Category Archives: Blog

A Rambling Post About Dungeons & Dragons Part 1

Brandon: Greetings, Player Characters and Dungeon Masters! If you are looking for a coherent post on the merits and mechanics of Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) please look elsewhere. If, however, you are interested in my meandering musings on my personal history, or lack thereof, with D&D then please sit down and stay awhile.

Let’s just jump in, shall we?

I have two early memories of D&D. The first is the Dungeons & Dragons television program. The show aired from 1983 to 1985 according to sources on the interwebs. I don’t remember that. I don’t even remember that I was the age that I was. For the record, I was youngish. What I do remember is how it made me feel. To be clear, it made me feel amazing. I loved the concept: children thrown into another world and handed magical items and told it was up to them to save that world. I loved the character classes: Acrobat, Ranger, Cavalier, Magician, Thief, Barbarian. And who could forget Dungeon Master and Uni the baby unicorn. Venger was an impressive looking villain and then there was Tiamat. Multi-headed dragon!!

Magical!

I wanted to be the Ranger so bad. He had a super cool faux medieval outfit and an energy bow. No bow string. Just the bow and when you wanted you pulled back and an energy bowstring magically appeared and shot glowing energy arrows!

I could go on about my analysis of that show that I have done as an adult; the interpersonal issues of the group, the villains(Venger!), the way the group interacted with different groups of people, and that the show started dealing with some heavy stuff towards the end. All this in just 13 episodes. But, I want to stick to my memory as a child, and as a child I just thought this show was rad.

My second early memory is of buying a Warduke toy at Toys ‘R Us right around this time. The skull shield was incredible! I was staying with my dad for the Summer and my step brother at the time made a comment that was basically, “Wow, you’re into that devil stuff. You’re weird.” Now, to explain, I wasn’t “into D&D”. I like the show. I liked this toy. That was about it. I wish I still had that toy. But, Derek’s comment(his name was Derek) does lead us into my next interaction with D&D, which was nothing. Nothing. I liked the show. I liked my toy. I had some interest in playing and I have a vague memory of making what I thought was a character sheet, but then nothing.

Let me magically transport us all to my time in high school. Not the happiest time in my life. Not the worst, but a close second. I was not suddenly immersed in the world of D&D with similarly outcast friends. I was playing guitar in the jazz band at school and also playing in a heavy metal/progressive metal band in my spare time. Somewhere in there I saw the movie Mazes & Monsters.

The movie had actually come out before the D&D tv show, but I didn’t see it until, well, high school. I highly recommend seeing this movie. You must understand that it is based on a book that is largely hokum and that it came out at a time when there was a large D&D backlash based solely on fear of the unknown. “Oh no! People and children are playing a game where they pretend to be wizards. Witchcraft! Will no one save the children!” If I remember correctly this was also around the time of heavy metal deprogramming camps. Yes, those existed. People had their children abducted and sent to camps to get them to stop listening to that devil music.

I am getting off track. Remember though, I told you this would be meandering. Back to my point…the current point…?

There is a type of person who watches Scarface and says to them-self “That’s the life for me!” Without spoiling too much, the story does not go well for the main character in the end. It’s a cautionary tale of sorts. Mazes & Monsters is meant to be a cautionary tale as well. It did not make me afraid of Dungeons & Dragons at all. It made me want to play it. And so, I didn’t. Seriously. I still didn’t get into D&D. I kept playing guitar. I read books. I built a book case.

The aforementioned bookcase rescued from my mother’s garage and being cleaned up and restored.

Then in 1994 I was introduced to Magic The Gathering(MTG). This was a revelation. This was a whole world in a tiny little box. Those first boxes spoke to me. They were made to look like small spell books. There was lore and all of these familiar and unfamiliar monsters and creatures and people. Tarehna and I wound up playing a lot of MTG and had a suitcase full of cards. Then we stopped playing and we donated that suitcase full of cards. And still, I had never played D&D.

Oh my. Would you look at that? Look. Look up above. Do you see how much you have read so far. I haven’t actually even shared anything significant yet, but here you are at the end of it. Well, at the end of Part 1 at least. I didn’t know this was going to happen. Looks like there will be a Part 2. Thank you so much for reading my ramblings on not playing D&D. If you join us for Part 2 I guarantee that you will be able to read about how I finally got into play Dungeons & Dragons when I was no longer youngish, but, in fact, was oldish.

Stay tuned…

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Dragonstrike Instruction Video (High Definition?)

A must watch for everyone!

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Gamestorm 19 Spectacular Spectacular

We were finally able to weed through the mountains and mountains of footage from Gamestorm 19 to bring you this tight 8 min video!!
Edit: Had to reupload as there were mobile audio issues on original uplaod.

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Thursday Thoughts: Eric Lang Tweet

Brandon: It’s been awhile since I’ve done a Thursday Thoughts segment. They were started back when we were Board Game Jungle. Recently a tweet from Eric Lang was shared in one of the board game groups I follow and I was completely perplexed by some of the reactions. I discuss the reactions and my thoughts in the video below…

Follow Eric Lang @eric_lang

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Box Inserts!

Wow! It has been awhile since we had a proper video. Three months in fact. Please enjoy Brandon’s look at some box inserts he likes.

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Tolarian Community College Needs Your Help

Tolarian Community College is an informative and entertaining YouTube channel based around Magic The Gathering. The channel is hosted by “The Professor” and he is an actual professor at an actual community college. He has had a big enough following that he was able to start a Patreon that covered the pay for his teaching one of his college classes so that he could focus some more time on the YouTube channel.

Unfortunately he was told that he won’t be teaching any classes this term and so will lose that income and possibly will lose his healthcare. There is an easy way to help The Professor out: contribute to his Patreon. He already turns out quality material. This may be an opportunity for him to create even more. If you are a fan of gaming in general or Magic The Gathering specifically you should definitely check out Tolarian Community College.


https://www.patreon.com/tolariancommunitycollege

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC7-hR5EfgpM6oHfiGDkxfMA

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Runeslinger and Inertia

Brandon here. If you have followed us for any amount of time you may know that I am a huge fan of Runeslinger (AKA Anthony Boyd). I love the way he talks about why people continue with the games they know and why some don’t in the video below. I also respect how he places no judgement on an individual’s choices, he simply states that there are reasons people have and that they work for those people. I may need to do a video riffing off this a bit. I feel there is a lot that can still be shared about time management and energy and effort from a personal perspective.

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OMSI Mini Maker Fair

We were lucky enough to be invited by Game Lab Oregon to the Mini Maker Fair at OMSI (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry). We ran a table showing of some of the dice towers and dice trays we have made, but also sharing games from people we know. Well, that we know via the internets. We brought Verdun 1916, Dice Crawl, and Gem Packed Cards. We also wandered around a bit. Watch the video to learn more about Game Lab Oregon, indie game designers, and see us play a dice game with pirates!

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We need your help!

So far we have been able to fund operations for our site all by ourselves. We are currently in a bit of a transition. Brandon is in grad school. Thanks, Brandon! We need to renew the webhosting for Spaghetti and Meeples and need your help. Please visit the Go Gund Me we have set up and donate what you can and please share this. We are only asking for exactly what we need to keep the site up. Thank you for your time! The link is below.

https://www.gofundme.com/2pmvarus

 

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Casting Shadows/Runeslinger

Brandon: We’ve linked to Runeslinger before in our review of Leviathans. He covers a lot about RPGs and also does some unboxing videos. One of the things I like most about his videos is that he is incredibly thoughtful and finds ways to talk about our relationships to each other and how games facilitate and enhance, or change, those relationships. Below is one of the more recent videos that impressed me. I am also including the link to his blog.

https://castingshadowsblog.com/

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