My choice in gaming is political. I have played Role Playing games since the late 80s. When I picked up my first Role Playing Game (RPG) I had no idea what I was doing. My first games were not run correctly at all. We really did not start playing in a more correct manner until a friend played some games with another group and came back to us to Game Master (GM) us in my parent’s basement. I played a lot of smaller press games at the time from more independent publishers before I ever played Dungeons & Dragons. We often would use the games we played to depict the ideas for stories and characters we had. The rule sets were there as a vehicle to tell the stories and share the ideas in our imaginations.
Palladium games were big for me in the early years of role playing. The Palladium system was based on house rules for Kevin Siembieda’s Dungeons & Dragons game. Even in the early 80s, the DIY element was present in the publishing of games. Just running a game was a DIY effort most of the time. Role Playing appealed to kids who wanted to create their own entertainment. As I grew to learn the history of role playing and Dungeons & Dragons, I began to see this wonderful past time where people were engaged in a community of gamers who were creating their own games and rules as they went along. Dave Arneson introduced Gary Gygax to his game which he called Blackmoor and Gary & Dave would go on to publish the first white box of the game. Over the years people getting into it would create their own worlds, rules and elements to play. Eventually other small press game companies would publish supplements and other versions of RPGs. The first few decades there were often conflicts over publishing material for existing games, even though it continued. (more…)