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March 04, 2008



Since you mentioned Archon in this post, let me first say two things about that:
1.) I still say "So mote it be" in everyday life, which is from that game, usually eliciting raised eyebrows from those around me.
2.) As a computer programmer, when I see a co-worker attempt to do something that is illegal (e.g. divide by zero or click on a button that I know will crash the system,) I will say "Power points are proof against magic." This has become the standard thing to say to someone who makes a boneheaded computer move (like trying to cast a spell on a creature occupying a power point in Archon.)

Another note: In case you don't recall, that was a young TOM HANKS playing the lead role in Mazes and Monsters!

Anyway, my best friend Chad was a DM, and introduced me to all of the things that you talked about above. I was an acrobatic rogue named Crowfoot Morningstar for several campaigns over the years. I remember "Keep on the Borderlands" being the first module we ever did together.

Unfortunately, we lived in a small town, and very rarely had enough kids to play. We did, however, play all of the D&D-related C64 games and PC games that we could get our hands on. ("The Bard's Tale" comes to mind as a classic.) We also latched on to other fantasy games later in life like Magic: The Gathering and Dragon Dice. But it all started back then in 5th grade with Gygax's stuff.

As we entered college, Chad's grandfather made a 3-tiered wooden board and pieces to physically create a Gygax-designed concept called "Dragon Chess" (rules published in a 1985 Dragon Magazine.) "Dragon Chess" was a three-dimensional variant of regular chess which took place in three planes: Air, Earth, and Underworld. A very cool concept, with complex piece movement (esp. the pieces that could move between the planes) and much more intricate strategies than regular chess. Our games would take DAYS to complete.

Chad still has the board, and I think we're going to play a game the next time we get together, a tip of the cap to a guy who gave us countless hours of entertainment.

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