It all started with a board game.
There were many before it, but this one was Dark Tower. Jon enjoyed Dark Tower quite a bit, so much so, that when his parents were visiting Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, his mother stopped by a little shop named TSR Hobbies. There, she saw display cases filled with little lead figurines painted in bright colors and just happened to pick out four of them to replace the four Dark Tower warrior pawns.
Jon was ecstatic to play Dark Tower with the four new pawns! But they awoke another fascination in him: where can he get more of these little metal men to paint for himself? The answer was Oak Forest Hobbies in Illinois. Jon developed quite a collection of metal miniatures and model paints (good ol’ Testors Enamels) and would spend hours on the porch painting them.
One shopping trip to Oak Forest Hobbies, Jon spotted a red box with a dragon on the cover. It read, “Dungeons & Dragons” and he asked his dear mum if he could pick that up this time around. She agreed and that was the start of the next leg of Jon’s gaming interests. Many stories of might, magic, dungeon delving, and fantasy fighting were experienced the following years!
With high school and summer jobs, gaming was put on the shelf for a while. But, college opened up all sorts of new role-playing opportunities and systems; Cyberpunk 2020, Gamma World, Indiana Jones, James Bond 007, Marvel Super Heroes, Star Frontiers, Top Secret (both versions), and so on.
After graduating with a Master’s in Engineering, there was once again a gaming hiatus. That is, until a friend in a neighboring lab at work suggested starting up a 2nd edition AD&D gaming group in preparation for the upcoming 3rd edition.
Jon has been gaming ever since, even taking up painting miniatures again – this time with acrylics!
Jon prefers his board games non-chit-filled, his card games non-collectable, and his RPGs non-mainstream.