Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My gaming background, part deux

The Vermillion  Star Wars campaign (Vermillion being the town in South Dakota where I went to college) stands out in my mind as some of the best gaming and life experiences I've ever had. So much so that it is what inspired me to start up this blog—just to explore an 'save' some of these experiences before they're lost under the deluge of everyday life. 

Though the gaming group swelled to over a dozen at certain points, there were certain gamers I consider the 'core'—all of whom I still consider good friends and many of whom I'm still in touch with (however sporadic). These include Steve, Todd, Steve (the other one), Rick, Martin, Scott, Doyce, Lee and Matt. I was the game master of this motley assortment, and it was pure joy to be so.

We were madmen. We gamed during the week when we could. We gamed every weekend—usually in the Brookman Hall Lounge—all night Friday, all night Saturday and into the day on Sunday. Looking back on it, I marvel at the energy I used to have back then. We began the campaign shortly after the events of Star Wars: A New Hope and went on through the rest of the trilogy, the Thrawn Era and beyond. Characters rose from novice rebel agents to powerful leaders and major galactic heroes. This was the 'real' gaming I'd always wanted, and I made the most of it. We played plenty of other games during my time in Vermillion, but Star Wars was really the core of it all (hence the name of the blog).

It was during this time that I also got my first taste of being a player. Doyce ran several short-lived but well-remembered campaigns (Dark Conspiracy, Mythus/Dangerous Journeys). It was great to actually sink my teeth into playing ONE character. Strangely enough, this all happened just as the phenomenon known as 'MUSHing' hit my campus and circle of friends. (NOTE: MUSHING is essentially text-based chat roleplaying). It began with a Battletech site that included not only text-based, player-versus-player simulated combat- but also a 'character' you played as part of the Battletech universe. Oh, there wasn't much in the way of roleplaying, but...it got me thinking.

With the crash of Battletech came the search for a new online addiction. It surfaced in the form of a Star Wars MUSH (aptly named "Star Wars MUSH"). That is where I really began to roleplay as a player. To say I was addicted was a vast understatement. Thankfully, a lot of my gaming friends were avid MUSHers as well. Despite the fact that we were all hopelessly hooked, we managed to maintain our 'real life' games (strange as that sounds), too. 

MUSHing soon consumed my life, but not for the bad, really. It was a different kind of gaming, but still gaming. I put my skills as a GM to use online, though the translation was a bit awkward at times (steep learning curve as to what did and didn't work). I even helped my friend Steve build and run several MUSHes of our own. My academic and personal life were in complete flux, culminating in my nomadic migration to Utah, where I stayed for only a year and a half before taking a complete 180 and moving to Florida. 

During this time, I met a lot of other MUSHers in real life, including the crew I lived with in Utah and my eventual (and current) best friend (omg bffl!), Sharon and her husband (who I now live near in Florida). Perhaps its no coincidence that all these people were also gamers. And so I got to stretch my legs with more gaming- including two different Dark Conspiracy campaigns (one in Utah, one in Florida) and a host of shorter lived campaigns using various settings. 

Its been more and more difficult to game, though—as real life keeps rearing its ugly head. Between work, video games and my own sloth, I haven't been able to run a real campaign for years. But still, whenever we can, my friends and I get together to play. And when we do, it is often a trip down memory lane, expanding upon the stories of their characters who have now 'existed' for...good lord, has it been that long? They grow up so quickly. 

In any case, I'm sure you're all bored to tears, but I kind of wanted to get this all down as a baseboard. So that my future ramblings might make a bit more sense, knowing where I cam from.

No comments:

Post a Comment