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The First Board Game I Fell In Love With: Matt Forbeck

To celebrate the release of the Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, we asked some of the world’s top board game designers to tell us about the first game they fell in love with, and whether it still holds up for them today. Today we hear from Matt Forbeck.

Matt Forbeck author photo

The first board game I really fell in love with was Dungeon, the classic game from TSR. I’d had my first encounters with Dungeons & Dragons already, but I didn’t have enough people my age to play with back in those days. I did, however, have a younger brother and two younger sisters. I tried to shanghai my brother into playing D&D with me, but it never stuck. Like most kids of that age, he just wanted to knock down doors, kill things, and take their stuff.

That’s where Dungeon came in. It gave me and my siblings the most intuitive and primal D&D experience without any of the baggage that came along with the actual roleplaying part of RPGs. We played that game until the cards gave out.

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The First Board Game I Fell In Love With: Richard C. Levy

To celebrate the release of the Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, we asked some of the world’s top board game designers to tell us about the first game they fell in love with, and whether it still holds up for them today. Today we hear from Richard C. Levy.

Richard C. Levy author photo

My favorite board game today and as far back as I can remember is Parcheesi. Known as The Royal Game of India, Parcheesi is also called Pachisi.

I love the game for its fast-paced race and chase action combined with blockades, captures, and the sound of those dice on the board. Every round is different, emotional, and totally unpredictable. And I can teach it to people in two minutes or less.

So, you can imagine my excitement when on a trip to India a few years ago I found myself in the Old City of Delhi, inside The Red Fort, standing in the center of a life-sized Parcheesi board.

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The First Board Game I Fell In Love With: Mike Selinker

Mike SelinkerTo celebrate the release of the Kobold Guide to Board Game Design, we asked some of the world’s top board game designers to tell us about the first game they fell in love with, and whether it still holds up for them today. Starting things off is author Mike Selinker.

For me, that’s easy: Squad Leader. I learned to play the original purple-box edition at age ten in the back of a glassblowing shop in Seattle. It was my first exposure to a hobby game—not the simple roll-and-move games of my preteen years, but a new kind of move-and-roll game. It’s amazing how powerful the inversion of those two concepts was. Roll-and-move was predestination, the game playing itself for me. Move-and-roll was strategy, the game bending itself to my will.

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My First Gen Con: Jeff Grubb

Jeff Grubb, Devourer Of WorldsJeff Grubb sets the Wayback Machine to the golden age of RPGs with his contribution to our “My First Gen Con” series of guest posts.

My first Gen Con was in 1978, at the University of Parkside campus, Kenosha. I regret that I missed the Playboy club the year before, but the idea of capturing an entire (small) campus for a convention, for a GAMING convention was at that time, insane.

I ended up at Parkside as a result of a number of things coming together at once, that strange serendipity that runs through all D&D stories. At the time, I was attending Purdue University, which was a) only two states away, and b) had classes that started the week AFTER the convention. In addition, the family of one of our D&D group’s members owned a house ON Lake Geneva itself. And finally, many of our group had been helping run local convention tournaments, and transformed that into working on the D&D Open for the legendary Bob Blake. AND I had a car (a powder blue Cutlass Supreme, why do you ask?) With all that going for it, how could I—and my motley band from the Friday Night Dungeon at Purdue—not attend? …

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My First Gen Con: Erik Mona

Erik MonaThanks to all of you who shared your Gen Con stories—we’re reviewing the entries now and will announce the contest winner on July 30th!

Now, Erik Mona shares his memories of meeting the Gods of Gen Con…

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In May of 1995, a year from graduating college and back home in Minnesota for summer, I was desperate for a game. Most of my old D&D buddies had moved on or moved away, and I decided that the only way I would ever game that summer involved getting more use out of my RPGA membership than simply reading Polyhedron Newszine. I decided to go to a convention. My very first convention: Twin Con, in Bloomington, Minnesota. There I met up with a rag-tag band of scoundrels involved in the RPGA’s Living City campaign, and realized that convention gaming—while not quite as exciting as “real” gaming at home—held an awful lot of promise.

I left the show with a Gen Con preregistration form…

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