Friday, May 21, 2004

Personal Space

The weather really wouldn't have been so bad if it weren't for the fact that rain is an invitation for insects to migrate into my room. And with the kind of windows I have, a lot of insects do get into my room.

I mean it's bad enough that my bathroom has its own complex food web. There's ants feeding on the toothpaste, the spiders feeding on the ants, the occassional fly swarming somewhere there, the cockroaches that only come out at night, and the millions of bacteria in the toilet. But at least what's in the bathroom stays in the bathroom.

And well, there really are lots of things outside of our house. There are the crickets and birds aside from the stray dogs and cats. And of course, lots of insects. And like many things, the big ones aren't the ones you should be afraid of.

30 Years of D&D

Dungeons and Dragons is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year so allow me to remenisce how I first came into contact with the game.

The year was 1995 and I was in grade seven back then. Me being a fan of video games, I saw an ad at GamePro magazine for the basic set of D&D. I didn't really know what D&D was, except for the fact that it was an RPG (and RPG video games were the boom at the time) and that there was controversy over the fact that Magic: The Gathering was killing D&D at the time. But I was curious, so I had an auntie from the US buy it for me as a birthday gift.

When it finally arrived, I had these stat cards for various character up until level 3 (back then, I already knew that a 1st-level wizard was quite helpless), along with the requisite set of die (d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20), various miniatures, a dungeon map (which I would loan to a friend of mine some three years later, but he'd eventually lose it), an an audio CD with provided background music and sound effects (back then, fighters, characters apparently didn't have names... they were called "Fighter", "Cleric", "Thief", and "Wizard").

Of course me being the owner of that boxed set, I obviously couldn't have another person run the game. And I didn't know of anyone who ran D&D at school (of course just because I didn't know didn't necessarily mean they didn't exist... apparently, a cabal of players who all belonged to the same class/section was playing D&D... unfortunately, I didn't belong to that section, and never knew about it until the entire batch was "shuffled" into new sections in high school), so it seemed that if anyone was going to play this game, I would have to be the Game Master, and it would also be my responsibility to acquire players.

I did manage to drag a few of my classmates to my house for a game and suffice to say, I ran a terrible game (despite divine intervention of providing a power failure, which was frequent at the time, hence my eagerness to invest in RPGs since they didn't need electricity to run, I wasn't really good at setting the mood, or explaining the rules to newbies). After that, I hid the box which contained the basic set and never set eyes on it again (I instead devoted my energies to Magic: The Gathering, a hobby which would drain me P10,000 a year).

Of course in high school, me being an outcast, I had LOTS of time to linger around campus. I found a group of upper batchmen (and lower batchmen as well, but no one from my batch) playing D&D along with Magic: The Gathering and L5R. It was my real introduction to Dungeons and Dragons, and the first character I made was a 1st-level Fighter, which bit the dust as he and the entire party entered The Temple of Elemental Evil.

But apparently that was a good thing since I rolled some dice and got to play a higher-level Fighter (and rolled some more dice and got better equipment). And then died again. It was one of the rare times when dying meant you had a chance of playing a higher-level character.


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