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You Know You Were an 80s Gamer if…

This is a milestone month for me. We are expecting our third child to come any day now and I turn 40 this Saturday. I started gaming with the Moldvay Basic Set of Dungeons & Dragons, making this my 30th year of gaming as well!

Given the fact that I need to lighten my load a bit, and the fact that yesterday was April Fool’s Day, I thought I’d celebrate my Neo-Grognardness with a nostalgic look back at my 80s gaming era.

So without further ado, you know you were an 80s Gamer if…

– you played AD&D. D&D was for amateurs.

– regardless of system, you still call published adventures “modules.”

– you have fond memories of frying monsters with those cool laser weapons from the Barrier Peaks.

– you introduced the metric system to your fantasy world just to make coin conversions easier.

– the mention of FASERIP makes you smile.

– you had arguments over what stats you and your buddies should have before giving yourselves superpowers.

– you screamed at the television that “Acrobat” was not a proper AD&D class.

– at least one of your favorite PCs is written on loose leaf.

– one of your PCs died during character creation.

– you hate Tom Hanks.

– your group once wiped out an entire pantheon of gods just for the bragging rights and the treasure.

– you know the difference between a hireling and a henchman.

– you judge the quality of a post-apocalyptic RPG on how well it can emulate Thundarr the Barbarian.

– you own a d30 and still don’t know what to do with it.

– you wonder why all the new Middle-Earth stuff ignores the Court of Ardor.

– at least one of your PCs carried a three-bladed sword.

– you remember exactly where you were the first time you laid eyes upon Shadowrun.

– at least one of your PCs met a hilarious end due to an Arms Law/Claw Law critical hit.

– you were ticked off that someone tried to pass off a giant shuriken as a glaive (but you still made up stats for it).

– you bemoan all of the options the latest iterations of D&D offer for PCs and fondly remember when all you needed to make an AD&D character was four hardbacks, six or seven issues of Dragon Magazine, one issue of White Dwarf, a couple of rules nicked from D&D, and several house rules.

– you thought the cartoon was stupid and couldn’t wait for someone to make a serious D&D movie, which you now regret.

Thanks for reading! I hope you got a chuckle out of these and I promise to write a meatier article next time!

17 Comments (Open | Close)

17 Comments To "You Know You Were an 80s Gamer if…"

#1 Comment By Sewicked On April 2, 2012 @ 6:00 am

You know you were an ’80’s gamer if you had to color in your dice.

#2 Comment By Matthew J. Neagley On April 2, 2012 @ 7:42 am

if you remember races as classes.

#3 Comment By JDSampo On April 2, 2012 @ 9:01 am

If by “battle mat” you meant an 8.5×11 sheet of graph paper.

#4 Comment By griffon8 On April 2, 2012 @ 9:13 am

[1] – Nah, that was ’70s. 😛

#5 Comment By Matthew J. Neagley On April 2, 2012 @ 9:56 am

[2] – For “ADnD” that stopped after the very first white box rulebooks. but basic DnD kept them until it was discontinued in the very early 90s.

#6 Comment By Roxysteve On April 2, 2012 @ 10:21 am

Wow. All that and no mention of Call of Cthulhu, surely the most talked-about game-changer of the 80s.

Was I the only person running Traveller who changed “death” to “discharged”?

#7 Comment By Walt Ciechanowski On April 2, 2012 @ 11:52 am

[3] – That’s also a good one! One of my favorite early dice was a red d20 that I colored in with yellow. It was the ugliest thing, but I used it for years.

[1] – I never understood why “Halfling” wasn’t modeled on the Thief rather than the Fighter.

[4] – My groups rarely used a battle mat. We made maps, but combat was completely verbal.

[5] – This list was based on personal experience; while I’d bought some of the stuff, I never actually played CoC until the mid 90s (Delta Green).

#8 Comment By Patrick Benson On April 2, 2012 @ 12:24 pm

You know you were an 80’s gamer if you can discern from a single percentile dice roll not only if you hit your arch-nemesis from Web, but also where and for how much damage.

#9 Comment By Roxysteve On April 2, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

Two words that define 80s gaming for me: “Judges Guild”. I owned only two of their publications, neither for D&D, but their stuff was everywhere.

#10 Comment By BryanB On April 2, 2012 @ 3:47 pm

[6] – I know what game that is. 🙂

That alone shows I was an eighties gamer.

#11 Comment By Ken Zieger On April 2, 2012 @ 4:24 pm

You know you’re an 80’s gamer if you had Car Wars in the DVD cases.

#12 Comment By griffon8 On April 2, 2012 @ 5:26 pm

[7] – Guess I was one of the ‘pros’. I never actually owned Basic D&D or Expert D&D.

I’m definitely on board for 11 of these. I can understand most of the rest.

I miss classic White Dwarf. But I don’t think I could watch Thundarr again.

#13 Comment By Walt Ciechanowski On April 3, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

[6] – I was an ORION agent! I also played a FREELancer.

[8] – That’s another one we never touched. I remember seeing “City-State” stuff on the racks, but I never bought them.

[9] – And OGRE 🙂

[10] – I actually caught some reruns last year. My then-5 yo daughter loved it!

#14 Comment By Kurt “Telas” Schneider On April 3, 2012 @ 2:18 pm

You know you were an 80s gamer if you used the Twilight:2000 rules to recreate the movie “Red Dawn” in your hometown.

#15 Comment By Walt Ciechanowski On April 3, 2012 @ 7:54 pm

[11] – You poser – real 80s gamers used “The Price of Freedom.” 🙂

#16 Comment By Necrognomicon On April 4, 2012 @ 10:35 pm

You know you were an ’80s gamer if you were ever killed by a Personal Hygiene Test and Cleanliness Maintenance Kit.

#17 Comment By ironregime On April 6, 2012 @ 10:51 am

You know you were an ’80s gamer if you still sometimes refer to miniatures as ‘leads.’

#18 Pingback By Ravenous Role Playing » Blog Archive » Friday Five: 2012-04-06 On April 6, 2012 @ 9:35 pm

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