Well, the story in real life
somewhat mirrors the fiction. Years ago I ran D&D sessions at the University of
California, Irvine. I was a Dungeon Master. I enjoyed creating worlds, and plots, and
letting real people stumble around in my realms. Very similar to what thousands of people
do today on MUDs.
I had a regular group of players
and we got together a couple times a week, usually for marathon sessions on the weekend.
One of my favorite creations was the world of Branland (yeah, so the name was terrible,
what can I say?). The scenario was called the Battle of the Wizards. Remember that this
was before the computer game craze in which every plot revolved around killing the evil
wizard. I admit to having a few plots like this myself. However, the Battle of the Wizards
scenario didn't quite go as I planned it.
My idea was simple. Get the group
to go find Gondar and help him kill the evil Grameel. It was supposed to be a short
scenario for one of our evening sessions. I had used the world and setting before for a
few other scenarios, so I was fairly comfortable that I could handle anything special that
would be needed. Boy was I wrong!
You see, there were many clues
that Prince Zorton had been turned to Grameel's side. However, my hardy band of
adventurers didn't pick up on any of them. They let Zorton join their party and trusted
him as a royal prince. Ok, so I gave them a few more hints and expected them to dispatch
the Prince (who was a minor player anyway) and get on with the real quest. But they didn't
take any of the bait. I had not planned for Zorton to be in on the final battle, so I had
Zorton take them to the Dungeon and lock them up. Everyone went home (to be continued on
the weekend) so that I could rewrite the scenario.
That is when I invented Laplos,
the Dungeon or Horrors, and of course, Zugg. Call it a moment of inspiration. I designed
the scenario, the description of Zugg, and everything late one night. That weekend I had
the Galant Knight Sir Rossi rescue the party from their cell and lead them into the heart
of the Dungeon. As expected, they killed Laplos (he really was disgusting). I had bet that
they would kill Zugg as well, but they didn't. Aurora was his savior.
Aurora was a relatively new
member of the group. She was a Freshman, and I was a Junior. She was a computer science
major, like myself at the time, and joined the group a month or so before after hearing
about it from a friend. Aurora took a great interest in my Zugg character for some reason.
She convinced the other's to spare his life and to see if he would lead them out of the
dungeon. They had Zugg join their party, and I ended up having to play him as best I
could. I lead them out of the Dungeon and got them back on the main plot trail to kill
Grameel. Grameel really did just disappear, since I planned to bring him back at a later
date for another scenario.
After a few more months of this,
the group slowly split up. Grades were falling, and there just wasn't as much time to
spend D&Ding (sounds like MUD addiction, doesn't it?). Aurora and I grew close, and
ended up spending a lot of time together. We discovered computer D&D games together
with the first Wizardry and Ultima games. We dated for four years and had a good time. I
was in graduate school when she finished her four years of undergraduate work and got a
job in England. England!! I said. Yes, she said sadly. We'll, I still had two years left
of my graduate degree and couldn't follow. We departed as friends. I still hope that the
currents of time will bring us together again someday.
I completed my degree, and moved
to New Mexico. I got married, then divorced. During my divorce I found escape in the
wonderful world of MUDs. Gee, it was just like the old D&D games I used to run.
Computer games with real people! I developed a killer MUD client for the PC called zMUD. Take a look, I think you'll like it. See you online!
For more information, here is my resume. Also, here is a list of MUDs that I play
in case you want to find me online.