance made me aware of RPGs. It was the end of term at school, and since lessons were finished we were allowed to bring in books to read, and I took a FF book with me. A fellow pupil spotted the book and started chatting. His older brother was playing D&D and had gotten him into it. My mind was blown by the stories of their adventures, it sounded amazing. So, from there I sought out D&D, finding the Mentzer Red Box in a local model store (mostly focused on model railways...) and started playing from that with a small group of friends.

We learned just from that box set and the stories I had heard, I never actually got to play with my school friend’s group. One of my friends from that original game in ‘83 is still a regular at my gaming table.
 
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Ostilio

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At the age of 7, second year of school, this new alumn joins my classroom. We became best friends, spending so much time playing with disparate action figures and wooden cubes, making up stories and plots that needed mutual approval to happen: he didn't like romance with, well, ante litteram NPC, for example, while my concern regarded letting characters die.
Then his parents got divorced and "the magic" just vanished.
I delved into Lone Wolf and the like.
Years later I was invited at a d&d BECMI table he was running.
Fun and all, but I became impatient as a player, crawling the dungeon seemed so slow; he was kind of burning out at the Expert levels, so we switched: I started to run and he enjoyed my Magic User PC.
We already had the proverbial annoying Lawful Good PC among us, probably a Cleric, while Galtharr the Warrior married an NPC who died horribly by dragon breath soon thereafter.

Eventually we went into a game store. Stealthily. The shop was guarded by black bearded wargamers. My friend got Runequest and I Warhammer frp. Plus a pletora of photocopied 'zines.

We still manage to play together, nowadays.
 

Ostilio

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But I intend to post more about this in another thread. So now, just let me show you some covers you've never, ever seen (most likely).
Looking forward to it.
Those covers look amazingly over the top, btw!
Here are some italian rpgs from the eighties, published before the first translated edition of D&D hit the shelves. 43173545_2080479275349790_1933693713742036992_n.jpg
signori-del-caos.jpg
Signori-del-Caos-1.jpg
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AsenRG

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Looking forward to it.
Those covers look amazingly over the top, btw!
Err...I posted more about "the influence those game books had on my RPG playing". I might try to start a thread about Bulgarian game books, though, if there would be interest :smile:.

Here are some italian rpgs from the eighties, published before the first translated edition of D&D hit the shelves.
View attachment 15682

View attachment 15684
I just love those two covers. One of them is over the top (reminds me lower-powered Exalted, like with God-Blooded and maybe young DBs), the other just makes me go "Colombo meets Herlock Sholmes*" :wink:.

*Kudos to anyone that recognizes the reason for the "misspelling"!
 

AsenRG

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Yes, that's what I meant ;)
Then you should check Gronan's thread about "asking him about the old days" :smile:.
But bottom line: wargames you can play as "just a game". Game books...don't really work like that (Destiny Quest and the like excepted).
 

Silverlion

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I started with CYOA books (the literal first with the official "CYOA"title: The Third Planet from Altair), I was introduced to more RP style gaming by someone at school, which used a d6, and was obvious him trying to repeat adventures he'd overheard an elder sibling playing D&D, I then played in the Basic Turquoise D&D book a bit, with a friend before I got a copy of the red box set later.

My first superhero game was V&V thanks to ads in Dragon Magazine, though it wasn't the first I played (I had run V&V but not played.) MSH was the first I played in HIGH SCHOOL decade or so later though prior to that I'd played plenty of Star Frontiers (my first and still favorite SF game for aliens) and Gamma World. Why so much TSR stuff? Because that's what the bookstore and toy store carried. Though I did get AD&D before V&V (PHB from Toy Store, DMG for USD1.00 at a department store going out of business--if they had the MM I'd have grabbed that--if I'd had preknowledge I'd have instead loaded up on PHB's and DMG's from the department store.)

During that time I ran into AFF/Sorcery, Tunnels & Trolls, and other hybrid RPG/Tabletop--of course Lone Wolf was in there.

My first espionage game was Mercenaries, Spies and Private Eyes. I played some but mostly GMed. I was often an early adopter of RPG's thanks to Wargames West catalog (back when you know they mailed out the newsprint catalogs.)
 

Jenx

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Started with Moldvay Basic when it came out (81? I was ten anyway). Sold it to friends intending to buy another copy/dice and couldn't find it for sale anywhere so wrote my own version called 'Dragonsword' which had something daft like 50 classes including Cloudmen, Eaglemen, Lycanthropes of various types, normal elves, dark elves and sea elves plus all the usual and more weird/wacky ones when I had a eureka moment. Those 'Eureka' moments generally came when I should have been doing schoolwork. Oops.

Convinced friends to play it and they advanced quite a few levels. Games consisted of killing stuff, for the most part. Got Mentzer basic when that came out, MERP, Runequest, T&T, Star Wars 1e, Marvel Superheroes, DC Heroes, V&V, Superhero 2044, Traveller, Warhammer, Rolemaster, AD&D you name it basically anything that came out I or one of the group got it. I remember AD&D and staggering around with the books to school every day because I was the GM.

Even with all the games we bought I still chucked out a lot of homebrew games most of which were based on whatever cartoon show was on at the time. Thundercats etc. Can't remember what I called it but I wrote a game based on being Knights in armour and it involved hacking limbs off/fountains of blood which was quite fun and suited the bloodthirsty homicidal maniac in all of my 12-14 year old friends. Most of the stuff I wrote was total shite but I wish I'd kept it for interest/nostalgia purposes.Mind you nearly forty years is a long time to cart around dog eared bits of paper.
 

Luca

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First played and bought: Mentzer's Basic set, from BECMI.
In highschool, my classmate who owned it kept pestering me and another 3 friends to "come to my house and try this game, it's really incredible, something else". We refused him a bunch of times, thinking "yeah right, how good can a freaking game ever be".
Then one day we finally caved in, went to his house, and started reading in turn the first few pages of the player's book.

BOOM. Mind blown.

That book is, to this date, the best introduction to RPGs ever written.
 

Gabriel

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ANKH has the statistics of Santa Claus in the bestiary...
How much XP do I get for killing Santa Claus?

Reading through everyone's stories, I'm kind of impressed at how big a factor Choose Your Own Adventure books were with everyone else. They were pretty negligible for me, so it's definitely an alternate perspective.
 

dbm

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Reading through everyone's stories, I'm kind of impressed at how big a factor Choose Your Own Adventure books were with everyone else.
I think there are a couple of factors there. First, computers were much less common and less capable back then, so ‘adventure games’ of any stripe were quite rare; this made the books pretty distinct as a form of entertainment. Second, they were everywhere. You could easily find them in book shops and there were lots to choose from ( :tongue: ) too...

This article is pretty cool, looking at gamebooks as the pre-cursors to portable game systems like the PSP and Nintendo Gameboy.
 

Jenx

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Bringing up the Choose your own adventure books brings back some memories. I had a few but the first one I got was:



It didn't inspire me with role playing but I did write a choose your own adventure a few years later with a ripoff of Krulls Glaive as the weapon. My sister helped and the hero/heroine had separate parts to the story. I wish I knew where it was. It's either long gone (bin) or in the lock up somewhere. One of the few times I collaborated with my sister as she was a royal pain in the ass and we'd fight like cat and dog (she was older and bigger than me but eventually after years of bullying me we established a pecking order and she knew after that to keep away from me and my stuff. She once had a market in the street and sold all my toys to other kids. Bitch!)

I was more influence by:



This was the second Fighting Fantasy Book I bought and my favourite. My first was Forest of Doom (book 3) but I only ever solved it once and kept having to go back to the beginning of the forest to try again (if I survived that was).

However game books changed completely for me with the Lone Wolf books. Superb.



The first half dozen books were brilliant but I lost interest later on and stopped collecting them.

Of course everyone by then was jumping on the game book bandwagon and there were some hits and misses. One which I remember as being pretty good and very much like an RPG (by the guy who wrote man, Myth and Magic, a game I could never track down in the UK. The adverts looked superb but no idea what the game played like) was the Sagas of the Demonspawn starring you as Fire*Wolf.


1581446136061.png

I never figured out or bothered what the * stood for. Humorous writing though and a pretty good game/adventure if I recall.
 
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