gamemaster Kris Malkin
My first contact, with all things RPG came in about 1986. As a kid, I was an avid reader of comics; ‘Dandy’, ‘Beano’, ‘Commando’ and others. When ‘2000AD’ hit the shelves in 1977, I was immediately hooked. So, when a mate got hold of a copy of the first ‘Judge Dredd’ RPG, in the summer of ‘86; called ‘Judgement Day’, I couldn’t wait to play it. And, very good it was, too.
Not long later, I got involved, through Technical College, in a ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ game, which transformed into a recreational group, playing most weekends. I remember this well, as I was playing a character whose legs disappeared, due to magic. A group of Orcs came to hail me as their God and followed our cause, becoming our own private army. Unfortunately, a metamorphosis in the magic made my legs reappear and my torso do the opposite. Needless to say, the Orcs revolted, killing all of us and ending the game, rather abruptly. Still, a very memorable experience.
Over the next few years, I moved away from the group scene and got into more individual-based games. One that was quite popular at the time was, ‘It’s a crime!’, which was a PBM (‘Play By Mail’). This literally required you to issue orders on a form, which went into the weekly post. Then, you’d wait until your computer-generated results (on dot-matrix paper) to discover the effects. Technological advances took PBMs onto email (PBeMs) but I had moved onto University, where I met a guy; Matt Rice, who introduced me to the world of ‘cyberpunk’ and the RPG classic, ‘Shadowrun’.
Matt has been “my” GM ever since; for over twenty years, in fact. For much of that time, I’ve played a ‘Shadowrun’ character named, ‘Epsilom’, who has seen a great deal of action. Facing down a helicopter gunship with a ‘Vindicator’ mini-gun and having an arm blown off during the Well of Souls incident, for example. Ahh, the joy.
Of course, we’ve played a whole raft of other games, over the years. Just for example, ‘Cthulhu’ has provided a decent portion of fun, as has ‘SLA Industries’, a cyberpunk variant. Boardgames have also been staple; ‘Supremacy’, ‘Murder City’, ‘Zombies’, to name but three.
Most recently, the power of digital tech (Matt now lives in Madrid and Neil, our long-time gaming compadre, is in London) has allowed us to try a new game, ‘World War Cthulhu‘; imagine being an occult investigator for the British Secret Service, whilst the bullets and shells of World War II are flying over your head, and you’re about there. And yes, before you ask, I will be trying this in the Bambury RPG group, at some point.
Though I’ve participated more as a player, in recent years I’ve gone towards GMing. I started on ‘SLA Industries’ running a favoured scenario called, ‘Blood on your Shoes’. Of course, this eventually led to starting a RPG group (made up of Bambury students) which I ran during the holidays. Various chats with those lads, and a spot of research, gave rise to the RPG group becoming part of the Bambury School schedule.
From there? Well, we’ll see, won’t we.
Maybe, I’ll roll a dice…