Hi all -
My name is Merlin, and with a name like that, there's probably a certain inevitability that I'd end up playing RPGs.
I started off with a copy of the classic intro book What is Dungeons & Dragons?
back in 1983. After reading the book more than a dozen times I convinced an uncle to buy me the red box Basic D&D for a birthday. Very shortly afterwards I drafted my brother and sisters into my first game, and learned exactly how deadly the 8 attacks of a carrion crawler can be, as the entire party was immobilised in their first encounter. My brother's thief was then slowly eaten while conscious but paralysed. Come to think of it, that may have been the last RPG my brother played...
I played a lot of Basic/Expert and AD&D over the next few years, but drifted away from fantasy RPGs in the 90s and spent time playing the first three editions of Shadowrun. I didn't even know about D&D 2e, the Rules Cyclopedia, 3e, 3 and-a-half-e, or 4e – let alone the great and holy edition wars, until we stopped playing Shadowrun during its own 4th edition controversy around 2005. We came back into old school play via original MERP and then the Dark Dungeons
We played DCC RPG beta rules almost as soon as it came out, had a great time with the funnel, mourned livestock that perished in the cold dark of the underworld, and eventually ended up with a group of battle-scarred/scared 4th and 5th level characters who had played most of the way through the Dyson's Delve
I pre-ordered the DCC RPG book when it was announced, just perfectly in time for our group to re-distribute itself to 4 widely separated locations: Wellington, Christchurch, Brisbane in Oz, and Frigiliana in southern Spain.
With inter-country commuting for RPG sessions deemed somewhat inconvenient, we're going to investigate various virtual table top solutions – MapTool, Roll20.net or Tabletop Forge seem possible candidates so far. Timezone differences will probably prevent more than occasional sessions, unfortunately.
Still, that hasn't stopped me supporting all the DCC RPG-related Kickstarters, reading the forums every day, and planning increasingly grandiose and unfeasible campaign settings.