Discussion:
Your First
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Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-22 23:22:28 UTC
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The other day I had the opportunity to visit an honest-to-god
game-store, the sort I haven't seen in decades. You know the sort;
small, cluttered, with every variety of game from old Avalon Hill
board games to the latest Pathfinder module overflowing the shelves.
One section of wall was dominated by dice of every color and variety;
elsewhere colorfully painted miniatures tempted me to expensive
purchases. The foyer was messily covered with advertisement posters
and "looking for game" requests from other players (most, sadly, years
old). And - of course - the register was manned by the requisite
grognard: grumpy, with an intimidating glare and as hirsute as he was
plump. I swear, all of these clerks are clones. It was - as I
explained to a friend - as close to geek nirvana as ever a place on
Earth could be.

Years past, these sorts of store were a dime a dozen; there wasn't a
mall in the vicinity that didn't have either a similar shop. They've
mostly disappeared; what few remain tend to rely more on hosting and
matchmaking gamers than actually selling product. I expect we have the
Internet to blame for that, and even those are hard to find. But I
pity the young gamer coming into the hobby without the overwhelming
experience of rummaging through the thousands of tomes and games such
a store might contain. Selecting a PDF from a digital storefront just
isn't the same.

Oddly enough, such a games shop was not my introduction to the hobby;
rather, I purchased my first module from a far more prosaic location:
the "children section" of a Barnes & Nobles bookstore (even then, the
stores weren't quite sure how to catalog role-playing games, but kudos
to Barnes & Nobles for not banishing the books entirely, despite the
fact that the Satanic Panic was at its height at the time). That
wasn't my introduction to the game - I'd already played it for a while
with friends - but that was where I bought my first book. If I close
my eyes, I can still visualize the display with all the books;
ultimately, I left with the D&D Basic Rulebook (the red-covered
edition written by Moldvay). It was the start of a very expensive
hobby.

Later I discovered a "proper" game shop, located quite appropriately
within the dungeon^h^h^h^h^h^h^h basement of the local mall named -
rather unimaginatively - "The Games Shoppe". It was everything one
might expect of such a store; it's where I got my first proper set of
dice and spent more money than was probably wise. They hosted the
first gaming convention I ever visited too.

Eventually, changing markets forced them to relocate and other similar
stores to close; they stuck around through the early 2000s and then
only after having completely abandoned the hobby to sell comic books
instead (they renamed themselves "The Comic Shoppe" just to prove
their lack of imagination). Even though I had largely given up on the
hobby - or at least on buying new books - I was sorry to see them go.

There were other stores, of course including a used bookstore - where
I bought dozens of "Judges Guild" books at amazingly low prices - and
(of all things) a hole-in-wall newspaper shop that for some reason had
a shelf filled with RPG books in the dark corner in the back. Before
their great extinction, I visited many other stores here and there
too. All with the same clone manning the register, of course. But they
never quite had the same impact as "my first".

How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
JimP.
2017-08-23 00:47:58 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
A book store in Texas, they sold Tunnels and Trolls and solo
adventures. We moved to Mississippi, and my siblings found Zocchi's
warehouse. We played a few games there at night, then he opened his
store.
--
Jim
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-23 13:08:27 UTC
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Post by JimP.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
A book store in Texas, they sold Tunnels and Trolls and solo
adventures. We moved to Mississippi, and my siblings found Zocchi's
warehouse. We played a few games there at night, then he opened his
store.
Man, talk about never having to worry about losing a die. "Hey anybody
seen my d4*? Oh never mind, I find another 30,000 I can use...

I never (intentionally) bought any Zocchi dice, and in fact never
heard about the brand until recently. Mostly it was a result of
frugality; Zocchi were more expensive. Perfect rolls never really
mattered that much to me. In fact, I think that like most gamers I had
a secret dread of the reliable, unbiased die; I wanted one weighted in
my favor! There's a reason we "test" our dice in the store after all,
and it's not to see if it will give us an even distribution of
numbers; we want the one that will give us a reliable 20! An "even"
die goes right back in the bin, thank you very much. So Zocchi's were
overpriced for a product that I didn't even really want.

Still, gaming in the Zocchi warehouse, man that must have been a
blast. There's something about buckets of dice that just makes you
want to plunge your hands into them. It's like ball-pits for geeks.


* It's /always/ the d4 that goes missing. I think the little bastards
/know/ how deadly they are and jump off the table just to cause
trouble.
JimP.
2017-08-23 16:15:39 UTC
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On Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:08:27 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by JimP.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
A book store in Texas, they sold Tunnels and Trolls and solo
adventures. We moved to Mississippi, and my siblings found Zocchi's
warehouse. We played a few games there at night, then he opened his
store.
Man, talk about never having to worry about losing a die. "Hey anybody
seen my d4*? Oh never mind, I find another 30,000 I can use...
I remember him keep changing the dice colors on Friday and that
screwed up orders already sold.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I never (intentionally) bought any Zocchi dice, and in fact never
heard about the brand until recently. Mostly it was a result of
frugality; Zocchi were more expensive. Perfect rolls never really
His weren't marked at first. To get a die with the numbers colored in,
cost 75 cents per die. Someone in the warehouse colored them in using
a Sharpie. His dice cost 75 cents uncolored. So coloring in the
numbers cost $1.50 per die.

Another thig he didn't know is that traditionally, a d6s opposite
sides added up to 7. So his early poly sets weren't like that. And he
added the (G) later on as well. This was between 1980 and 1985.

The dice that were made when the colors were changed, their small
industrial maker just poured the new color in as otherwise the pipes
sucked air and took more plastic to get the air out otherwise, Zocchi
called them Uniques. And charged double. I only bought one poly set of
Uniques. They aparently sold very well at conventions. His first sets
didn't have d10s.

Early 1980s, some guy on the east coast US, came up with a method to
make the dice, and color in the numbers. He charged the same price per
die, 75 cents, that Zocchi did.

My siblings were making items with Trichem liquid embroidery at the
time. So we used contrastng colors of that to color in our dice after
we bought them. Just beofre it dries, wipe off the excess.

We learned a way to drive gamers mad. That company sold an embroidery
color that smelled like chocolate. So the day before a convention, we
took one dice set and colored them in so they smelled like chocolate.
Then gamed over that weekend with them. Gamers were wandering around
the game room going 'I smell chocolate but I can't find it !'.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
mattered that much to me. In fact, I think that like most gamers I had
a secret dread of the reliable, unbiased die; I wanted one weighted in
my favor! There's a reason we "test" our dice in the store after all,
and it's not to see if it will give us an even distribution of
numbers; we want the one that will give us a reliable 20! An "even"
die goes right back in the bin, thank you very much. So Zocchi's were
overpriced for a product that I didn't even really want.
I tested one of his d20s. Rolled it around 800 times, and found out
which 2 rolled more often than the other one. Made that my 20 and used
it as my DM die. I used a cardboard dice tower I made.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Still, gaming in the Zocchi warehouse, man that must have been a
blast. There's something about buckets of dice that just makes you
want to plunge your hands into them. It's like ball-pits for geeks.
Some of the gamers had to be watched as they tried to steal stuff,
like modules.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
* It's /always/ the d4 that goes missing. I think the little bastards
/know/ how deadly they are and jump off the table just to cause
trouble.
Well, the d20s rolled much better. We wound up making a square walled
in area out of books and rolled our dice into that.

He opened his store on Pass Road, now long gone, a few months later.
--
Jim
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-24 13:08:29 UTC
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Post by JimP.
On Wed, 23 Aug 2017 09:08:27 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
A book store in Texas, they sold Tunnels and Trolls and solo
adventures. We moved to Mississippi, and my siblings found Zocchi's
warehouse. We played a few games there at night, then he opened his
store.
I remember him keep changing the dice colors on Friday and that
screwed up orders already sold.
His weren't marked at first. To get a die with the numbers colored in,
cost 75 cents per die. Someone in the warehouse colored them in using
a Sharpie. His dice cost 75 cents uncolored. So coloring in the
numbers cost $1.50 per die.
Another thig he didn't know is that traditionally, a d6s opposite
sides added up to 7. So his early poly sets weren't like that. And he
added the (G) later on as well. This was between 1980 and 1985.
The dice that were made when the colors were changed, their small
industrial maker just poured the new color in as otherwise the pipes
sucked air and took more plastic to get the air out otherwise, Zocchi
called them Uniques. And charged double. I only bought one poly set of
Uniques. They aparently sold very well at conventions. His first sets
didn't have d10s.
Early 1980s, some guy on the east coast US, came up with a method to
make the dice, and color in the numbers. He charged the same price per
die, 75 cents, that Zocchi did.
My siblings were making items with Trichem liquid embroidery at the
time. So we used contrastng colors of that to color in our dice after
we bought them. Just beofre it dries, wipe off the excess.
We learned a way to drive gamers mad. That company sold an embroidery
color that smelled like chocolate. So the day before a convention, we
took one dice set and colored them in so they smelled like chocolate.
Then gamed over that weekend with them. Gamers were wandering around
the game room going 'I smell chocolate but I can't find it !'.
Some of the gamers had to be watched as they tried to steal stuff,
like modules.
He opened his store on Pass Road, now long gone, a few months later.
These are some awesome stories and I'm glad you shared them. As I
said, I only learned about Zocchi as brand recently (I may have seen
them in stores prior, but didn't pay attention to them as they were
priced out of my range). As such, I was unaware that they had such an
enduring legacy; I just assumed that most dice manufacturers were
fly-by-night companies. That one has lasted since the start of the
hobby to this day just blows my mind - and speaks of the enduring
quality of their product.
JimP.
2017-08-24 15:59:53 UTC
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On Thu, 24 Aug 2017 09:08:29 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
These are some awesome stories and I'm glad you shared them. As I
said, I only learned about Zocchi as brand recently (I may have seen
them in stores prior, but didn't pay attention to them as they were
priced out of my range). As such, I was unaware that they had such an
enduring legacy; I just assumed that most dice manufacturers were
fly-by-night companies. That one has lasted since the start of the
hobby to this day just blows my mind - and speaks of the enduring
quality of their product.
Danke.

He has some combo of plastic he wont divulge. But apparently contains
one of the plastics(?) used in fighter pilot helmets.

Mine from the 1980s are still sharp edged.
--
Jim
h***@gmail.com
2017-08-24 23:32:49 UTC
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Post by JimP.
On Thu, 24 Aug 2017 09:08:29 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
These are some awesome stories and I'm glad you shared them. As I
said, I only learned about Zocchi as brand recently (I may have seen
them in stores prior, but didn't pay attention to them as they were
priced out of my range). As such, I was unaware that they had such an
enduring legacy; I just assumed that most dice manufacturers were
fly-by-night companies. That one has lasted since the start of the
hobby to this day just blows my mind - and speaks of the enduring
quality of their product.
Danke.
He has some combo of plastic he wont divulge. But apparently contains
one of the plastics(?) used in fighter pilot helmets.
Mine from the 1980s are still sharp edged.
are the d4s still deadly?
JimP.
2017-08-24 23:48:08 UTC
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Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by JimP.
On Thu, 24 Aug 2017 09:08:29 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
These are some awesome stories and I'm glad you shared them. As I
said, I only learned about Zocchi as brand recently (I may have seen
them in stores prior, but didn't pay attention to them as they were
priced out of my range). As such, I was unaware that they had such an
enduring legacy; I just assumed that most dice manufacturers were
fly-by-night companies. That one has lasted since the start of the
hobby to this day just blows my mind - and speaks of the enduring
quality of their product.
Danke.
He has some combo of plastic he wont divulge. But apparently contains
one of the plastics(?) used in fighter pilot helmets.
Mine from the 1980s are still sharp edged.
are the d4s still deadly?
You can puncture your foot by stepping on one. Some companies started
using truncated pyramid shapes, but they still hurt when stepped on.
--
Jim
JimP.
2017-09-01 18:35:20 UTC
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Post by JimP.
On Thu, 24 Aug 2017 09:08:29 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
These are some awesome stories and I'm glad you shared them. As I
said, I only learned about Zocchi as brand recently (I may have seen
them in stores prior, but didn't pay attention to them as they were
priced out of my range). As such, I was unaware that they had such an
enduring legacy; I just assumed that most dice manufacturers were
fly-by-night companies. That one has lasted since the start of the
hobby to this day just blows my mind - and speaks of the enduring
quality of their product.
Danke.
He has some combo of plastic he wont divulge. But apparently contains
one of the plastics(?) used in fighter pilot helmets.
Mine from the 1980s are still sharp edged.
Lexan is in there. I know that much.

I just remembered.
--
Jim
JimP.
2017-09-13 20:59:04 UTC
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Post by JimP.
On Thu, 24 Aug 2017 09:08:29 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
These are some awesome stories and I'm glad you shared them. As I
said, I only learned about Zocchi as brand recently (I may have seen
them in stores prior, but didn't pay attention to them as they were
priced out of my range). As such, I was unaware that they had such an
enduring legacy; I just assumed that most dice manufacturers were
fly-by-night companies. That one has lasted since the start of the
hobby to this day just blows my mind - and speaks of the enduring
quality of their product.
Danke.
He has some combo of plastic he wont divulge. But apparently contains
one of the plastics(?) used in fighter pilot helmets.
Mine from the 1980s are still sharp edged.
Lexan... supposedly.
--
Jim
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-09-14 14:53:13 UTC
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Post by JimP.
Post by JimP.
On Thu, 24 Aug 2017 09:08:29 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
These are some awesome stories and I'm glad you shared them. As I
said, I only learned about Zocchi as brand recently (I may have seen
them in stores prior, but didn't pay attention to them as they were
priced out of my range). As such, I was unaware that they had such an
enduring legacy; I just assumed that most dice manufacturers were
fly-by-night companies. That one has lasted since the start of the
hobby to this day just blows my mind - and speaks of the enduring
quality of their product.
Danke.
He has some combo of plastic he wont divulge. But apparently contains
one of the plastics(?) used in fighter pilot helmets.
Mine from the 1980s are still sharp edged.
Lexan... supposedly.
2000 years from now, archeologists will be digging out d6s and d20s
from our midden pits... and will be able to immediately start playing
D&D with them

(just so long as they don't need to roll damage for a long-sword)
tetsubo57
2017-08-23 20:26:03 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
The other day I had the opportunity to visit an honest-to-god
game-store, the sort I haven't seen in decades. You know the sort;
small, cluttered, with every variety of game from old Avalon Hill
board games to the latest Pathfinder module overflowing the shelves.
One section of wall was dominated by dice of every color and variety;
elsewhere colorfully painted miniatures tempted me to expensive
purchases. The foyer was messily covered with advertisement posters
and "looking for game" requests from other players (most, sadly, years
old). And - of course - the register was manned by the requisite
grognard: grumpy, with an intimidating glare and as hirsute as he was
plump. I swear, all of these clerks are clones. It was - as I
explained to a friend - as close to geek nirvana as ever a place on
Earth could be.
Years past, these sorts of store were a dime a dozen; there wasn't a
mall in the vicinity that didn't have either a similar shop. They've
mostly disappeared; what few remain tend to rely more on hosting and
matchmaking gamers than actually selling product. I expect we have the
Internet to blame for that, and even those are hard to find. But I
pity the young gamer coming into the hobby without the overwhelming
experience of rummaging through the thousands of tomes and games such
a store might contain. Selecting a PDF from a digital storefront just
isn't the same.
Oddly enough, such a games shop was not my introduction to the hobby;
the "children section" of a Barnes & Nobles bookstore (even then, the
stores weren't quite sure how to catalog role-playing games, but kudos
to Barnes & Nobles for not banishing the books entirely, despite the
fact that the Satanic Panic was at its height at the time). That
wasn't my introduction to the game - I'd already played it for a while
with friends - but that was where I bought my first book. If I close
my eyes, I can still visualize the display with all the books;
ultimately, I left with the D&D Basic Rulebook (the red-covered
edition written by Moldvay). It was the start of a very expensive
hobby.
Later I discovered a "proper" game shop, located quite appropriately
within the dungeon^h^h^h^h^h^h^h basement of the local mall named -
rather unimaginatively - "The Games Shoppe". It was everything one
might expect of such a store; it's where I got my first proper set of
dice and spent more money than was probably wise. They hosted the
first gaming convention I ever visited too.
Eventually, changing markets forced them to relocate and other similar
stores to close; they stuck around through the early 2000s and then
only after having completely abandoned the hobby to sell comic books
instead (they renamed themselves "The Comic Shoppe" just to prove
their lack of imagination). Even though I had largely given up on the
hobby - or at least on buying new books - I was sorry to see them go.
There were other stores, of course including a used bookstore - where
I bought dozens of "Judges Guild" books at amazingly low prices - and
(of all things) a hole-in-wall newspaper shop that for some reason had
a shelf filled with RPG books in the dark corner in the back. Before
their great extinction, I visited many other stores here and there
too. All with the same clone manning the register, of course. But they
never quite had the same impact as "my first".
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
Was that newspaper shop in Salem Mass.? Because there is (or was) one like that at one point. The best 'real gaming store' I ever visited was in Groton Conn. Went there on my honeymoon. Awesome shop. I honestly buy most of my dead-tree gaming books online or at second hand or thrift shops. I even stumble upon them at yard sales and flea markets occasionally. I did buy Starfinder new though.
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-24 13:21:40 UTC
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On Wed, 23 Aug 2017 13:26:03 -0700 (PDT), tetsubo57
Post by tetsubo57
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
There were other stores, of course including a used bookstore - where
I bought dozens of "Judges Guild" books at amazingly low prices - and
(of all things) a hole-in-wall newspaper shop that for some reason had
a shelf filled with RPG books in the dark corner in the back.
Was that newspaper shop in Salem Mass.? Because there is (or was) one like that at one point.
No, but the fact that you had to ask made me chuckle. When I found
those books I thought it the oddest thing to find in such a place...
and here you tell me you had a similar experience. This was in the mid
'90s, and I guess publishers were just ridding themselves at such low
prices that even somebody like a newspaper shop couldn't resist the
sale. They sold comic books as well (and a few racks of novels), so I
suppose they figured the RPG books would fit right in, but as far as I
could tell I was the only one who ever bought from there. After six or
eight months, they did a big cleanup of the store (or maybe it had a
new owner; my memory is hazy) and that was the end of that.

But man, finding that was like discovering some secret cache, books
and modules just dumped onto the bottom two shelves all willy-nilly,
like the coins of a dragon's hoard. The upper shelves were loaded with
whiskey and vodka, and I had to squat down in the dark and dust to
rummage through the books. There were a lot of AD&D and D&D modules
there that I picked up - in particular, I remember I filled out most
of B-series, X-series and Dragonlance modules from that collection. I
think I also got my 1st Edition Fiend Folio from there. I know there
was non-D&D stuff as well, but what they had - and what I bought -
escapes me at the moment.
Post by tetsubo57
The best 'real gaming store' I ever visited was in Groton Conn. Went
there on my honeymoon. Awesome shop. I honestly buy most of my
dead-tree gaming books online or at second hand or thrift shops. I
even stumble upon them at yard sales and flea markets occasionally.
I did buy Starfinder new though.
You know you've found true love when your wife lets you go to a
gamestore ON HER HONEYMOON. ;-)

The other day (well, okay, more like ten years ago but I've gotten to
the age where that seems like yesterday) I was lucky enough to stumble
upon a full set of 1st edition AD&D hardcovers in the recycled-paper
bin in our building's trash-compactor room, in almost mint condition.
Not quite as good as a game-store, but you can't beat the price.
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-08-23 21:36:12 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
I first *heard* of D&D at my high school from a guy named Mike Calabro.
And he told me to go to this place called "The Studio of Bridge and
Games" (which we all shortened to "The Studio").

It was a specialized store that doubled as a meeting place for card
players (obviously) and other gamers, with wargaming and roleplaying on
Thursday and Saturday nights. That's where I bought most of my gaming
stuff for the next several years, and where I spent all the time I could
playing.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.dreamwidth.org
drow
2017-08-25 01:36:36 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
The other day I had the opportunity to visit an honest-to-god
game-store, the sort I haven't seen in decades.
i guess i'm lucky, there are several nearby. and only a couple
which are overrun by MtG.

i buy all my gaming books locally, i've come to really hate
the amazon experience over the last several years.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Oddly enough, such a games shop was not my introduction to the hobby;
the "children section" of a Barnes & Nobles bookstore
i got my 1e PHB from a school book fair, and my 1e DMG from
my aunt and uncle for xmas.

the first real game store i remember was down the road in lafayette CO.
i don't remember its name, but its where i got my first d30 and a
brilliant book of d30 tables which i've never been able to find again.

the second was It's Your Move in boulder, where i'd spent enough to be
a permanent member of the 15% discount club.
--
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h***@gmail.com
2017-08-25 02:01:37 UTC
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Post by drow
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
The other day I had the opportunity to visit an honest-to-god
game-store, the sort I haven't seen in decades.
i guess i'm lucky, there are several nearby. and only a couple
which are overrun by MtG.
i buy all my gaming books locally, i've come to really hate
the amazon experience over the last several years.
I've mostly moved to pdfs.
I can get the main pathfinder rulebooks for US$10 each or US$35 + postage from Amazon or AU$69 + postage (about US$55 for the base price) from an online Australian store, probably about the the same price locally
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-25 14:06:06 UTC
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Post by h***@gmail.com
I've mostly moved to pdfs.
I can get the main pathfinder rulebooks for US$10 each or US$35 +
postage from Amazon or AU$69 + postage (about US$55 for the
base price) from an online Australian store, probably about the the
same price locally
These days I think almost /everyone/ has moved to PDFs, if not for the
main books than almost certainly for the modules and splat books. PDFs
are generally cheaper, easier to obtain, and far easier to carry
around and store.

Which is a shame, because - while I am generally a very big fan of
ebooks - there is a very visceral feel to playing the game with
hard-copies that is lost if you only have PDFs. Especially for more
fantastical games like D&D or Call of Cthulhu. So much of those games
are wrapped around ancient lore hidden in ancient tomes that having a
voluminous book filled with required charts and rules seems
necessarily appropriate. For stuff like that, you want a big book (or
six) by your side to thumb through; it's just not the same pressing
page-down through a PDF on a laptop or tablet. It's also less costly
to throw a book at a recalcitrant player than a laptop ;-)

I personally love maps too, and one of the greatest joys of the old
printed modules was unfolding one of those huge poster maps and
imagining the adventures I might have on the revealed territories. The
physicality of the maps made it that much more real, and JPGs of the
same image just do not have the same effect. OF course, I come from
the pre-GPS era when we still used foldable maps to navigate so maybe
for the younger generation a real map wouldn't have the same appeal.
But I miss them.

I don't miss having to carrying around a heavy bagged filled with
books though. God, those things were heavy.... and then you added
miniatures and maps and pencils and paper and other assorted
knicknacks on top of that? It's a wonder my back didn't develop a
permanent curve from hauling all that crap around. So bonus points for
that, but I'm still not convinced that benefits outweighs the more
ephemeral benefits.
JimP.
2017-08-25 15:07:04 UTC
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On Fri, 25 Aug 2017 10:06:06 -0400, Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by h***@gmail.com
I've mostly moved to pdfs.
I can get the main pathfinder rulebooks for US$10 each or US$35 +
postage from Amazon or AU$69 + postage (about US$55 for the
base price) from an online Australian store, probably about the the
same price locally
These days I think almost /everyone/ has moved to PDFs, if not for the
main books than almost certainly for the modules and splat books. PDFs
are generally cheaper, easier to obtain, and far easier to carry
around and store.
Which is a shame, because - while I am generally a very big fan of
ebooks - there is a very visceral feel to playing the game with
hard-copies that is lost if you only have PDFs. Especially for more
fantastical games like D&D or Call of Cthulhu. So much of those games
are wrapped around ancient lore hidden in ancient tomes that having a
voluminous book filled with required charts and rules seems
necessarily appropriate. For stuff like that, you want a big book (or
six) by your side to thumb through; it's just not the same pressing
page-down through a PDF on a laptop or tablet. It's also less costly
to throw a book at a recalcitrant player than a laptop ;-)
I personally love maps too, and one of the greatest joys of the old
printed modules was unfolding one of those huge poster maps and
imagining the adventures I might have on the revealed territories. The
physicality of the maps made it that much more real, and JPGs of the
same image just do not have the same effect. OF course, I come from
the pre-GPS era when we still used foldable maps to navigate so maybe
for the younger generation a real map wouldn't have the same appeal.
But I miss them.
We are working on an Interactivbe Atlas of maps done with Profantasy's
software, bot the fcw and png files are available. By that I mean
those of us who post to their official forums.

http://atlas.monsen.cc/

I did a 9 map Isometric dungeon for it. More dungeons are in the
works.
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
I don't miss having to carrying around a heavy bagged filled with
books though. God, those things were heavy.... and then you added
miniatures and maps and pencils and paper and other assorted
knicknacks on top of that? It's a wonder my back didn't develop a
permanent curve from hauling all that crap around. So bonus points for
that, but I'm still not convinced that benefits outweighs the more
ephemeral benefits.
I used the old plastic milk carton containers. They held 4 one gallon
containers, or lots of d&d books, miniatures, and dice. I got mine
from a friend, who got them from a defunct dairy. No idea where those
cartons are now.
--
Jim
Zaghadka
2017-08-25 17:10:26 UTC
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On Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:22:28 -0400, in rec.games.frp.dnd, Spalls
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
The Compleat Strategist in, IIRC, Montclair, NJ.

They're in NY now. Still going strong. Several locations throughout the
US.

http://www.thecompleatstrategist.com/

That was were I picked up my first Arneson & Gygax boxed set book, which
I promptly wrote all over in pencil totally destroying its collector's
value. (*blush*)
--
Zag

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had
spent more time alone with my computer.' ~Dan(i) Bunten
Zaghadka
2017-08-25 17:15:29 UTC
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Post by Zaghadka
On Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:22:28 -0400, in rec.games.frp.dnd, Spalls
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
The Compleat Strategist in, IIRC, Montclair, NJ.
They're in NY now. Still going strong. Several locations throughout the
US.
http://www.thecompleatstrategist.com/
That was were I picked up my first Arneson & Gygax boxed set book, which
I promptly wrote all over in pencil totally destroying its collector's
value. (*blush*)
Yeah it was the Greyhawk supplement.

https://www.acaeum.com/ddindexes/setpages/supplements.html

I also picked up the Top Secret boxed set (still have the percentile dice
that came with) and a bunch of minifigs and books. I used to visit that
shop a lot.
--
Zag

No one ever said on their deathbed, 'Gee, I wish I had
spent more time alone with my computer.' ~Dan(i) Bunten
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-26 13:29:28 UTC
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Post by Zaghadka
On Tue, 22 Aug 2017 19:22:28 -0400, in rec.games.frp.dnd, Spalls
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
The Compleat Strategist in, IIRC, Montclair, NJ.
They're in NY now. Still going strong. Several locations throughout the
US.
http://www.thecompleatstrategist.com/
The NYC Compleat Strategist is another example of geek nirvana. It is
also like a time-capsule from the 80s, when the hobby was at its peak:
small, cluttered, dirty, and filled to the brim with games. Modern
gameshoppes tend to be cleaner and more organized, partly because
people buy the books as "collectibles" rather than as tomes to be
beaten and abused with play. That is, if the stores stock the books at
all; at least three "game stores" around here just stock dice,
collectible cards and nibbles. But at the Complete Strategist, the
shelves overflow (often with books stacked in front of other books)
and many of the books come pre-battered! ;-) There's no room to play -
there is barely any room to read the books - and no comic books. Just
table-top gaming, of every variety: family-friendly board-games,
grognardian wargames, RPGs, miniatures, card games, the lot. Just like
the gaming shops of old.

I have no idea how the store survives but it's been around since
1975. If you ever visit Manhattan, definitely worth taking a look.

And yes, it had a clone at the register (maybe of slightly less girth
than usual).
Post by Zaghadka
That was were I picked up my first Arneson & Gygax boxed set
book, which I promptly wrote all over in pencil totally destroying
its collector's value. (*blush*)
If you buy a book for its "collectors value", you are doing it wrong.
Justisaur
2017-08-26 13:05:11 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
Holmes Basic set, birthday present when I was a youngster. I don't
remember for sure what year, I could swear it was my 8th birthday. But
I remember chits - which would place it for my 10th, but I don't have
the chits now, so perhaps that was someone else's set. I had the old
original dice until they were stolen in the late '90s, but they might
have come from the Gamma World set. I wasn't in middle school then as
my best friend and I ended up in different middle schools and he
disappeared, even though he lived directly across the street he was
never out and I wasn't allowed to see him. I played quite a bit of D&D
with him before that. It's possible it could have been my 10th in '79.
Though I also remember the DMG wasn't out yet. I could swear it was at
least a year later as I got the PHB and MM and played with that quite a
lot before the DMG came out. But time seems like forever when you're
young. I remember distinctly my friend running my through this dungeon
with a beholder in it, but I had B2 and there was no beholder in that.

I taught myself just from the Basic set, and taught him to play, and
another friend, and later with the MM & PHB added. His first character
was a fighter named Conan, which I still have the sheet for. Mine was
my Magic-User Malkazar. The books came from the local comic book store.
There weren't any game stores in that time. That's where I got into
my first 'store' game. They'd set up a table in a storage room and had
games, which you had to pay $5 to get in, and that was when $5 was a lot
of money. I've related that story more times than I can count. I
brought my paladin and we 'played' S1, where everyone else was evil, but
as I'd paid my money the DM let me play with them. I died in the first
room from 100 points of damage from bees just to me, which as I later
found out weren't even in the module, at which point the DM took my
character sheet and tore it up. Being the youngster there I'm sure he
was trying to get rid of the kid from his game. It left me with a
seething hate, that now is only an old hardened cold coal at the
injustice of it all. Ah, the powerful emotions of youth. :)

I never played there again sticking to my friends and solo play for a
few years. Though I still bought books there as that was the only place
that sold them in town that I was aware of. Later I found out there was
a war-game store that'd been around forever that also had RPG stuff,
they gave discounts on everything, and the owners were friendly. They
didn't hold games there as the store was little bigger than the closet I
played in that first time, and packed to the gills with minis and
file-boxes full of books and magazines and models. That store is still
there, in the same exact location. Looks like their website isn't
working, but here's a yelp link, has some nice pictures.

https://www.yelp.com/biz/viking-hobby-carmichael

The comic book store was at one time a large chain store, but they went
slowly out of business, the location I used to go to was gone long long
ago. The last location a few years ago closed under a cloud of
mismanagement stories.

- Justisaur
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-27 13:31:54 UTC
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Post by Justisaur
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
Holmes Basic set, birthday present when I was a youngster. I don't
remember for sure what year, I could swear it was my 8th birthday. But
I remember chits - which would place it for my 10th, but I don't have
the chits now, so perhaps that was someone else's set. I had the old
original dice until they were stolen in the late '90s, but they might
have come from the Gamma World set. I wasn't in middle school then as
my best friend and I ended up in different middle schools and he
disappeared, even though he lived directly across the street he was
never out and I wasn't allowed to see him. I played quite a bit of D&D
with him before that. It's possible it could have been my 10th in '79.
Though I also remember the DMG wasn't out yet. I could swear it was at
least a year later as I got the PHB and MM and played with that quite a
lot before the DMG came out. But time seems like forever when you're
young. I remember distinctly my friend running my through this dungeon
with a beholder in it, but I had B2 and there was no beholder in that.
I taught myself just from the Basic set, and taught him to play, and
another friend, and later with the MM & PHB added. His first character
was a fighter named Conan, which I still have the sheet for. Mine was
my Magic-User Malkazar. The books came from the local comic book store.
There weren't any game stores in that time. That's where I got into
my first 'store' game. They'd set up a table in a storage room and had
games, which you had to pay $5 to get in, and that was when $5 was a lot
of money. I've related that story more times than I can count. I
brought my paladin and we 'played' S1, where everyone else was evil, but
as I'd paid my money the DM let me play with them. I died in the first
room from 100 points of damage from bees just to me, which as I later
found out weren't even in the module, at which point the DM took my
character sheet and tore it up. Being the youngster there I'm sure he
was trying to get rid of the kid from his game. It left me with a
seething hate, that now is only an old hardened cold coal at the
injustice of it all. Ah, the powerful emotions of youth. :)
I never played there again sticking to my friends and solo play for a
few years. Though I still bought books there as that was the only place
that sold them in town that I was aware of. Later I found out there was
a war-game store that'd been around forever that also had RPG stuff,
they gave discounts on everything, and the owners were friendly. They
didn't hold games there as the store was little bigger than the closet I
played in that first time, and packed to the gills with minis and
file-boxes full of books and magazines and models. That store is still
there, in the same exact location. Looks like their website isn't
working, but here's a yelp link, has some nice pictures.
https://www.yelp.com/biz/viking-hobby-carmichael
The comic book store was at one time a large chain store, but they went
slowly out of business, the location I used to go to was gone long long
ago. The last location a few years ago closed under a cloud of
mismanagement stories.
- Justisaur
Ah, the good ol' hobby store; another dying breed, and another place
in which I spent unwise amounts of money. Our local (well, two or
three towns away) hobby store didn't have any table-top games - it was
more focused on models and slot-car racing - but it was still a
wonderful place to visit. The models themselves were often too
expensive for a quick purchase, so more often I just picked up some
new paints to add to my already unnecessarily large collection of
paints.

Role-playing largely supplanted my interest in (and funds for)
modeling, although some of the skills from modelling were useful for
painting the miniatures. The stores - and indeed, model kits - are as
hard to find these days as gaming stores; apparently another hobby
that has inexplicably fallen by the wayside.

Over the years, I either lost, broke or threw out all my model
planes/ships/tanks/etc... with one sole exception. Oddly enough, it is
the exact same Japanese Zero (and painted almost identically) as seen
in those Yelp photos. It's in far worse condition but it's still
lingering in the cupboard, perched precariously atop some old
magazines.
Justisaur
2017-08-28 20:27:34 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
Post by Justisaur
Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
Holmes Basic set, birthday present when I was a youngster. I don't
remember for sure what year, I could swear it was my 8th birthday. But
I remember chits - which would place it for my 10th, but I don't have
the chits now, so perhaps that was someone else's set. I had the old
original dice until they were stolen in the late '90s, but they might
have come from the Gamma World set. I wasn't in middle school then as
my best friend and I ended up in different middle schools and he
disappeared, even though he lived directly across the street he was
never out and I wasn't allowed to see him. I played quite a bit of D&D
with him before that. It's possible it could have been my 10th in '79.
Though I also remember the DMG wasn't out yet. I could swear it was at
least a year later as I got the PHB and MM and played with that quite a
lot before the DMG came out. But time seems like forever when you're
young. I remember distinctly my friend running my through this dungeon
with a beholder in it, but I had B2 and there was no beholder in that.
I taught myself just from the Basic set, and taught him to play, and
another friend, and later with the MM & PHB added. His first character
was a fighter named Conan, which I still have the sheet for. Mine was
my Magic-User Malkazar. The books came from the local comic book store.
There weren't any game stores in that time. That's where I got into
my first 'store' game. They'd set up a table in a storage room and had
games, which you had to pay $5 to get in, and that was when $5 was a lot
of money. I've related that story more times than I can count. I
brought my paladin and we 'played' S1, where everyone else was evil, but
as I'd paid my money the DM let me play with them. I died in the first
room from 100 points of damage from bees just to me, which as I later
found out weren't even in the module, at which point the DM took my
character sheet and tore it up. Being the youngster there I'm sure he
was trying to get rid of the kid from his game. It left me with a
seething hate, that now is only an old hardened cold coal at the
injustice of it all. Ah, the powerful emotions of youth. :)
I never played there again sticking to my friends and solo play for a
few years. Though I still bought books there as that was the only place
that sold them in town that I was aware of. Later I found out there was
a war-game store that'd been around forever that also had RPG stuff,
they gave discounts on everything, and the owners were friendly. They
didn't hold games there as the store was little bigger than the closet I
played in that first time, and packed to the gills with minis and
file-boxes full of books and magazines and models. That store is still
there, in the same exact location. Looks like their website isn't
working, but here's a yelp link, has some nice pictures.
https://www.yelp.com/biz/viking-hobby-carmichael
The comic book store was at one time a large chain store, but they went
slowly out of business, the location I used to go to was gone long long
ago. The last location a few years ago closed under a cloud of
mismanagement stories.
- Justisaur
Ah, the good ol' hobby store; another dying breed, and another place
in which I spent unwise amounts of money. Our local (well, two or
three towns away) hobby store didn't have any table-top games - it was
more focused on models and slot-car racing - but it was still a
wonderful place to visit. The models themselves were often too
expensive for a quick purchase, so more often I just picked up some
new paints to add to my already unnecessarily large collection of
paints.
Role-playing largely supplanted my interest in (and funds for)
modeling, although some of the skills from modelling were useful for
painting the miniatures. The stores - and indeed, model kits - are as
hard to find these days as gaming stores; apparently another hobby
that has inexplicably fallen by the wayside.
Over the years, I either lost, broke or threw out all my model
planes/ships/tanks/etc... with one sole exception. Oddly enough, it is
the exact same Japanese Zero (and painted almost identically) as seen
in those Yelp photos. It's in far worse condition but it's still
lingering in the cupboard, perched precariously atop some old
magazines.
I got a lot of models back in the day, but oddly I only ever made a couple. The only one I've still got was some sort of battletech type mechwarrior, only in pieces in some box in the garage.

Paints... sigh, lost all of those in my last move. I can't say how much money I spent on all those, but it was at least in the several hundreds. I'd been ruined for painting minis since I lost all my best painted ones with the dice that were stolen. Starting to feel like a bitter old man these days.

- Justisaur
Spalls Hurgenson
2017-08-29 13:42:37 UTC
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On Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:27:34 -0700 (PDT), Justisaur
Post by Justisaur
I got a lot of models back in the day, but oddly I only ever made a couple.
The only one I've still got was some sort of battletech type mechwarrior,
only in pieces in some box in the garage.
Some of the nicer models I built were these "Robotech" robots (from
Revell); did a really good job on the construction and painting. I had
a bunch of them and they were immensely popular with my friends
whenever they came over for D&D; somebody would always be handling one
of them (they were fully jointed and everything) and just gaddurn fun
to play with. And yes, there would inevitably be at least one time in
every session when the player would place "his" mech on the table
amongst the miniatures in order to launch an "alpha strike" on some
enemy (no, of course I didn't allow it; don't be silly). But all that
attention greatly diminished their lifespan and eventually they all
got tossed, with broken joints and lost weapons.
Post by Justisaur
Paints... sigh, lost all of those in my last move. I can't say how much
money I spent on all those, but it was at least in the several hundreds.
I'd been ruined for painting minis since I lost all my best painted ones
with the dice that were stolen. Starting to feel like a bitter old man
these days.
Someone stole your dice? Was it from a venue where they knew what they
were taking (e.g., a convention) or was it just grabbed as part as a
general theft (e.g., B&E). If the latter, you have to wonder what went
through the thief's head when he cracked open the dice box and
found... dice. It'd almost be worth the loss to see his frustration
and anger.
Justisaur
2017-08-31 04:44:30 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
On Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:27:34 -0700 (PDT), Justisaur
Post by Justisaur
I got a lot of models back in the day, but oddly I only ever made a couple.
The only one I've still got was some sort of battletech type mechwarrior,
only in pieces in some box in the garage.
Some of the nicer models I built were these "Robotech" robots (from
Revell); did a really good job on the construction and painting. I had
a bunch of them and they were immensely popular with my friends
whenever they came over for D&D; somebody would always be handling one
of them (they were fully jointed and everything) and just gaddurn fun
to play with. And yes, there would inevitably be at least one time in
every session when the player would place "his" mech on the table
amongst the miniatures in order to launch an "alpha strike" on some
enemy (no, of course I didn't allow it; don't be silly). But all that
attention greatly diminished their lifespan and eventually they all
got tossed, with broken joints and lost weapons.
Post by Justisaur
Paints... sigh, lost all of those in my last move. I can't say how much
money I spent on all those, but it was at least in the several hundreds.
I'd been ruined for painting minis since I lost all my best painted ones
with the dice that were stolen. Starting to feel like a bitter old man
these days.
Someone stole your dice? Was it from a venue where they knew what they
were taking (e.g., a convention) or was it just grabbed as part as a
general theft (e.g., B&E). If the latter, you have to wonder what went
through the thief's head when he cracked open the dice box and
found... dice. It'd almost be worth the loss to see his frustration
and anger.
Car B&E, I left them and my books in the car after a game in the wee hours of the night. They left the books. Possibly they just liked them. Don't know. I wish they'd taken the books instead, those I could've replaced far easier. Even the dice I've somewhat replaced, though not my original ones from the boxed set, I could if I wanted, but they wouldn't be the same. The figures on the other hand. Totally not replaceable, the sheer number of hours I and others spent painting them, some my mom painted for me, and for all the games they'd been through.

- Justisaur
LL
2017-08-27 13:53:25 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
Well, D&D ca 35 years ago in the basement of a friend's friend.
A cleric who couldn't cast spells at first level and died before 2nd,
IIRC we all died :-(

With the friend and other friends from school we started our own
basement group. I played a Monk with d4 HD, but switched to M-U,
because the Monk was next to useless...

My M-U rolled very lucky Psionics, he got etherealness(!) which
saved his tiny ass more than once. He was LE, had no sense of humor
and hated elves just because.

Around that time we also played "Armageddon" in our basement. It's
a german fantasy wargame played on a big (2m diameter) hex-board.
We designed the continents, cut out styropor highlands and mountains,
painted minis and designed variant rules for non-human races and
nations. Great fun!

Both D&D and Armageddon usually took the whole night, sometimes
we stopped playing when my mother had lunch ready the next day :-)

LL
h***@gmail.com
2017-08-29 15:36:07 UTC
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Post by Spalls Hurgenson
How about you? Where did you start your gaming habit?
I got introduced to it in grade 9 by a couple of friends and picked up the BECM sets over the next month or two from a place called Lets Play Games which was initially upstairs from a jewellery store.
It had a roleplaying section, board games, gifts etc...
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