Sunday, January 12, 2014

Monday Happy Nostalgia Arts and Crafts Gaming Funtime Post

If you remember what was, then there's a good chance your childhood was awesome.

MB Games teaming up with Games Workshop to create a miniature-based dungeon-crawler board game? This was my first real exposure to the Warhammer universe in the early-double-figures of my life.

Of course, I say "your childhood was awesome"I in fact never owned the game, so was required to have an awesome childhood vicariously through my friends, most of whom tired of the whole Hero Quest concept pretty quickly and then refused to pull it down off the shelf whenever I came to visit. Like Doom, Super Mario, Sim City and a host of other classics, this game was very much an object of desire that I never quite managed to satisfy.

My own childhood was still entirely awesome, however - rather than possessing this game, when I was about 14 I decided to make one of my own.

Suck It, Hero Quest.

This variant followed pretty much exactly the same rule system as Hero Quest - because who can be bothered making up a whole new game system? - but with a few unique variations. It was based (in the true style of , from whom I have gained inspiration and courage) on a world I had made up, and had written some comic books about starting in 1991 and finishing in '93 or so: Farrendohr, which (if you'll excuse me one more self-promotion in this shamelessly boastful and self-promoting post among shamelessly boastful and self-promoting posts) I later worked into the continuity.

I don't think my parents failed to buy me the game to save money, out of cheapness or anything like that (I'm pretty sure they spent more on and modelling paints than they would have on the game itself). Nor, really, to teach me a lesson about not automatically getting everything I want. I don't even know if they did it intentionally, to encourage me to pursue the more creative, more long-term valuable alternative.

But man, that game was awesome. And my old mum just brought over all the pieces, which they had found in a drawer back home in Australia, and reunited me with them.

Your Basic Obstacles: Rocks (impassable); Thorn Bushes (passable But Each Round Costs You A Hit Point); Bones (I Don't Know, Just Fucking Awesome).

Ancient Ruins, Including A Statue I Like To Call "I See What You Did There".

I Even Made The Movement And Battle Dice Myself. I Don't Know How Perfectly-weighted They Were, But At The Same Time I Don't Really Care.

As it happens, I was still re-drafting the variations-rulebook and other details right up until the point at which I lost interest and packed the whole thing away, but we did get at least a couple of games played with this baby, with me as Dungeonmaster and a good friend as hapless Adventurer. I seem to recall that, due to a massive underestimation in the possible max. damage a character could do by the end of the game, he managed to kill the Dark God in a single stroke. But it was still fantastic. And sort of realistic, because if the Dark God had gotten a hit in, it would have been all over. You can't do an extended battle with a Dark God - it's one-shot or nothing.

Also, this particular Dark God is monumentally stupid, so there's a good chance He whacked Himself with His own sword.

My Mostly-unpainted Adventurers (left To Right): Dwarf, Wizard, Mutant, Elf. Oh Yeah, My Story Had Mutants In It Because Mutants Are Fantastic. You May Also Note That Elves, In My Universe, Are Reptilian, While Dwarves Are Beardless And Possessed Of Hooked, Prominent Noses. This Is Because I, Unlike Every Other Creator Of High Fantasy In The World, Am Not Kidding Myself About What Dwarves Are Meant To Represent.

What? I Meant Magpies, Of Course. They Hoard Bright Shiny Things, They're Oh Never Mind.

(Baby) Dragon.

And I Don't Know What This Was, But It Would Fuck You Right Up.

Amphibians. These Guys I Remember Distinctly, Because Whenever You Killed One, All The Rest Got More Hit Points, More Attack Dice And Basically Got More And More Badass Until The Last Man Standing Was An Unstoppable Berserker. I Got The Inspiration From Lloyd Alexander Or Ursula LeGuin, I Think. Can't Remember - All I Remember Is That They Were Really Badly Underutilised In The Story I Read About Them In.

Warlocks. Basically Demigods. I Put Both Of Them Together Here For This Photo But Quite Frankly One Of Them Is Going To Be More Than Your Team Can Handle. I Don't Think I Ever Played Them.

Not Sure Who This Guy Is Either Anymore, Just Your Generic Black Knight With Massive Axe And Cloven HoovesSome Sort Of High-ranking Minion.

And There He Is, The Big Cheese: Orgok, Dark God Extraordinaire. Make Sure You Kill Him In One Hit.

"You! Shall Not! Pa-oh Sh-"

Anyway, it was a great game and I had a fantastic time making it. I wouldn't trade it for the real thing. Is that old-fashioned? I like to think there are still people who make things for themselves to enjoy, rather than buying the disposable option. Maybe doing so isn't old-fashioned in and of itself, but I suppose having that sort of attitude towards it is.

But "make your own" isn't a thing that's limited to a given generation, is it, and that is now extinct?

I hope not.
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