I had been preparing for this post for a couple of days and this one was an easy one for me. Chris Elliott (co-creator of H.O.L.) was the sole reason I even started RM in the first place. This experience started me down the path to new friends, all-niters, great times, gaming weekends, and maybe a disgruntled ex-gf too.
I had never been into gaming until my freshman year in college. None of my friends up to that point gamed and it was still the stigma of the “D&D-cult” and suicides from PCs being killed and all the negative media hype. Yes, it was the 80’s.
One night fateful night, I stopped by a friend’s room to meet up with a couple of others so we could head out for something or other. I happened to walk into a RM session and Chris was the GM. I was absolutely captivated. Chris was so animated, so much fun to watch. He had everyone laughing until we were crying. He put so much energy into every dice roll. It didn’t matter what the roll was, we were so intent in knowing what is was, what crazy thing was going to happen next. Don’t stray, don’t let your concentration slip, don’t be distracted by the knock at the door, you could miss what Chris was going to do or say next. Wait! Chris is about to roll the dice!
After that one night, maybe 20-30 minutes of spectating as they wrapped up the session, I was hooked. I asked if it was OK if I joined in, tried it out. They said yes and helped me roll up my first PC. It was a genre that I loved; medieval time. I rolled up a Cavalier and I still have him today. I dove in head first, body and soul too, into RM. By the weekend, I had the core set and RMC-I. Next weekend, next paycheck, I had RMC-II.
Chris is also a fantastic artist. The best artist I’ve ever met. When he wasn’t GM-ing, he’d draw the party on the chalkboard (we would sometimes play in a classroom on campus) in full life-size grandeur, including the scars we’d acquired along the way. He’d bring his own chalk just in case there were no pieces laying around. If ever someone suffered from an overabundance of energy, Chris was that person. He could power a small city with his energy and creativity.
So here I am, 30 years later, several hundred dollars into RM2, a few other books for other gaming systems that I enjoy, countless days of gaming and fun, old friends who have lasted most of those 30 years, new friends who share the same love of gaming, active in blogs and forums, meeting authors of the very gaming system I love, making even more friends who publish modules and content for the gaming system that Chris Elliott exposed me to so long ago.
So there it is. I’m tremendously grateful for Chris being the creative, friendly, welcoming person he was all those years ago. Had he simply said “Sorry man, we’re in the middle of a campaign and it’s pretty big” I wouldn’t be here.