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January 29, 2012

À La Recherche des Homemade D&D Modules Perdu

One of the weirdest things about brains is how they're filled with a giant jumble of memories that you paradoxically can't remember you have without help. Like everyone except Marcel Proust, I usually notice this with songs. Something comes on the radio from 1993 and I realize I remember every single thing about it, but I wouldn't have had any conscious memory that the song even existed until it started playing.

For the first time in my life, and maybe anyone's life, I just had this experience with a homemade Dungeons & Dragons module. I was fustzing around and read this post on Boing Boing:

Homemade D&D module, 1981

Tim H sez, "A recent and amazing donation to the [ed: Play Generated Map and Document Archive] project: A beautiful, hand-made homebrew addition to the classic TSR Against the Giants series."

I saw that and I thought: wow, that looks incredibly familiar. And as I read through it I realized it looked familiar because I'd spent 700 hours playing it after elementary school during the early Reagan administration.

Even stranger is that I emailed the guy who originally posted it, and it turns out he didn't get from its creator, my 5th grade friend Gaius (aka G.J. Caesar). Instead, somebody gave it to him after they picked it up on eBay.

I can't help but wonder what else from my childhood that I've almost completely forgotten about is about to be posted online. Sometimes I wake up convinced that I accidentally killed someone in 1986 and successfully hid their body and kept the secret ever since. I think that's probably not true, but now I feel like I'll have to keep checking the internet every day just to be sure.

—Jonathan Schwarz

Posted at January 29, 2012 06:01 PM

I recently had this happen on Facebook when a friend mentioned a song that reminded me of the production of Godspell I was in in high School. I recalled details and the names of people I was sue I had forgotten. Luckily, no one has, as of yet, posted pictures form the performances online. *That* would be embarrassing.

Posted by: Keith at January 29, 2012 11:09 PM

I made stretched Coke bottles in the 70s-80s and sold them in Pennsylvania mainly but all up and down the east coast too. I've seen them for sell on the net from time to time.

Posted by: Mike Meyer at January 29, 2012 11:48 PM

My first professional publication was a piece I wrote while I was in high school and submitted to "The Dragon" (

Posted by: darrelplant at January 30, 2012 01:01 AM


Posted by: Dredd at January 30, 2012 11:47 AM

Pretty cool.

(I've had some pretty bizarre incidents of synchronicity, or whatever you want to call it, in my time...)

Posted by: Batocchio at January 31, 2012 03:21 AM

Yeah, well, I sometimes wake up in a sweat from a dream that I worked for many years in a dreary, lifeless office full of fear and hostility . . . but my office didn't have a door!

Posted by: N E at January 31, 2012 05:44 AM