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In a land that time forgot

The Fiendish Board Games web site is in need of an overhaul.

I think my Fiendish partner set the site up in the days when Demon Internet was still a big name in the UK - the old URL used to be something like fiendishgames.demon.co.uk, if memory serves.

I overhauled it when we moved to the current URL but that was at least 10 years ago, maybe even 15 or more.

So, I am in no position to sneer at people who have web sites that clearly hail from a bygone age, but I stumbled across this site, which took me back in more ways than one.

HTML from hell

It is a free web site (I presume) hosted by Freeservers.com that its owner has probably long forgotten about.

All the usual hallmarks of "my first web site" are there: the use of frames, the use of every available font, dodgy backgrounds, the choice between Netscape 4 and Internet Explorer 4, the need to worry about download speeds on modems and so on.

The subject matter is fantasy role playing (FRP), and, again, I am in no position to sneer.

In terms of punch per pound, the £3.95 I spent on the rule book for Tunnels & Trolls (T&T) back in the late seventies has probably been my best investment.

I once estimated that I had played the game for 3,000 hours or more. My enthusiasm for the game sparked the creation of Take That You Fiend!, a postal gaming fanzine that took its name from a Tunnels & Trolls spell, and the postal gaming fanzine gave birth to Breaking Away, which I am still selling to this day.

The guy who created the FRP site I stumbled upon seemed to take it a bit more seriously than I did, with a clunky attempt at a cod-Mediaeval prose style, but it was enjoyable rambling around the site, peeking into corners.

It was a bit like getting access to an old building that had been boarded up for twenty years.

Pass terbutje (on the left hand side)

How did I find this web site?

That's a bit convoluted, but here goes.
  • Someone in the office used the term "left hand side"
  • That, as always, sparked a chorus of the old Musical Youth hit, "Pass the Dutchie"
  • That reminded me of T&T sessions; whenever a character used a type of sword called a terbutje, we all used to sing "Pass terbutje on the left hand side". (You had to be there).

So, what is a terbutje? It is a long lump of wood that has shark's teeth along its edges. Not much good for thrusting, but a good slashing weapon.

I was minded to search for the word terbutje on the web to see its origins, and came across the dusty FRP site that is the subject of the blog entry.

It looks like the contents of this page from the site use the Tunnels & Trolls rule book as a source.

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