However, this game is one of the most beautifully supported of all the RPGs from that Golden Age, with its boxed sets for the film-inspired adventures, packed with paper props, maps, Gamesmaster's information etc. I only wish it was still going today so we could get roleplaying adaptations of more recent films such as Casino Royale and Die Another Day, as well as up-to-date gadget/weapon/vehicle information. As it is, it remains very much a period piece, stuck in the '80s!
6. Star Wars d6 (West End Games). This came out in 1987, but I didn't really get into it hardcore until almost a decade later by which time I no longer had a regular gaming group and this became the first (but certainly not the last) of the systems that I spent a small fortune on but have never actually played.
At first it took a while to get my head around the d6 concept of having "dice pools" for your attributes - rather than fixed numbers (as I had grown up with in Dungeons & Dragons etc), but it gradually began to dawn on me over those 10 years, that was appeared to be a fast and flexible system that could be used for adventuring in pretty much any sort of setting.
That, for me, was always part of the great appeal of Star Wars RPGs that you could tell any genre of story within that Universe - from hardboiled detective to horror, from romance to slapstick comedy.
My love of the game (and the Universe) was bolstered by the incredible Star Wars gaming fanzines (The Jawa Melting Pot and Star Wars Thrilogy), of Gutt Wrench, published in the late 1990s, which I was always "drafting" articles for, but never got round to submitting them!
5. Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (TSR). This A4 blue box has a lot to answer for! I was first introduced to Dungeons & Dragons by the MENSA-brained son of a friend of my mother when I was about 10 or 11, and it blew my mind. The freeform combination of storytelling, imagination and structure made me suddenly see game ideas in everything (morning hymns at prep school were a particularly fertile ground for creatures and treasure ideas - just what are the bonus' of a "bow of burning gold" and how fast does a "chariot of fire" go?)
I had a friend at prep school, Tom, that I played wild campaigns with, mainly based on (of all things) the Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy radio plays (because that was THE geeky thing at that time of our lives) - so we had leaves for currency, giant pigeons for flying mounts, Pan-Galactic Gargleblasters for drinks etc.
But I also had a friend who lived five doors down from me in Pembury - Gublin - with whom I played more traditional campaigns, including massive global explorations on an ever-expanding map of a world without a name - or boundaries. This was simply youthful enthusiasm running free - and it was great!
It's this passion for the games of my childhood that still course through my veins, that - despite the best efforts of society and adult life - I just can't extinquish and hope, one day, to fully reignite.
I could write reams and reams about my early years of Dungeons & Dragons, of the triumphant advetures of Staghind Starlight-Aramioc-Blacksword I, Queen of Elfland; of the band of hardy adventures who tobogganed down a hill with roc egg on their shoulders; of dungeons based on the houses in our street and monsters drawn from Top Trump cards etc etc etc
Next time, I'll be reminiscing over Space 1889, Call of Cthulhu and the game that led to the creation of HeroPress: Villains & Vigilantes.