What influenced you to start gaming?

Jared Rascher

My mother (Happy Mother's Day!) used to read me Arthurian stories at bedtime. Hard to resist the fantasy genre after that.

On top of that, my parents took me to Star Wars at the Drive In at a wee age, and my brother got me reading comics as soon as I could read.

What games do I run/play right now? Pathfinder (Fantasy), Rogue Trader (Science Fiction/Fantasy), and Mutants and Masterminds (Supers).

Go figure.

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Third Edit: keep thinking of more.

My grandfather. He never gamed, but he owns a massive (1500+) collection of books with plenty of SF&F in it. He read me The Hobbit when I was around six (he's the kind of guy that loves telling stories with trolls and such to small children). He introduced me to Robert Heinlein, Rudyard Kipling, Ursula Le Guin, Patricia C. Wrede, Poul Anderson, and Edgar Rice Burroughs.

He recently lent me copies of Who Fears The Devil, The Knight and Knave of Swords, and Swords and Sorcery (a collection of short stories edited by L. Sprague de Camp).
It was from his movie shelf that I discovered Monty Python and the Holy Grail, the Rankin-Bass Hobbit cartoon, Willow, The Princess Bride, Hamlet (Kenneth Branagh) and Men in Tights.

My parents helped too, introducing me to the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones trilogies, Firefly, the Lord of the Rings, the Arthurian stories, Narnia, Chess, and even ADOM.

I started out with Pathfinder, then, dissatisfied went to Microlite20, then discovered Grognardia and went to old-school gaming where it seems I'm staying.
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I don't recall much fantasy other than Fighting Fantasy: The Warlock of Firetop Mountain gamebook as the thing that got me into fantasy age 10-11.

I would have read Victor Kelleher's excellent, scary, children's fantasy books, The Hunting of Shadroth, Forbidden Paths of Thual, and Master of the Grove - The Hunting of Shadroth by Victor Kelleher
Also probably The Hobbit, maybe Lord of the Rings (but was too young to appreciate it), and Stephen Donaldson's White Gold Wielder which my mother had recovered from student digs in Ulster Polytechnic, where we lived. And I must have got into 2000 A D comic around the same time.


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I suppose my interest began with playing Legend of Zelda on my dad's NES. Later, Morrowind introduced me to western cRPGs, and KOTOR deserves a mention for being my first experience with d20 mechanics.

Video games aside, my mom read The Hobbit and LOTR to me over the course of several childhood road trips. Good times


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Heinlein, Niven, and King (Stephen King) were my bedtime stories when I was 6 and I was allowed to watch The Exorcist and The Shining while the adults were playing poker and such.

After that, I started reading a lot of Chronicles... Chronicles of Narnia, Chronicles of Prydain, Dragonlance Chronicles, as well as the old Choose Your Own Adventure books.

The cartoons of the time were pretty influential as well. The D&D cartoon of course, but also G.I. Joe and Transformers (each had fantasy themed episodes), TMNT, and even the Smurfs. Thundarr, Voltron, Thundercats, He-Man, and She-Ra rounded out the mix.

Finally, in 1988, my older step-brother introduced me to the Red Box, then got me one of my own, along with Knight of the Living Dead (Forgotten Realms solo adventure) and Midnight on Dagger Alley (magic viewer solo adventure).


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Definitely my dad's D&D stories from when he was in college ("And so right as we were stealing the treasure, including a ring of invisibility for my assassin, the lich arrived and fireballed everyone, and we all died. The end.")


Without having ever heard of non-video game RPG's my friends and I reverse engineered Final Fantasy games into our own RPG system and ran each other in games....then we discovered D&D (1E, but 2E was alreayd out) and decided it was easier and more balanced than our weakass homebrew system

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