03 August 2014

#RPGaDay: Day Two - First RPG Gamemastered (belated)

The first game I ever gamemastered.
As I've said, my best friend and I used to play in his big brother's games. Eventually we wanted to play whenever we wanted to, and that meant running our own games for each other. While we were casing the mall, as young teens were apt to do in the mid to late eighties, we happened upon TSR's Top Secret/S.I. boxed set at B. Dalton Booksellers... and it was only $20! We looked it over and both ended up buying a copy. The game had everything! Maps! Books! Dice! A GM screen! The only thing it didn't come with was a pencil, and we had plenty of those. What a score!

I'm not sure of the exact timeline, but I'm pretty sure we were running games for one another within a week. Though I don't have a flawless recollection of the first game I ever ran, I'm pretty sure it involved my friend breaking into a suspect's house to tap some phones, and my friend's character ended up blasting the guy who lived there with a Browning Hi-Power (right in the face). That sort of made the point of tapping the phones moot, but we were young. Shooting stuff was the best part of the game back then.

All those memories sort of gel together nowadays. It's hard to pinpoint any chronological order. We had fun, though, enough that we continued to play and run games with each other for months. Taking Top Secret/S.I. out and looking through it provides an incredibly strong sense of nostalgia for me. I almost feel like showing it to my son and running him through a scenario where he has to tap some phones. He'll probably cap the suspect, too.

I still have that boxed set, along with all the supplements I bought (as well as a few more I've picked up over the years). I still feel that Top Secret/S.I. was one of the best games of its time, both for some of its innovations as well as the quality of the material and its ease of use. In fact, it's one of those games I'd actually consider dusting off and running these days, and that's no small feat.

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