Mapping in your mind
by, 05-28-2010 at 05:24 AM (1549 Views)
So I've been playing strategic games since I was about 10-11 years old, the dad of some of the kids I played with introduced me to them, he also taught me to play chess. So the first "real" games where Chariot, Yeoman and other games metioned in the magazine General and Strategy & Tactics. I also played a lot of Blue & Gray (US civil war), which was always played on small 2xletter sized maps - hex maps of course. At the age of 11, when he was introduced to Dungeons & Dragons through some students of his, that was in 1980, he read his kids the hobbit and started playing with them and me. I instantly loved it, that was just about the greatest game experience ever - even though my first character a dwarf didn't even survive his first combat. Going from room to room, slowly mapping our way we discovered a world we had never seen before.
I immediatly introduced it to my class mates, I didn't have the rules so I improvised combat by using rules from board games instead for combat. So you roled d6's to see if you disrupted or killed the enemy (orcs) ... simple but great fun. The first allowance I had - I went to Fantask (world oldest still existing comic shop) to buy D&D expert set (yep - no reason to buy basic first was there) *lol*
The first dungeons where simple, we had standard encounters, and monsters in the next room never heard the combat in this one. But boy did we have fun.
Some years later I found myself in gymnasium (High School) and introduced the class mates to rpg's there too - just about at the same time when the game was mentioned in TV for the first time (in Denmark) something about being EVIL ... said by extremist christians. When I later started in advertising - I got a game going there and I find that roleplayers are everywhere.
Now I've played a lot of different games during the years: D&D, Rolemaster, Warhammer rpg, Toons, Paranoia, Traveller, Villains and Vigilantes, Lords of Creation, Vampire, Mage the Ascension, James Bond, Twillight 2000 and lots more including a couple of homemade ones... had fun with most of them and some I only played once and then never got around to them again.
One of my favorite games to play - both as a GM and as a player was Paranoia ... the fun thing about it was that maps played a very little part in that game. They were mostly in your head (just as your friends bullits if you didn't take care), everybody had an easy time imagininig this huge complex where the games happened - you never saw an actual map of it - it was just there -it was everywhere... you criss crossed corridors and went to strange rooms, stood in line to get your worthless equipment (unless you broke it - then it was expensive) all just in our minds. Of course all the rpg's are in peoples minds - but I don't think I've ever played a game with so little mapping in it.
But the maps are like a frame in comic book, they set the mood but the real story takes place between the frames filled with maps, hand-outs, small stories, npc's and who knows what - all the rest we map in our mind