I have yet to speak of one of my most profound interests: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (WFRP for short). You might say it’s been a non-subject for conversation, an irrational sense that drained me of the interest of mentioning it here. No longer, for tonight the taboo is lifted!

For my birthday, I decided to purchase for myself a used copy of the core rules for the first edition of WFRP. The hardbound version, before they came out with the paperback version with the handful of edits and corrections.

The copy I received was in terrible condition: spine shot, taped together, with edges worn gray. The character sheet page was missing, and somebody’s name and phone number were penciled in on the inside of the front cover.

However, the rest of the pages were in good condition—of a stiffer paper than the paperback copy I have, and smelling of that old sensation I remember when poring over the copy I once possessed. To hold in my hands this version was to take me back to a moment in my life where I once was fully immersed in the explorations my passion for this game would take me.

I was also reminded of the terrible time I was forced to sell my hardbound copy to Powell’s bookstore to have enough food to eat that day. To relinquish this tome and many others for a handful of dollars so I wouldn’t starve. In the years to come this would be the selling of my heart that would trouble me the most: The book that began my most important journey.

I had no way of knowing an internet would appear that would allow me to gain a copy for printout through the download network if I wished. That a seller’s market would manifest in which one might see and resume contact with all the lost pleasantries of a thousand young dreams, and if necessary, claim a physical object to meditate upon.

Here it is then, in my hands once again, healing a self-inflicted wound. Who is to say this is not the very same volume I once owned? For you see, it was sent to me from a bookstore in Oregon, the state of mind where I left behind a piece of myself. There are times when even selling pieces of yourself is not enough to keep eating. You must flee into the forest and go mad to find nourishment.

I open the page containing the “Wizard’s Apprentice” beginning career, with it’s typos in magic points and incorrect advance scheme. The errors confused me back when I first read them; when they were corrected in the paperback version I was relieved.

Now I find myself looking at the 204 magic points (instead of the correct 2d4 or 2-8) and the +1 Wounds/+10 Dexterity advance scheme (missing the additional +10 Intelligence and +10 Willpower) with a new set of eyes. The typos are meaningful to me; they speak to my innermost being of what I didn’t understand.

Subsisting only on my resistance to damage and the work of my hands, but born with an accident of energy.

This time, I hold the rules tome in my hands and I get the message.