Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Here Come Da Judge

Them DM dice rolls I may fudge
But that's the breaks when you got The Judge
On the Save or Die podcast I have been dubbed the "Judges Guild Expert." I find this an amusing title as I got it solely in virtue of the fact that I own a (as I refer to it) Big Box 'O Judges Guild. There's about 75 modules, supplements and back issues of JG's magazines in there. Now I've had this box for the better part of 20 years and I still have yet to delve very deep into it. Yet since I am in possession of this box that makes me the "expert."

How I acquired it is as follows: Flashback to the early 90's. I'm back home in Long Beach, CA, living in my mom's back room, having moved from San Jose after a bad breakup. I got myself a job and was trying to make some headway in getting back on my feet. I found out about a game store called The War House (one of the Last Great Old Game Stores, which is still operating in the same location as of this writing). I go in and the place is great - musty smell, thousands of minis hanging on the walls, games stuffed on shelves, a fatbeard behind the counter - everything a roleplayer could ask for, including a back room with two tables - one with a battlemat on it and one with wargame terrain set up on it. Nirvana.

I browse the shelves for a while and I end up in the back near the bathrooms. I see a tall wooden shelf, something like an old mail shelf with large slots, in which have stacks upon stacks of gaming material I hadn't seen for at least 20 years. I walk back up front and ask the fatbeard at the counter:

Me: What's with the Judges Guild stuff in the back?

FB: Oh, those are left over from when we used to be a Grenadier store.

Me: Oh. They for sale?

FB: Yeah, sure.

Me: How much?

FB: Half the cover price.

Over the next two days I came away with about three large piles of JG stuff. Thus the collection. I've added a few things over the years (like a copy of the CSIO Revised 3rd Printing I got off eBay) but it has pretty much remained intact through a myriad of moves. It's one of my most prized gaming possessions. I'll be rooting through this box in the weeks to come and reviewing selected items here. Stay tuned.

* For those of you unfamiliar with Judges Guild, check out this history of the company here.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Possession is 9/10s of the law, as they say, so that makes you as qualified to be an "expert" as anything else in this life! Also, I must say I love the term "fatbeard." It's like the word "thunderdome," I want to work it into as many conversations as I can just because it's such a cool-sounding word!