Friday, August 5, 2011

Solo Flight: the Warlock of Firetop Mountain

I was frustrated Filipino gamer who had all the 1st Edition AD&D rulebooks and the D&D B/X rulebooks and a smattering of modules who was trying to get a handle on the whole RPG thing without a steady gaming group. I still bought and read game materials whenever I could but wasn't really playing.

Then I found this book (the picture shows the exact cover that I saw) that didn't yet promise to be a series.

The dragon looked cool, but the 'warlock' seemed a bit 'new-agey'/benevolent to suggest any menace.

I picked up the book, read the front cover, read the back cover, read the part about creating a character -- and bought the thing.

That night, I died so many times making wrong decisions or just coming to a dead end because I hadn't found the right path. But it was cool, I really felt that dungeoncrawl experience.

I think that the pictures from the point of view of the adventurer helped, but the writing, the types of encounters, the consistency from the point of view of someone mapping -- it really helped that immersive experience for me.

I was disappointed that it seemed to be a one-shot deal. And even if it wasn't, the Philippines tended not to pick up stuff in sequence.

Fortunately I was wrong and a year later picked up the next four books in the series!

I wonder if this type of experience is still possible for the youth of today, or if computer games are really the de facto gateway drug for table top gaming ("it's like World of Warcraft but with x")?

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