It’s been a while, and what better time to rise from a blogging coma than (just after) Halloween?
In addition to everything else I’m up to, the past week was taken up by combining two chocolate milk mix containers, two old Tupperware bowls, a computer fan, and a lot of ribbon into a jetpack for my kid’s costume. I’d planned it for a while, but neglected to remember the deadline wasn’t Halloween per se, but the last school day before Halloween so he could wear it at school. Nothing eases last-minute costuming like willing spray paint to dry faster while not giving you brain damage from the fumes, am I right?
In the end, it looked pretty nifty. We’re trying to promise ourselves we’ll get him to nail down what he wants to dress as before October so we can gather materials, let glue dry, get building permits, etc.
He and I have also been playing first edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons with some friends of mine and his kids recently. It’s been going pretty well, with me as a hapless good-aligned cleric who has fallen in with a party of neutral-to-evil characters. So far, there’s been no call for me to cast a detect evil spell or anything, so he hasn’t cottoned on to his fellows’ proclivities towards doing terrible things. Given that all adventurers basically sally forth to kill and loot, alignment really hasn’t been an issue yet, though I’m sure the DM has a plan to rectify that eventually.
Even though I have the original sourcebooks on PDF, I pulled out some old copies of the Dungeon Master’s Guide and Player’s Handbook that I’d picked up at a yard sale a while ago. The previous owner had put those little file tabs on commonly referenced pages, so this became my “for use” copies while the books I grew up with remain in their hallowed places in my Bookshelf of Wonders. While my son and I were referencing them, I noticed that the original owner’s name and address were inscribed on the inside front covers. It wasn’t until last night that I did a quick Google search to see what their info would bring up.
They’d lived in Springfield, Missouri, which is several hours south of my home in Kansas City. I learned that they’d come to KC to pursue a career in theater and were working on a degree in that field. Anyone who has ever role-played probably doesn’t see this as much of a surprise, right? So they’d come here, brought their books, and then, if the name is the same as the one in my books, they passed away at quite a young age in 1997. I can’t even recall the sale where I’d picked his books up, and while I’m sure they were the last things his family was worried about, I bet they were at least kept as mementos, if not used for their intended purpose. The yellowing pages were well-read, with many tables highlighted, and a few careful repairs to the pages here and there.
I hope my own child gains an appreciation for RPG’s, and maybe these books will be a springboard into a new way to use his imagination. I thank the memory of the young man who kept these books all these years so I could pass them on to a little boy who just got his first sets of dice and some miniatures for the tabletop. I promise they’ll stay in service for a few more years at least, if not treasured for years beyond that.