I'm going to skip that game-less era, and head straight onto the "Second Renaissance" of my gaming, but that'll be next post.
Before I move on though, I want to mention a particularly influential movie and the amazing game that it spawned.
Back in the mid-late 80's, right through to the end of the decade, we had a regular tradition at our house which was "Friday Night Videos!" Basically, we hired a movie from what was our local video rental store (Dixons) and we took over the living room at my mum and dad's and we watched a movie. My folks were usually out until the mid-evening, and they hid in the bedroom until the movie finished, but every now and then we'd hire something that my folks were interested in and one or both of them would join us.
For some reason my dad thought that watching "The Terminator" was a great idea (which caused a slight awkwardness at the Reese / Sarah Connor love scene), but we all agreed (my dad included) that it was awesome. It wasn't my mum's cup of tea, but it didn't stop my dad describing the most violent and gruesome moments to her with a giggle of enthusiasm.
|Aliens - What are you looking at Burke?|
I think I saw Aliens about three or four times at the cinema in the end. It was the first 18 certificate film I saw at the cinema, and I managed to see it with various members of the Eight at different times. Even today, Aliens is still awesome, and we can all recite most of the lines word for word.
|Bill Willingham's ELEMENTALS|
What started as a more realistic and authentic RuneQuest style game proved that it could be used for any genre when Pete decided to use the system to run a superhero style game based on Bill Willingham's "Elementals" comics (published by Comico).
But the game really came into its own when Pete decided we'd play as Colonial Marines in the Aliens universe.
Most of us were troops. JR showed his natural born leadership skills by being the Gorman of the group, remaining in the APC and watching us all balls-it-up through our helmet cameras. I thought Vasquez was the coolest, so I played a similar character. A short, stocky, and hard-as-nails female Smart-Gunner.
|Aliens. We were not as smart as these Marines...|
I have very vivid memories of the colony's terraforming reactor being overloaded and damaged, about to cause a huge nuclear explosion (I think part of the damage may have been from stray gunfire, I'm not sure). We'd stopped the rebels, but the explosion was imminent and the squad had to run the 5k back to the dropship as our APC had been taken out, before the nuclear explosion wiped us off the planet. The encumbrance rules really added to the tension, as we realised we were never going to make it to safety without dropping all of our guns and equipment.
The later games had us encountering the xenomorphs from the movies, and we had a great one shot with different characters where each member of the party was taken out by an unseen force (that was revealed to be my character, under orders from the GM from slips of paper he kept passing me under the table).
Nothing really much to add there except that Odyssey introduced me to the idea of gaming in a group where one of the player characters was the secret villain, showed me how to do a faithful game that was tied to an existing universe, and showed me that you could create a game system from scratch and have some seriously kick-ass adventures with it. I really hope that people have as much fun with the games I've worked on as I had with Odyssey.
Next "Roll Your Own Life" brings us to the Vampire years...