23 May 2014

Nostalgia - Tullio's World

Playing D&D in southwest Michigan in the late 80's was tough if you didn't have a car to get to the game.  By my high school years, the "newness" of D&D had worn off, and I can't think of another regular player in my school. 

But when I turned 16 and got my driver's license, I had the power to go and find games.  The local hobby store had postings, and I got a number and gave it a call.  The guy I met was one of the two DMs of his group, and for whatever reason after one game that group broke up.  But three of us looked for another table to play at. 

Tim, Hassan, and I found that table at Tullio's place, the electrical genius behind Isher Artifacts.  I showed up to the character creation session a bit late, and was "stuck" playing a wizard.  I played that character for over five years.

I played with that group, weekly or biweekly, through high school and college.  Tullio's world was a mystery.  Technology masqueraded as magic, hidden by illusion.  There were distinct science fiction elements (like space travel), steampunk-esque elements (Tullio was a Nikola Tesla fan), and fantasy (there was a Keep on the Borderlands).  The "good" kingdom wasn't so much good as Lawful ("Your papers, please.") while we never made it up to explore the Dark Kingdoms, but I suspect they were a lot like Libertarian Realms gone wild.  There was magic (signified by Red Gems^TM) and antimagic (Green Gems^TM).  Bringing those two together made a big boom.

I still remember that first night, walking into his house in the not-so-great part of Kalamazoo, being greeted at the door by his wife, and sitting down at this creaky wooden dinner table.  Off to my left was a library of science fiction and board games.  I stared at my new copy of the 2nd Edition Player's Handbook and thought "Crap, I've got to play a wizard."  Funnest character I ever had.