I’ve discussed this topic before but today’s trip to Barnes and Noble reinforced the fact that I’m a sports geek and a fantasy geek. I love sports books, baseball and horse racing in particular, but I love a good fantasy novel, as well. I can talk to you about the origins of the spitball, the importance of On-Base and Slugging %, or the role of a defensive end in a 3-4 defense. I can also ramble on endlessly about the difference between high fantasy (D&D) and low/grim fantasy (Warhammer).
Does that make me weird? I have often wondered about that. In college, I was surrounded by jocks who didn’t know a troll from a troglodyte, as well as role-playing friends that didn’t know Walter Payton from Walter Mondale. I had a few friends like me that could wander into a conversation of either group and hold our own.
“Why, yes, I agree. The 1961 Yankees are terribly overrated. Bobby Richardson leading off? After Whitey Ford, where is the pitching?”
“Yeah, I prefer level 2 fireball over level 2 lightning storm. And oh, about your claim that trolls are smarter than ogres…”
I bring all this up because I never know how many people out there are like me in that they love both forms of geekdom. I never have understood how the sports geek can rip on the fantasy geek and vice versa. I guess in polite society it’s ok to talk baseball in public more than it is to talk about the best way to attack a group of Black Orcs. I get that. But how is Fantasy Football more macho than sitting at a table and playing a role playing game? That, I don’t get. I always kept my geek-ness to a minimum, though, as did my friends. At a party, it was totally off limits to discuss the prior night’s RPG session. We learned early on that women DO NOT CARE about how cool the big battle against the Orc Warboss went. They tend to leave skidmarks, in fact. They’ll tolerate overhearing about last week’s OSU game (boys will be boys, and all) but mention an elf – and they’re gone. I guess things could be different today with the success of the LotR movies…but I dunno.
My wife puts up with all of my odd hobbies. I have no idea how I pulled that off, but I’m not complaining about it.
Anyway, back to why I’m mentioning this again. Today at B&N I spotted something that made me extremely excited and $40 poorer. In college, the role-playing games of choice were:
By far the game that received the most play time was Warhammer. Well, today I spotted a brand new version of the classic game at the bookstore. I was shocked because Games Workshop, owners of everything Warhammer, pretty much stopped doing anything RPG related in the early 90s and focused entirely on minatures (Warhammer Fantasy, 40K, etc.) I like miniatures as much as the next guy, but Warhammer Role Play was SO good it was a shame to see it die off. Well, today it’s back and revised and looks extremely nifty. (See link above to the new publisher). So I bought it for $40. Of course, I have no one to play the game with today; almost all of my close college buddies moved away and I’m not one to go to a gamestore to find a new group of players. Like I’m gonna hang out with THOSE geeks. Hah.
So I bought a $40 RPG just to read.
I think that officially makes me a geek.