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46709 Posts in 5588 Topics by 13297 Members Latest Member: - Shane786 Most online today: 27 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Walking Eye interviews me  (Read 7135 times)
Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #30 on: March 23, 2010, 10:56:22 AM »

My first RPGing was in that mode of sessions of fictional advernturing mixed with set piece wargames. An archaeology obsessed neighbour had the first edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battle (1983, three books: Tabletop Battles, Magic, and Characters) and my first character was a Chaos Warrior on a Demon Steed. I can't remember my character's name, but his sword did have a Rune of Greater Wounding (or somesuch). But that was how they would do it: a session of role-playing and then somehow set up battles between forces (coming out of and/or ret-conned into the fiction, I guess, then arranged during the week and planned by point-value). These battles were then played out with the Tabletop Battles rules (sometimes with other figures used as proxies -- Orcs for Skeletons, say, if we didn't have the right figures).

It's an interesting note to me that Bryan Ansell was one of the writers of that Warhammer rules set. He had previously written Laserburn (in 1980, an SF wargame), which I last saw played (as an RPG) at a games club in 1990. Its rules were used for combat with everything else "just played out". Many things we recognise in Warhammer 40K grew out of Laserburn.

These early (for the UK) rules sets were wargames rules that were used by "role-players" or "role-players who were also fantasy wargamers". Mainstream wargamers (Napoleonic, Seven Years War, ACW, etc.) wanted very little to do with fantasy wargamers in my experience.
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Ron Edwards
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« Reply #31 on: March 30, 2010, 07:22:14 AM »

Hi Erik and Gregor,

Although I appreciate the play descriptions, I don't grasp what your examples are supposed to communicate.

My points about wargaming and role-playing apply to the design-and-publishing of the middle and late 1970s. One of those points is that today, we have little knowledge or documentation about how much play at that time accorded with the role-playing-in-a-wargame ideal. I'm not saying it was a lot, and I'm not saying it was none. I'm saying we don't know.

Are you suggesting that your play-experiences refute my point that we have little documentation about how much that was actually done? Or are you saying something else? Please clarify.

Best, Ron
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Gregor Hutton
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« Reply #32 on: March 30, 2010, 09:50:45 AM »

I think my point is an agreement that it is poorly documented and we have little knowledge of it. I did see it happening, though, in 1983 with a couple of guys a few years older than me (and they're not involved in gaming any more -- so they're a lost source of info).

By the time I immersed myself in the hobby (1984/85) they weren't doing it anymore. Times had moved on and I didn't see that earlier era again. I had Red Box D&D and my role-playing was entirely separate from my fantasy wargaming. The version of Warhammer that I played was the freshly released Second Edition boxed set, from which role-playing had been excised.

Looking back, I'd love to have asked the guys who got me into the hobby how they got into it.
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Erik Weissengruber
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Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


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« Reply #33 on: March 30, 2010, 11:58:17 AM »

Are you suggesting that your play-experiences refute my point that we have little documentation about how much that was actually done? Or are you saying something else? Please clarify.

Best, Ron

Sorry not to make the connections clearer.
* My experiences as a gamer (in Toronto, Ontario)  staring in the hobby around 1979 had many similarities to yours
* The Burning Wheel campaign actualized what had only been an occasionally visible possibility when I started
* It seems to me as if a few recent games are turning into codified play procedures what were once informal or orally transmitted procedures developed by certain play groups or particular "scenes."

So:
- I was supporting your assertion that there is little documentation of what actual play practices were like back in the day
- It seems as if some recent games have -- whether by direct transmission or through parallel processes of evolution -- made into clear, text-bound rules the ways in which we actually talked an acted around the table.  I can't recall exactly what we did or what we were trying to do after we ordered copies of Gamma World after seeing the ad in the back of Analog, or when we sat down with the camp counsellors running a strange game with miniatures in their bunkhouse.  But some recent play has made me feel as if I were achieving the kinds of fun I used to have (or wanted to have) way back when.

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Erik Weissengruber
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Designing "In this Sign, Conquer:


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« Reply #34 on: March 30, 2010, 12:05:30 PM »

I think my point is an agreement that it is poorly documented and we have little knowledge of it. I did see it happening, though, in 1983 with a couple of guys a few years older than me

Looking back, I'd love to have asked the guys who got me into the hobby how they got into it.

Yeah, the same goes for me, marginally involved in 1979, more fully into it circa 1980. 
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Joel P. Shempert
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« Reply #35 on: April 16, 2010, 07:37:58 PM »

Hey, I wanted to say the interview was quite enjoyable and thought-provoking for me.

There's a lot to digest in the three hours, and I have yet to unpack my thoughts on all of it. But I did blog about the bit on Gollum and dickweed characters, on Story by the Throat. It's an issue near and dear to me, or should I say, near and painful over the course of many ears. Thanks for the illumination, Ron!

Peace,
-Joel
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Story by the Throat! Relentlessly pursuing story in roleplaying, art and life.
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