I'd been aware of Dungeons & Dragons before that point, though primarily as a Saturday Morning cartoon and toy line. I'd had a friend in Ontario who owned the Red Box, but even though I expressed an interest in playing, he'd always say that he needed his father to "make the maps" or something or other I didn't quite understand, and we'd go back to playing with our He-man or Star Wars action figures. Or M.U.S.C.L.E.s. Thus, my introduction to RPGs didn't come at the hand of that ubiquitous system, rather Chris Thunderberg's copy of a new game called Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.
From then on I launched a steady campaign of pestering my mother for a copy of the book. The problem was the closest store that sold that sort of thing was about an hour's drive away. And my mom was not the type to go out of her way for such nonsense. But, my ability to be annoying eventually prevailed. The store was located on the top floor of a small building, once probably a small apartment building, but now converted into a sort of mini-mall. A used bookstore took up most of the first floor. Up some wooden stairs that had forgotten what varnish was several decades prior, at the back of a old, musty hallway, across from a small shop selling goth clothing and costumes, was a tiny room, largely taken up by a gametable in the middle. Bookcases lined one wall, packed with gamebooks and boxes, while 2 other walls were lined with various miniatures, as well as bags of dice. A stuffed dragon adorned the counter with an archaic register. The man behind it was an older fellow, with a grey beard, who eyed us somewhat suspiciously. A mother and her young child was not a welcome site in gaming shops in those days, though when she explained to him what we were looking for, he seemed to get in better mood. No random tourist was I , looking for Teddy Ruxpins or Cabbage Patch Dolls.
Of course, I didn't wait for him to provide directions, my eyes locked in on the spine of the book within moments of entering, and I feverishly ripped it from the shelf, clasping it in joy. I then wandered in amazement taking in as much as I could of the other products around the place before my mother's patience wore thin. The man helpfully explained to my mother that I would need certain dice, and he provided a small felt bag to go with them. I tried to convince her to let me get a miniature as well, but she said something about another parent (Chris's mom I think) warning her about lead, and I didnt want to push my luck that day. But the man behind the counter slipped a copy of a Ral Partha catalogue into the bag for me, and gave me a wink.
I have no further memory of that week, as I was lost in that book.
In the Bestiary I encountered for the first time the Skaven. The chaos ratmen.
It was love at first site.
So it was that I came to the Warhammer world by way of the roleplaying game rather than the wargame. It would in fact not be until about 3 years later that I first got a copy of Warhammer Fantasy Battles.