I am not referring to the breed of poodle. Zorcon is a moniker I gave one
of my role-playing characters, and eventually it became a common username,
and is now a sort of on-line personna.
Way back in 1979 I was introduced to a game called Dungeons & Dragons by
the son of friends of my parents, Kevin. I was immediately intrigued, and
after began spending all of my spare allowance on game books, dice and lead figures. You see, even in
5th grade, I was a collector. I had to fit this "new" hobby into my budget
- replacing the eraser robots and NFL team pencils found at the school store,
the baseball cards and TV & movie cards from the grocery store, and the Star Wars figures
& Hot Wheels from the department store.
With an allowance of $5 per week (I was not allowed to spend birthday or Christmas
monies), I was working with limited resources.
I soon found a local game night (25 minute drive by parental
coach) at a book store in a strip mall named The Book Den. Looking back, I can't believe the tolerance the neighboring stores had towards the every-Friday-night rush of pre-teen and adolescent gamer-geeks. Players were spread all over the floor of the book store. Then there was "the" game, a 3' diameter table in the back stock room. I quickly graduated to that table, and have many fond memories of "first contacts" with strange new creatures and races. This is the
campaign that spawned my first long-term character. All previous characters were lowly underclassmen to this
one - his name was Garbage Gut. I was in 5th grade, so you shouldn't be surprised by
the sophistication of the name.
I peddled "The Gut" over to other games as well, and as the popularity of the Friday night games grew, we expanded to a nearby Taco Bell (my favorite place to play), and even in the back room of a Rodda Paint store a few
suites down. I managed to play Zorcon all the way up to 6th level. When I hit 8th grade (sometime around 1984), I began to take gaming even more seriously, and dropped
all of my other "collection" hobbies (except comics) and went full force at D&D . I looked down on my previous gamming as juvenile. Although I cherished my beloved
Garbage Gut, the name stuck in my throat every time I had to introduce him to a new NPC. Something had to be done. Sitting in my kitchen, scribbling names on a piece of paper, desperate to come up with a name, I was struck upside the head by a name echoing in the background. Star Trek was on
in the other room, and I heard (Kirk I think) refer to a King Zorcon. THAT WAS IT! Garbage Gut was
re-dubbed Zorcon. From that point on, the character, and the name has always floated in and out of my gaming
(and real) life.
Around 1985, leveled him up to 10th, and played him
for only a short while, as my circle of friends moved onto other games. Sometime around
1986, I took Zorcon, and 3 of my other favorite characters (A human Magic-User named Baucis, a half-elf bard/thief named Laserin Monroe, and a human
sailor (fighter) named Molock) and battled every creature in the Monster Manual and the Fiend Folio in alphabetical order. This sent all 4 of those characters into insane levels, and "earned" them hordes of treasure. I designed an appropriate artifact-level sword for Zorcon,
(that some un-named do-gooder who owed Z a favor created for him). I also began to design Zorcon's castle, but never
quite finished it. He was finally retired in a plastic page protector about 1988.
When Dungeons & Dragons 3rd edition was re-launched by Wizards of the
Coast in 2000, the first thing I did was dig up old Zorcon and convert him to the new system. It didn't work out very well, as the new system only handled characters of up to 20th level, and my beloved Zorcon had reached 47th level
in 1st edition (remember the Monster Manual?). But about a year later, the Epic Level Handbook came out, and I was able to properly convert Zorcon. He now resides in my currently running campaign, as a
self-proclaimed King of a moderately sized parcel of land just south of the City of
Right around the same time, I started using the on-line handle of Zorcon.
His presence was also felt in numerous other games I have played over the
years. When I decided to put up a gaming resource web site in 2004, it was
all too obvious to me what it should be called. So, that's the Cliff Notes
version of Zorcon's History as told by me.