Day 17: Which RPG have you owned the longest but never played?
Back in 1984, as a college freshman at Ball State University, I stumbled upon a magical place in The Village. Perched on the top floor of a tiny strip mall overlooking Papa Lou’s Chug-A-Mug, was the equivalent of Mecca for 18 year old me.
Wizard’s Keep was the first real gaming store I ever had the pleasure to set foot in. It smelled of cigarettes and old books and it was a little slice of heaven, believe me.
There was a homemade terrain table with sand and faux-grass, always populated by various painted miniatures. There were board games and manuals and miniatures and paints and models and… well, you get the picture.
My very first purchase there was a Degree in Medieval Metaphysics from Miskatonic University. My second purchase was a roleplaying game that, to this day, I have never played.
Filled with fantastic art, Iron Crown Enterprises’ Middle-Earth Roleplaying captured my attention. Roleplaying in Middle-Earth? After six years of playing Dungeons & Dragons, this seemed like a no-brainer. I immediately snapped this up and the only other supplements in stock —
And yes, I still own all three. The map is framed and hanging in my son’s bedroom, while the rulebook and module are shelved along with the rest of my Tolkien collection.
ICE’s Middle-Earth was a complicated, low magic game that utilized a d100 system.
Very different from the Original and 2nd Edition flavors of D&D I was used to, I was still thrilled by the game.
The only problem was, I didn’t have any friends at school who played.
So, I read the works, chewed on the game system, and then, when summer came and I returned home, I fell back in with my old Dungeons & Dragons Club. Though we played a couple of other games that summer and summers to come, we never dove into Middle-Earth.
But that’s okay. I have fond memories of purchasing it and reading it in my dorm room back at Palmer Hall. It served its purpose.