If you’re anything like me then you have boxes of ‘stuff’ in the attic. Boxes filled with things that may come in useful one day. You have to understand I am a borderline obsessive hoarder. I don’t like to get rid of anything, everything will have a use or could be mended.
I needed to find something from one of these boxes. I knew it was up there, but not in which box. I had been putting this off for a while, mainly for two reasons;
- I don’t like spiders. There are many up there, hanging like macabre eight legged Christmas baubles. Staring at me with their eight beady eyes, just waiting to drop on my head, or down the collar of my shirt. This causes me to scream uncontrollably.
- The boxes are stacked in a way which is massively inconvenient to get to anything. And it’s hot up there. And dusty. And full of spiders (see number 1)
So after half an hour of Tetris stacking to avoid the boxes falling off the boarded area and falling through the ceiling of the bedroom below, I found a box which was heavy. Really heavy. I’m thinking to myself how on earth did I get this up here? Anyway with growing excitement I took the packing tape off to look inside to see what was contained in this corrugated cardboard sarcophagus. What I found caused waves of joy and memories wash across me. Think of the scene in Indiana Jones and The Raiders of The Lost Ark where the ark of the covenant was opened and all the whooshing spirits came out. It was pretty much like that, just with no Nazis or face melting.
I know what you’re thinking, come on James just tell us what was in the box, what could have caused such unbridled joy and happiness? Is it Gold? Diamonds? The last Panini sticker to complete your album?
I’ll stop your wildly inaccurate guesses right there, what I had in the really heavy box were all of my RPG books, everything I had collected over the course of my life. Boxed up and forgotten, sent to live with the spiders. These books were some of the best friends I had during my teenage years, there abandoned in the dark, dusty confines of my spider infested attic. (I may have mentioned I don’t like spiders)
I manhandled the box down the ladder, nearly slipping and snapping my spine like a twig. Got it down the stairs and into the sitting room. My eldest son (he’s 12) looked up from whatever it was he was reading, and seeing the big heavy box immediately focussed on its contents.
What followed was an hour of rediscovering lost treasures, made even better by having number one son help me to sift through all the bits of paper, books, and box sets. Most of my collection consisted of 2nd Edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons material, although amongst all the books, there is a mix of original , 1st edition, and 3rd edition Dungeons and Dragons, I might catalogue it in a future post, but there is a lot!
After we had sorted into editions, the first thing we did in a father/son bonding time was roll up ridiculously high level characters. His character was a 12th level Firbolg (a giant kin), and mine was a human 15th level armoured wizard/9th level cleric. Now before anyone points out that wizards can’t wear armour, or a Firbolg isn’t a playable race in AD&D, these were created using the skills and powers player’s option rules add-on. This enables a kind of assignable point system that is simple yet complex at the same time. But worth it to have an ARMOURED wizard.
I was filled with pride as I passed the torch (well all my books) to my son who now has all this gaming material on the bookshelves in his bedroom. It brings back fond memories from when I was the same age, receiving my first D&D rule book from my parents for Christmas, and spending the rest of the day creating my own worlds and inhabitants.
My rediscovered treasures are his gateway into the greatest fantasy realm ever. The only limit? His imagination.