Old Bones

12 Sep

Moving is not a particularly fun task.  There’s a certain element of defeatism when confronting those boxes that you moved last time that you still haven’t gotten through and yet here you go again moving them one more time.

You know the boxes, those catch all junk boxes that you’re going to sort out on the other end when you’re not so concerned about time.  And you never do.  Each one is a subtle reminder of the quest incomplete.

Of course, from time to time, in this endeavor one uncovers a long lost treasure:

Yep, my certified card-carrying geek polyhedral dice from my table top days.  Most of those actually came from the Dungeons and Dragons basic boxed set that came out in 1979.  I picked up a few others, including the super cool ten-sided and the faux-suede pouch at a gaming convention at the old Dunfey Hotel in San Mateo, CA.

The Dunfey was something of a fixture which could be observed whizzing by on U.S. 101 in what is now the throbbing heart of Silicon Valley.  At the time, I’m guessing it must have been a Pacificon in 1981 or so, it was distinctively styled as a medieval castle (I think its a Marriott now and has been long since renovated in a more Mediterranean style).

Think the first boxed D&D set, the first Apple II computers and the serious slide rule and pocket protector crowd milling about in the crappy convention rooms of a B-rate hotel in the shape of a castle.  Heck, they had entire rooms devoted to Diplomacy.  It really didn’t get much better than that.

These dice have an interesting way of rearing their heads from time to time.  In 1979, me and my geek friends were nearly hopeless dorks in middle school.  By 1981 and the time of the convention, it was beginning to be the time to put away dorkish and childish things to be high school-cool, not that we succeded.  Like the lost One Ring, they lay submerged but not forgotten until they emerged again in a renaissance of geekdom and beer addled table top gaming in college.

They passed in and out of use from time to time as the old table top group met less and less frequently as life, computers and teh intraweb slowly consumed more of us.  I don’t think I’ve rolled for a wandering monster or made a saving throw in anger in more than 12 years.

I like the idea that as my wife and I prepare for a big move to be closer to friends, family and to restore ourselves to a lifestyle with more balance, these old bones, relics of adventures past, should reemerge to remind me how much a part of me those days and those experiences still are.  As I’ve reconnected with many old friends and gotten thoroughly reimmersed in the gaming community in the last year or so, it seems particularly apt.

Maybe its time to get out the old graph paper again.


Posted by on September 12, 2007 in Uncategorized


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5 responses to “Old Bones

  1. Wilhelm2451

    September 12, 2007 at 4:10 pm

    Correct me if I’m right, but the six-sided die with numbers rather than spots, those are from one of the D&D boxed sets, aren’t they?

    I have a pouch of similar dice around here somewhere. I saw it when we last moved.

  2. p@tsh@t

    September 12, 2007 at 4:47 pm

    Yep, the basic boxed set came with yellow 4 sided, red 6 sided, green 8 sided, blue 12 sided and white 20 sided. All with numbers rather than dots.

    I have multiples of a few because I think I got that same set of dice with the boxed set from Gamma World which I got about the same time. I recall needing to pick up some more 6 sided when I was playing Tunnels and Trolls and Monsters! Monsters! which didn’t use anything else.

  3. Wilhelm2451

    September 12, 2007 at 7:35 pm

    Heh, Tunnels and Trolls meant a raid on other games in the closet. Risk took a big dice hit at that point as I recall.

  4. Gaff

    September 13, 2007 at 1:34 am

    Ahhh–I rediscovered all of my dice in college, playing a mix of the old 1st Ed. AD and D rules with a few 3rd Ed. thrown in–we kept them all in a Chivas bag. Its down in the basement waiting for some good use! I had that basic set, as well as the Expert boxed set as well. As I recall, the basic book was red and the expert blue. I forgot all about Gamma World though. I wish I still had my Battle Mech stuff (if that was the name, it certainly was the concept).


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