Thursday, March 13, 2008

So long Gary...

I know it's been more than a week since Gary Gygax's passing, but I was on a Caribbean beach at the time, drinking Pina Colatas. I made up for it by crafting this Beholder out of felt at the MCA's family day this past Saturday (and yes I know I probably shouldn't have put tentacles on the bottom).

Anyway, I think I'd be remiss to not say something about such an important person (I mean NPR ran a story about it for crying out loud!).

I first played D&D way back in 1987. It was that red box edition that came with the dice set and a crayon for coloring in the numbers. I convinced my friend Art to play and fun time were had by all. My D&D interest pretty much died after I discovered 40K (Oddly enough, from an ad in the back of Dungeon Magazine).

I didn't play again until damn near 10 years later when I was invited to join my friend Chris's Forgotten Realms AD&D campaign. I played a monk who's true name has been lost to time. Since his chosen weapon was a Jo Staff (somehow different from bo staff?), he became known simply as "Joe".

I played consistently for about 9 months. I gained enough levels to be able to talk to animals (like druids). Unfortunately, animals never knew jack. Still, I felt a sense of accomplishment.

The party was a strange mix of chaotic/neutral/unlawful (sorry, I'm super rusty on my alignment types), so most games involved a lot of hack, slash and ask questions later. Chris was a great DM and threw a lot of puzzles at us to keep us on our toes.

The most memorable part of those games (besides the post-session craps games) was an NPC called "Larry the Drunk". Our party picked him up at some tavern brawl and he became our mascot/ pack animal. Unfortunately, he also became human bate. If we suspected a trap or an ambush, Larry went first and flushed out the perpetrator. Larry was our faithful companion for at least 8 sessions.

I can still remember how sad we all were when Larry met his end beneath the foot of a (frost?) giant. His body was crushed beyond any hope of resurrection. Chris beratted us for using Larry that way and made us all feel very ashamed of ourselves.

Aaahh, good times!

Anyway, I posted my felt finger puppet creation, so I'd also like to share my wife's and son's puppets.

On the left is Max's snowman with ice-axe (rules for which can be found in White Dwarf). Clare made a "fire hippie" with bonfire. There pictured here with the stage we made for them.

To tie them into my D&D theme, simply consider Max's a Ice Elemental and Clare's a fire elemental.


Foster said...

You are a genius, Gygax would be so proud of the 'Beholder-Roper,' finger puppet and his drinking buddies, Mr. and Mrs. Elemental. Yeah, I started playing in 1981 to 1998, and just got back into it a couple of years ago. I suppose once of dicer, always a dicer.

Scott said...

Genius?! Wow, Thanks. I was thinking it looked more like a roper rather than a beholder.

Which brings back another fond memory.

One of the first miniatures I can remeber really being into was this roper that my brother owned. He had a bunch of D&D minis, though I don't think he ever played. It was the 80s and all his friends seemed to be into it. I guess that's how I made my way into all this madness too.

Thanks for the comment!