My middle school days were filled with Diablo, Warcraft II, and a Roman fantasy MUD called The Eternal City.. I hung out with the "odd crowd" most of the time, and one day in 7th grade gym class my friends suggested we play "D&D," an abbreviation I was heretofore unfamiliar with. I was handed a blank character sheet, told not to worry about stats. I made a half-ogre mage just off the top of my head (probably the Warcraft influence). Our "play" consisted of my friends going on about how large their palaces were, how much wealth and women they had, and the variety of depraved things they could do (middle school, amirite?). We never did any rolling, fighting, or storytelling, really.
A couple years later, as I got more into fantasy fiction with the Shannara series, I stumbled on an RP forum called the Red Dragon Inn (long since defunct). There I discovered freeform fantasy roleplaying, and was hooked on creating characters and stories. Unencumbered by any rules or books, we wrote high adventure stories with a bent towards Mary Janeism.
Shortly after that, a friend invited me to join an online Dragonball RP site. It was goofy as hell, and poorly managed by an overly dramatic teenager but, it led me to more writing and another gaming community. After that site fell, my friend and I spun off our own RP site (God in Heaven, it still exists! http://www.angelfire.com/dbz/goldenaura/ ) that was equally short-lived. Even when no one showed up, I kept writing more setting and stories for it.
Then in college, while looking for a name generator or something, I came across a little website called "Strolen's Citadel". It really wasn't until here that I got my first taste of rule-based, P&P roleplaying - even if the P&P was entirely ASCII. The rest is history, I suppose.
That early experience with freeform roleplay really shaped my writing and my thoughts towards gaming: more a storytelling medium than anything else.Go to Comment