An Ode to (the) BOB

Big Orange Book Exterior
The Big Orange Book in its current form. (Ignore the unvacuumed carpet, I say! It is unimportant!)


If you’ve ever gamed with me, you’ve likely been introduced to the Big Orange Book of Gaming Doom. It is the tome that tells the tale of my gaming history for pretty much my entire adult life, and even holds some remnants of my first forays into MERP in high school (I still have my original character sheet, Eric 🙂 ). When I’m tabletopping, it goes with me. Yes, the whole thing. Yes, every time. (Insert “A Pimp Named Slickback” pun here.)

In its original incarnation, it was a thick sketchbook with orange fabric on the outside cover, funny/memorable quotes from game sessions on the inside, notes and character doodles scribbled throughout, and loose character sheets and more notes sandwiched between its pages. It positively bristled with papers that stretched the binding to its limits and beyond, and a few years ago, I finally had to admit it was falling apart. But I couldn’t just get rid of it or replace it. There were too many good stories in there.

So I sliced off the spine, three-hole punched all the pages and it evolved into 2.5in binder with (surprise surprise) orange inserts for the covers and spine, and plenty of room for the handwritten pages, printed character sheets in sleeves, doodles, notes, reference sheets, and other gaming ephemera that had previously been scattered across multiple books/notebooks.

The Big Orange Book lives on! And this isn’t even its final form, since it’s so packed with stuff AGAIN that the spine is once more slowly splitting with use. Only the future will tell what it’s next evolution may be. Orange duct tape reinforcement? Bigger binder? No one knows!

But really, mostly I shared all this because, I’ve only today, like JUST A FEW SHORT HOURS AGO realized that I can legitimately refer to the Big Orange Book as BOB. And if you know me, you know that this? This makes me happiest of all. XD

Big Orange Book Interior
D&D notes on the left, the Vampire: the Masquerade character that kicked off the BOB on the right