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Back to Old Gaming Stuff (With a Little New)


Over the holiday weekend, I had a chance to dig out some dice, pull my old Players Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons off its shelf, and for the first time in 13-15 years, play D&D.

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I’d bought this volume when it was brand-new, back whenever that was (early 2000s!), and shortly after also bought the Dungeon Master’s Guide…though I never really got around to being able to use them. (It would be several more years before I snagged the Monster Manual after 3.5 had hit and it was "on sale" as an outdated edition.)

I was unable to actually find my old dicebag (having recently moved, and it being so long since I’d had need of the thing, I haven’t a clue where it’s wound up!)…so I scrounged up another bag from some USB multi-piece set, and managed to pull together a small assortment of dice from several different gaming bins (Heroclix, Shadowrun: Duels, D&D Miniatures). But then, not satisfied with that, I hit a comic/game shop and snagged a cheap set of 7 dice and then a number of random misc. dice to beef up my now-current collection.

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In rummaging through everything looking for the old dice, I found two large card boxes that proved to hold a number of stand-out Magic: the Gathering cards I remember.

Above: two "dual lands" from the Revised Edition. I’d at one point had a third, but I’d traded that to someone for a couple other cards I was more interested in. That was before these become such incredibly expensive cards. I obviously stuck them into card protectors, and for the moment, they can stay there.

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A couple more "fun" cards–the hydras! The Balduvian Hydra is from the Ice Age expansion, while the Rock Hydra is from the Revised Edition, I believe. I quite enjoyed using both, being a fan of the token-creatures and stuff, and just the rarity and air about ’em (the Ice Age card being the "new" or "poor man’s" Rock Hydra).

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Similar to the Balduvian Hydra, the Polar Kraken was–to me–a neat creature that seemed like a new version of an older one–and fun to use as one of the largest (if not THE largest) creatures in the game at the time, the Leviathan. I believe I traded or bought the two Leviathan cards from the The Dark set, and "inherited" the Fourth Edition one from a friend when he got out of the game.

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And then there’s my favorite subset of cards from the game: the Elder Dragons! (The Nicol Bolas pictured here is out of its case for the group photo…it was in the case in a photo shared several weeks ago.)

Chromium was by far my favorite of the five, if only for the art and concept, but probably also for its inclusion in some of the early comics. Nicol Bolas has come to be a favorite as well thanks to use of the character in the books (Time Spiral in particular) and for getting a toy made!

While probably not at all powerful nowadays, some 65 sets and 12,000+ cards later, considering I got into the game in early 1995 or so (the game had not yet been out for 2 years!), these were great at the time, and truly the stuff of legends.

Though they’re obviously not comic books, I may start "showing off" some of my old favorites as I come across them, sorting through all these old cards that I hadn’t realized were not in with what I’d thought was my entire collection (oops!).

Time will tell, though!

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