Monday, April 20, 2015

A to Z of How I Learned to Love D&D: Q is for Quaz

I can't speak for other groups, but somehow in the evolution of our gaming group's brotherhood, the word "quaz" became a badge and a slur that we all used at one time or another.

That first gaming group that I was a part of consisted of myself, Mark M., Todd, Barry, Richard, Kurt, Mike, Jonathan, and Aaron.  Most of them knew each other from high school or working at our local Sam's Club, but I was the odd guy who lived in Indiana and was Barry's oldest friend.

Since, I lived the furthest away and lived a more planned life than most 18-22 year olds, I became the de facto group mom, for better or for worse.

Initially, it was me, Barry, Kurt, and Richard playing in Todd's Champions game, but we grew members fast and (mostly because of my gaming ADD) played games like ADnD, Talislanta, Marvel Super Heroes, DC Heroes, Rifts, the World of Darkness, Feng Shui, and TORG.

I eventually became the group's main Game Master, but shared stints with Mark M. and Barry.

Sadly, we alienated Todd as a GM over a rules dispute in Champions.

Anyway, the term "quaz" was coined, I believe, by Mark M. in reference to Richard.  It was inspired by Quasimodo and Quasi-Man from the Wild Cards novels edited by George R.R. Martin.

It stuck.  It became fashion for us.  Some of them even used it in general public (not me, for years I left my gaming life separate from my "real" life").  Richard even got a vanity plate with it on it.

It was a badge of honor that still means something and is a part of my path from adolescence to adulthood.  Bittersweet, in many ways, because those days are gone and enough has happened that I'll never get them back.  And, really, I don't need to try.  We've all moved on, but those days are still written in my heart.

Thankfully, I'm still close to Mark M. and his dear wife, Jackie.  While we don't seem them enough, we have the type of friendship that picks back up as soon as we are together.

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