1993 marked the beginning of an era in tabletop gaming that would see a card game maker buying out TSR for the D&D license. The boom in collectible card games started with the limited Alpha Edition of Wizards of the Coast's Magic: The Gathering. The concept behind Magic is so simple it's hard to believe it never occurred to anyone before 1993: make a fantasy card game that plays like an advanced version of "war" and sells like baseball cards. Rarity becomes a factor in game play and millions of nerds with disposable incomes not being spent on gym memberships and aftermarket car parts lighten their wallets by filling cardboard sleeves with hundreds of Magic cards. It's such a successful formula that it's easy to forget just how primitive some of these early cards were. Thanks to reader No Real Pattern for this WTF suggestion.
Steve: Magic is about my favorite non-D&D game out there. I had a bunch of really valuable cards but I sold them all to buy more cards.
Zack: The rich get richer, the poor get in-store credit for their Black Lotus.
Steve: I didn't have that, but I ended up with like 300 bucks worth of credit and immediately bought a ton of Rage cards and weird GURPS supplements I can't even remember.
Zack: GURPS Hobby Shop Swindles.
Steve: Hey, everybody has traded in a box of old Playstation 2 games and walked out of the store with a brand new copy of Army of Two thinking they just totally got a great deal.
Zack: Once you're my age you stop trading stuff in so it can sit unopened on your entertainment center collecting dust and beckoning you with a manchild life you can never embrace.
Steve: No way bro you told me yesterday you played Call of Duty for two hours and got mad because there was a clan of little kids that kept killing you with hatchets and laughing at you in between matches.
Zack: Those motherfuckers...ElliptiC if I see you on Array your ass is mine.
Steve: Skulls always have that mocking look. It's really uncomfortable if you're like a skull dad at your skull kid's piano recital.
Zack: It's great for skeleton comedians.
Steve: Being a skeleton comedian is rough if you play normal people clubs. You get up on stage and for like the first ten minutes all you can talk about is being a skeleton because you know they're looking at you thinking, "Jeez, what a skeleton."
"Really, Holmes!" I dropped into my seat, shocked. "You are remarkably tall! What are you, six foot six? Six foot eight?"
As the 19th century diver approaches a giant clam, a flash of brilliant golden light flares from within the shell. I emerge in a swirl of bubbles and do the timeless universal underwater hand signals for the following: ZODIAC KILLER, KKK, BLOOD OF YOUTH
Zack Parsons, Steve "Malak" Sumner, and friends tackle bizarre role playing game products that make them wonder, "What the fuck!?" From the early days of Gygax to contemporary role playing games, none will be spared.