My love affair with games, and with role-playing in particular, began when a friend of mine, Moray Bresnihan, came back to Hong Kong from his Irish boarding school. We were Hong Kong kids, growing up there in the 1970s and 1980s and Moray had gone to school in Ireland, why, I have no idea.
The thing is that when he came back for his first holiday, he had something amazing to tell us. He had played this game, about dungeons and dragons and magic and swords, and it was amazing. He tried to explain it to us (specifically my younger brother Matt and I) but it was beyond our comprehension. No, you couldn't "win" the game, there was no board, it didn't really finish, dice, yes, but not just six-sided ones... It was all too outlandish, too bizarre, to weird. It sounded bloody marvellous.
Not surprisingly it became the numberonethingthatIwantedaboveallelse and the following Christmas, after my Dad had been travelling (there was no D&D to be had anywhere in 1981 Hong Kong) it arrived. A red box, with a dragon on it, and the words, Dungeons & Dragons. There was no looking back.
I played RPGs pretty much every week of my life between Xmas 1981 and summer 1991. I played D&D, Traveller, Call of Cthulhu, Star Trek, Justice Inc., Paranoia, M.E.R.P., T.M.N.T., Golden Heroes, Marvel Superheroes, Cyberpunk 2020, AD&D and even The Fantasy Trip.
Then I stopped. I stopped because my new University friends didn't play. Not only did they not play, but they thought people who did play were a bit sad. I turned out to be less heroic than I had hoped and caved under this social peer pressure. I gave it up and instead put my energy into getting drunk and having hangovers.
I met a girl, fell head-over-heels in love, qualified as a librarian, qualified as a teacher, got a job, got married (to the girl), moved to Hong Kong (back to Hong Kong for me) had kids and got on with being a pretty decent primary teacher.
Then one day, I thought, whatever happened to RPGs? I got nostalgic. I looked online expecting to find that the hobby had died, ousted by "video" games. What a shock I got. What a wonderful, fantastic shock! Far from dying out the industry appeared to be going strong and know it had a whole history of its own. A story of small companies becoming bigger, of the kings of RPG dying, only to be reinvented by a bunch of card carrying fans (literally card carrying). Indie developers and companies seemed to be everywhere.
And that was that. I went out, founded Nine Dragons RPG Ltd and determined that not only would I start playing again (at the age of 44) but that I would give something back to the hobby. I would create an RPG. Somehow, it ended up as Honour. And now you can help make it a reality!