#RPGaDay2022 – Day 9: What 2?

For the ninth prompt of #RPGaDay2022 this question is posed: What was the second RPG that you bought? The key point here is that once you were ready to branch out from that first RPG, what choice did you make for your second?

For some, RPGs are a quest that grows more amazing the longer it endures

My answer to this question is a little complicated. It isn’t complicated for any serious reason, it is just that on my first opportunity to buy a new RPG I chose to buy three. Circumstance gives me an actual answer, but the context is important – at least to me.

In my first year of university, I reached the point where I knew that it was time to leave all of the D&Ds behind to pursue ofher RPGs that were closer to my interests. During that year I got to play and/or run numerous games including D6 Star Wars, Champions, Paranoia, and TMNT. As summer came and I found myself with not only a good job lined up for the vacation but also sufficient work to keep me comfortable during the school year, I realized that I would be able to buy myself some games – new, not used – and play them once classes resumed in the fall. This was huge for a guy who had to wait three years to get his first set of dice and three more to get his second, who had no new game books at all, and who had only seen two Dragon magazines in the wild,  along with the three core AD&D books in a mall bookstore.

I finally lived where there was not just one but actually three game stores, I had money to spend in them, and I had the freedom to buy stuff and not have to hide it. Wild!

So after that first payday I went to the game store and selected the three games I wanted from what they had on offer: Call of Cthulhu, Palladium Fantasy, and The Arcanum.

Games turned out to be more expensive than I had expected.

On that first trip, I only had enough cash for one of the games. The game I wanted was Call of Cthulhu, then in its 4th edition. I was a dollar short. Not wanting to be a day late, I bought Palladium Fantasy went back to my place for more cash, and made a second trip for CoC. Arcanum, I decided, could wait until next payday.

Life being what it is, the copy of The Arcanum was gone when payday rolled around again and I never saw another copy there or any of the other game stores I found after that. (I would eventually see one on Noble Knight, but by then the urge had passed).

So, my second game bought was intended to be Call of Cthulhu, but ended up being Palladium Fantasy. It doesn’t matter much – both gave me years of enjoyment and both taught me important lessons.

Palladium Fantasy showed me more deeply how system and intention matter in play, and it also taught me the utility of effective collaboration and discussion before, during, and after play.

Call of Cthulhu, as we have discussed before, put me on the road to becoming more comfortable with mysteries, clues, and the humanity of characters. In its play, I found my voice as a GM. It was in running it that I really began to be able to trust that the games were fun and that it mattered that I was running them.

I bought CoC for me, based on my interests – both in system and in setting. This was an opportunity to really branch out and to try a lot of new things all at once. I bought Palladium Fantasy, despite having had enough of that genre, because my group was still into it, we had had experience with the system via TMNT, and the setting looked both detailed and easily put into play. Over the course of that summer, I managed to get many of the setting books for it and got a lot of use out of them in the years which followed. In many ways, they were my Greyhawk, but that is a tale for another day.

Tomorrow: When did you or when will you start GMing?

3 Responses to “#RPGaDay2022 – Day 9: What 2?”
  1. OD&D was my first. Second was Chivalry & Sorcery, though I never played it beyond wasting some players’ time creating characters.

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