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So, what were you doing in 1981?


Mad Jack
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4 hours ago, Rob Dean said:

I’ll come back to this later, but I’m now curious about the rest of you who were “mature” (for some value of mature…) in 1981. Do your gaming interests still include some/most/all of the stuff that was interesting then?  

 

My sci-fi interest isn't as strong as it was, plus to be honest, I've never really been a sci-fi rpg'er. I've played West End Games' Star Wars rpg & have some great memories of it, I've just never really been into it as much as fantasy rpgs. While I like Starfinder, I think it's the fantasy elements included with it as to why I like it.

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That was the year I turned 16, sophomore year in HIgh School, learning to drive, etc.  IIRC, that was the year of my epic Traveller campaign, the one that taught me how to really improv while DMing, because the players would avoid anything that looked pre-generated, while at the same time blowing everything up.  I was not yet into painting minis, but I was big into RPGs. 

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5 hours ago, Rob Dean said:

I’ll come back to this later, but I’m now curious about the rest of you who were “mature” (for some value of mature…) in 1981. Do your gaming interests still include some/most/all of the stuff that was interesting then?  

Was into scale modeling from a young age and when I discovered TT gaming developed a love for mini painting. Still have those interests.

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Well, I was 8 years old and going into 4th grade (because of where my birthday falls, I started school early. I turned 9 a few weeks after school started). So, I was reading Star Wars comics, playing with Star Wars figures,  and reading the novelization of the Star Wars movies (do you see a trend here?)

I was also into Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, and I'm pretty sure that's the year that I first saw the animated version of 'The Hobbit'. I didn't get and read the book for a year or two after that, I think. The Lord of the Rings came shortly after that.  Dinosaurs were really cool, and I spent a fair amount of time reading about them, too. It was either that year, or the next that I discovered the Chronicles of Prydain by getting The Book of Three from the school book fair.

(Are you noticing that I read a lot? 'Cause I certainly did)

A friend of mine had already introduced me to the basic set of Dungeons and Dragons the previous year, and I got my own copy of the basic (red box) set for my birthday. I spent lots of time reading, re-reading, and reading it some more until I knew and understood all of the rules. I looked forward to every other weekend when I could get out of town and go to my grandparents in Vermont so that my friend and I could play D&D. 

I spent a fair amount of the time I was with my grandparents running around in the woods like a wild child. I got pretty good at finding, identifying, and following animal tracks, finding all the good to eat wild berries, and I knew where all the good ice cold mountain streams were.

 

I could go on for a while, but basically, it was a pretty awesome year. If I wasn't inside reading or playing D&D, I was outside getting dirty.

 

 

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21 hours ago, Zink said:

Dang you people are old!!!!! 😁 

 

I was just thinking how young most of you are. 😂

 

20 hours ago, zemjw said:

I was doing a lot of cycling in those days, out most days after school and longer runs at the weekend. Now I'm in the house 23 1/2 hours a day, although I still do indoor cycling (road bike up on a trainer, not Peleton)

I was probably dipping my toes into fantasy figures, but it was probably another couple of years before Games Workshop really got going (apparently White Dwarf was first published in 1977, so I could be wrong about that)

 

Bicycling…1981 was a bad year for my bike.  My first adult-sized bike was a Schwinn 3-speed, and that year it had been with me at college and stored outside for several years with no maintenance, so it didn’t get ridden much.  I had it fixed up, but it only served for another year or two before being replace by my second bike, a Centurion touring bike, which I still have and ride occasionally.

 

According to Lost Minis Wiki, Citadel Miniatures started up in 1979.  On this side of the pond, we saw the ranges that Ral Partha handled as Ral Partha Imports earliest, as I recall, but I think that was a little later.

 

19 hours ago, paintybeard said:

As I was living out of a suitcase most hobbying was on hold. When I passed my exam I treated myself to a copy of SPI's "Highway to the Reich". Drooled over the maps and counters, but didn't get a chance to actually play any of it until several years later.

 

That would have taken up half a suitcase by itself. 😀 I guess I had a practical streak of sorts; I didn’t get any of the “monster” games back in the day, but I did have most of MetaGaming’s MicroGames (e.g. Ogre, Warp War, Melee …)

 

19 hours ago, alchemist said:

And I made my first (not very successful) attempt to run a Traveller campaign, along with doing lots of other gaming at the university wargames society (I still have the sweatshirt).  Overall, it was good times for me.

 

I was solidly a Traveller fan in 1981, and still am today.  

 

18 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

 

I was 17 then, I already painted Fantasy Minis, mostly Grenadier and Mithril, some early Citadel/Games Workshop and Ral Partha, still built military models as well.

 

When I started into fantasy miniatures, Minifigs was about the only game in town. That’s why I’ve got a nostalgia project running.  My brother and I branched out into what we could get, Heritage, Der Kriegspielers (before those two merged), Garrison, Ral Partha, Grenadier, Archive, and Dragontooth, plus some other oddities.  By 1981, though, several of those had come and gone, and most of what I remember buying in late college was Ral Partha with an occasional Grenadier.  I didn’t (then) care for the Heritage Dungeon Dwellers line, so I wasn’t buying them, although they remained in business for a while, before eventually bequeathing their molds to Reaper.

 

14 hours ago, Mad Jack said:

 

 I was right at the formative stages of my interests, but D&D has always been and probably always will be my primary gaming interest. I never really got into sci-fi beyond just Star Wars and Buck Rogers.

 

 

I read a lot more SF than I ever play.  Traveller is about the only SF RPG that’s ever had much traction with me, and I have very seldom had an SF miniatures game on the table, although I have often had a stash of SF miniatures, just in case … 🙄

 

Anyway, I guess I’m reassured to find that I’m not the only one who has remained interested in recognizably the same things for 40 years.  If I tried to do a specific list of games that I was playing that I am still playing, that would be short; I am still playing with Traveller, I’m back to playing with OD&D rather than the AD&D I was using in 1981, and the fatnasy minis game of choice in our group was Knights and Magick from Heritage, which I still have and would be willing to play, but which hasn’t actually made in onto the table in the last three or four years. (I’d have to check my game logs…I feel like it was the Christmas game in 2017 or so.)

 

 

Edited by Rob Dean
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Hmm. ‘81 would see me finishing first grade and starting second. And that’s about all I remember. Looking through 1981 on Wikipedia, I can say I recall the attempt of Reagan and Columbia’s launch. Other events I know but not sure 8yo me knew. 
 

Now I wonder what pics I have from that year. Rotten curiosity during work.

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Wow, 1981.  

 

Finished 6th grade, started 7th grade.  Switched from private school to public school.  Made friends some of whom I'm still friends with today.  Started taking spanish classes with Senor Parks.  I still know a little bit of it.

 

Had a good friend die of childhood leukemia.  That hurt quite a bit at the time.  Much less now from the distance of time, but still a little bit.  I can see how this event has shaped some aspects of my personality.

 

Started playing basic dnd with friends and siblings.  This soon morphed into ad&d when a friend's parent bought the player's handbook for them figuring it was the same game.  not that we didn't try to all play rangers from the PH in basic.  That didn't work so well.  Also started playing classic traveller around about then.  I'm not certain it was 81, but it was very close.

 

Started absorbing lies about trickle down economics.  I'm beginning to think it never does trickle down, just ends up in offshore numbered accounts. I really wanted Mister Carter.  He seemed to be a nicer person.

 

Watched Raiders of the Lost Ark in some local theater.  My instinct is it was the Berea Theatre, but the dust of times that is my memory doesn't recall.  That theatre is long gone too.  I distinctly recall riding my bike there to see Ghostbusters at some point though.

 

Watched and fascinated by MTV at friend's whose family had cable.  They played music at this time.

 

Watched (tv) the first and second space shuttle launches.  It took sometime for them to become routine.  I built paper model gliders NASA Lewis (now Glenn) was handing out.  They flew pretty well until they inevitably got stepped on or hit a corner in flight.  Amusingly, you can still get the same thing in PDF now.

https://er.jsc.nasa.gov/seh/58283main_Space.Shuttle.Glider.508.pdf

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I was big into Spider-Man and helicopters, which made this just about the most incredibly satisfying object I have ever owned:  

 

spidercopter.jpg.21f78fd2a04374f37505a0b5896a834f.jpg

 

I didn't even have a Mego Spider-Man to go with it, but that didn't matter.  It's probably also worth noting that this is an object for which I have zero nostlagia, which I presume means it was so satisfying at the time that the satisfaction it imbued is for life.  

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3 hours ago, buglips*the*goblin said:

I was big into Spider-Man and helicopters, which made this just about the most incredibly satisfying object I have ever owned:  

 

spidercopter.jpg.21f78fd2a04374f37505a0b5896a834f.jpg

 

I didn't even have a Mego Spider-Man to go with it, but that didn't matter.  It's probably also worth noting that this is an object for which I have zero nostlagia, which I presume means it was so satisfying at the time that the satisfaction it imbued is for life.  

 

& then there is this:

 

tod9xk5165h11.jpg

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21 hours ago, mikem91 said:

Started absorbing lies about trickle down economics.  I'm beginning to think it never does trickle down, just ends up in offshore numbered accounts. I really wanted Mister Carter.  He seemed to be a nicer person.

 

 

Watched and fascinated by MTV at friend's whose family had cable.  They played music at this time.

 

They recently did some studies and proved that it doesn't work. I find it mildly amusing that they had to do that but it does help shut down some people when they start bringing it up...

 

And they played music for quite a while afterwards. I mean, I remember watching MTV and VH1 and seeing music videos. Before they were pushed back to the night time, and then it vanished forever. Since I have Paramount+, I can watch MTV stuff but I always ask myself "Why?"

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