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How did you start playing D&D?
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pdxwinn
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 12:09 pm    Post subject: How did you start playing D&D? Reply with quote

I got to reminiscing about my first couple games and thought I'd share. I was also curious where, or how others got started.

My first couple games of D&D were played amongst other 10-12 year olds playing from the original red D&D box set. My older brother talked me in to it and to be honest - I was intrigued but it wasn't played well. We had no clue. lol!!

I found by accident an ad tacked to a bulletin board at the apartment complex up the street from my house for a game looking for players. The ad was posted by a couple adults (I was 11 at the time) but I gave them a call and the following weekend a couple of my friends and I went to play.

I have those 2 guys to thank for opening up a world to me. Munch and Chuck were their names and they brought the entire D&D experience in force. The campaigns and dungeons were gritty and realistic - my first character, a dwarf fighter/ thief died and was reincarnated as a kobold. I didn't know it at the time but later on as I learned more I found those games were based in Greyhawk!

It's been almost 30 years since then so I can no longer remember many specific details but, again - thank you to Munch and Chuck!
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 1:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Similarly to you, pdxwinn, I began at 12 years old when my parents bought my younger brother (10 years old) and I the red Basic box and the Blue Expert box for Christmas. 'Twas 1981, I believe.

We were too young to understand the rules and my mother, after reading a few pages, refused to read any more without being given college credit for it. Confused So, being the oldest amongst our small group of friends, I began as the DM, making up maps and inventing rules as they became necessary. I couldn't, for the life of me, understand what a Saving Throw was until at about 13 or 14 it just hit me. I distinctly remember a light going on inside my head when I finally grasped the concept of Saving Throws. At that point, I felt like I had graduated to true DMing. Happy

Of course, when Advanced D&D came out, we all believed that it was the next step up from the Expert rules. I never did like Psionics as they were much too over-powered in AD&D. Maybe that's what soured me on them in a fantasy setting for ever after.

I do have a couple of High School teachers to thank for showing me true depth in DMing skill. Playing as a character in their campaigns demonstrated to me how lacking my skills were and so many ways in which I could improve by immitating their styles.

SirXaris
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pdxwinn
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 21, 2011 7:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I love this part:

"I couldn't, for the life of me, understand what a Saving Throw was until at about 13 or 14 it just hit me. I distinctly remember a light going on inside my head when I finally grasped the concept of Saving Throws. At that point, I felt like I had graduated to true DMing."

LOL!!

Thank you for sharing - excellent story.

My 6th grade math teacher let us take over his room during lunch hour to game. He was a cool teacher.
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illustr8or
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 22, 2011 12:43 am    Post subject: I remember Reply with quote

I remember Return of the Jedi had been out, I was 9 and everyone was crazy about the toys. Me and two friends were really bored with that and one of my friends said let's play "D&D".

We ran inside and rolled up characters in the kitchen so we could play right away. I played an elven thief (doesn't everyone?), my other friend played a Human fighter and my friend who suggested playing was DMing.

No matter what my friend DMing said to me, I just couldn't understand what "Charm" did. Was it a trinket? Was my character just a smooth talker? It was like a spell? So what did it DO?! Laughing

I could hear my friend's mom laughing from the other room. So she comes over to the kitchen and she tried to explain it to me... and then I got it... which only frustrated my DM friend even further.

I remember being fascinated by the illustrations on everything which sent the creative sparks flying, causing me to draw dragons, knights, wizards casting spells for years. I'd kill to see that stuff again just for a laugh.

It drove my parents nuts wanting to stop for my first of many visits to the hobby store and started spending my allowance on the books. I'd spend hours upon hours pouring over the books and maps and building dungeons, imaging places for people to adventure in, graph paper and just having at it.

I'm glad to be getting back into it again all these years later.
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Oerdin
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 3:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was 1987 and I was 11-12 years old and my best friend's older brother had a 1st edition campaign he'd play with his friends. We kept pestering him to let us play too and, of course, they didn't want us kids mucking up their game but they finally gave in. After that we most Saturday mornings for years in that old garage hacking monsters, pretending to be heros or villians, and generally having a great time. By late 1993 I had mostly stopped playing with my final games being in early 1994 but since then I've enjoyed many RPG baed books and video games though I honestly have no interest in 3rd or 4th editions.
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vonbek
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 10:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I started in 7th grade which would have to be 1979? I started with the original blue basic set that came with B1 with the original cover and the coupon in the back for a free set of dice at your local game store. The first character I played was a magic user. We made it through most of the top level of B1 and then fell through the water pit into the lower level. We had finally found the Stairs to get back up but at that point everyone but my mage were down to 1 hit point, we were all first level. Blocking our escape to the upper levels and the outside were 4 orcs. Somehow My mage who only had a dagger with 4 hit points and no spells left was able to slay all 4 orcs. however he died as he thrust his blade into the last of the fell beasts. I think that's how everyones first experience should be. Soon after that we got the Advanced books and had moved on to that and other games. I even briefly owned my own game store. But I still play to this day and have been running a 3.5 Greyhawk game for the past few months and this weekend get to play First edition Advanced D&D with a few of the players playing via webcam from Canada. LOL
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pdxwinn
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 9:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Vonbek - Epic! You are so right - that is how the first experience should be. Excellent story.
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Cebrion
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Seems those red and blue basic and expert boxes sets were a starting point for many people, and I am among them. My younger brother and I got them for Christmas. Must have been 1981 or so, but we had been playing D&D with friends who had other rules for a year or so. The first time I remember seeing any sort of D&D books was around 1978, and the books were the small pamphlets like Blackmoor, Eldritch Wizardry and such. I was already a collector and painter of medieval/fantasy minis, so those pamphlet books appealed on that basis alone. That led to D&D soon enough, then to AD&D, and then to Greyhawk in few years time.
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Mystic-Scholar
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 30, 2011 12:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

vonbek wrote:
I think that's how everyones first experience should be.


Excellent stuff, Vonbek! Happy

Thanks for sharing that with us. A very cool "first game." Cool

I still remember mine and think that most of us do. Wink
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Oerdin
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PostPosted: Mon Jan 31, 2011 11:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After more then a year of lurking and slightly less then a year of, occasionally, posting here I have to say this is the best thread on this forum I have seen. Too much good stuff.
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Ragr
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 11:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Blue box and B1 for me, too. I have no idea how I ended up being DM other than it was me who bought the box set.

Then, AD&D PHB and MM. I vividly remember reading the DMG on a long car journey and being totally blown away by the possibilities. I'll also always link it with the BBC's radio version of Lord Of The Rings which was being broadcast at around the same time.

The sessions of those times were probably very primitive by today's standards and expectations; but what a time Cool .
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pdxwinn
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 9:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ragr wrote:
primitive by today's standards and expectations; but what a time Cool .


This made me laugh - so very true.

The games we had as kids, though a complete blast, were laughable in comparison to the games now.
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vonbek
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2011 1:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When I think of what a god awful character killer of a Dm I was back in the old days I cringe. Berserkers on griffins? What was I thinking?
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Ragr
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 12:55 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vonbek wrote:
When I think of what a god awful character killer of a Dm I was back in the old days I cringe. Berserkers on griffins? What was I thinking?


To be fair, your players probably deserved it. Mine deserved berserkers on berserker Griffons Laughing
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Julian_Grimm
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was introduced to 2e while spending the night at a friend's house. Began playing then and, pretty much never quit. Funny part is, I am back to playing 2e again.
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vonbek
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 3:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I get to play a 1st edition game this weekend that we only get to do every few months or so. Believe it or not I am finally getting to play the Keep on the Borderlands which I have never played or dm'd before.
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pdxwinn
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 05, 2011 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vonbek wrote:
I get to play a 1st edition game this weekend that we only get to do every few months or so. Believe it or not I am finally getting to play the Keep on the Borderlands which I have never played or dm'd before.


LOL - it's been so long since I played either 1st ed or the Keep on the Borderlands - I don't remember either one.

Suddenly I feel old. Cry
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DarkHerald
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I received my first RED BASIC BOX for Christmas of '84. Man that was the best Christmas ever. We had been playing D&D for a bit before that but from bits and pieces of photocopies that we managed to piece together from friends.

Our first "proper" adventure was Palace of the Silver Princess. Dont step into the red light!!! Wink

Battles against skeletons, evoiding those nastly little dart traps, deciding when was the best time to use your only potion of .... wait! What's the bottle!

By the time it got to going back to school, we had amassed an army of characters ranging from levels 1-3.

House Rules were starting to take shape so that we could advance to level 4 and then it was Christmas all over when we got our D&D Expert Box a 2 months later.

Man did that box blow the socks off me Shocked
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vonbek
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It wasn't until recently that I went back and really thoroughly read my ist edition DMG. Wow was there a lot of stuff in there. What amazes me the most was we would always complain about something not being in the books or they didn't think to pout that thing in there while all along it was. All we had to do was actually read the whole book and not just the parts to play the game.
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SirXaris
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 27, 2011 8:48 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

vonbek wrote:
It wasn't until recently that I went back and really thoroughly read my ist edition DMG. Wow was there a lot of stuff in there. What amazes me the most was we would always complain about something not being in the books or they didn't think to pout that thing in there while all along it was. All we had to do was actually read the whole book and not just the parts to play the game.


That's funny because my friends and I were just the opposite - we all read through every book, from cover to cover. Smile

If we couldn't remember a rule exactly right (i.e. couldn't agree on its interpretation) or needed to look up all the appropriate bonuses/penalties for a particular action, we pretty much knew exactly what page in what book the information was located on.

SirXaris
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Havard
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 18, 2011 2:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After spending a summer in England, I came home and found my friends in one of the guys' basment playing a strange game. I wasnt a big fan of board games at the time, and thinking this might be something similar I wasnt too eager to join in. However, I had just read the Lord of the Rings and when one of the guys told me I could play an elf, I was convinced. One gaming session later and I was hooked for life. Started out with BECMI, which is still my favorite edition, although I have played most editions out there.

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Yeoman
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Summer 1981...... I was 11 years old. A friend of mine at junior school had long talked about a game called Dungeons and Dragons that he played. In my minds eye was and epic board game, with several levels of boards, one on top of the other, and gaming figures to put on the board..... Yep, I really could not grasp the concept. I was then invited over to my friends house, and sampled the game. I was absolutely blown away. The books were the original soft-bound AD&D books, the illustrations awesome, and I was hooked then for life.

In time my parents bought me the old red box set circa 1981, and I carried the game to my friends in the neighbourhood. Within a year I held copies of the AD&D books for myself. I still get nostalgic over those seemingly endless school holidays, where modules like B4 'The Lost City', The Desert of Desolation series and ultimately Temple of Elemental Evil carried us to new and exciting worlds. Greyhawk always stuck for me. I got a copy of the original boxed set in 1984, and suddenly no other setting seemed satisfactory. Since then, it has always remained my roleplaying home, even through its oft neglected periods.

As for my first character, it was a Druid, that didn't last very long, but was buried with honour with his hammers crossed on his chest. My Ranger proved more hardy, and became long-lived and a true favourite.

As for struggling with the rules...... hmmm, yes before I got my Basic rules, I was the proud owner of B3 'Palace of the Silver Princess'. Now that was true car-crash DMing, looking at a stat block and guessing what some of the abbreviations stood for!! Nothing if not memorable.

Nowadays I DM at a local games club here in South Wales (UK), where a new swathe of innocents have been introduced to the 'pleasures' of TOEE using the Pathfinder rules. I still have a real fondness for those old AD&D rules, the cranky psionics, the weird Weapons v AC modifiers and all. I don't think I would ever tire of taking one of those characters into an old-style dungeon, no matter how the game has developed. But at heart i guess I still love to game, whatever the system. The gift of fellowship around a gaming table, the ability to imagine a world in which we could immerse ourselves has been of a value that I cannot calculate. To all those that made the game what it was I owe my thanks. To those who get the sheer enjoyment that I do from it I say Hail Friend! Welcome Happy Happy
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Argon
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I was 13 and was recovering from dislocating my shoulder on a tackle I made playing football. Some acquaintances I knew were talking about a game they played their DM at the time wanted a break and so he trained his friend Randy how to DM. I asked them about the game they told me about a world with dwarves, elves, trolls, barbarians, archers and wizards.

Well I was a fan of three billy goats gruff and Conan comics , books and the movie. Besides also being a fan of Claw the unconquered. Trolls where always my favorite race I always wanted to know more about them. I had seen the cartoon movie Lord of the rings and had not read it at that time.

So I was invited to roll up a character using AD&D rules first edition. I rolled up my first character a Half-Troll Barbarian from the Lands of Frost. Funny I did not know of GH at the time. As you can tell many rules where not known to this group. Heck someone stole most of the rulebooks the group acquired.

The DM that wanted a break Eddie set up house rules and we used d6 to make attack roles and everything else. He rolled up a Grugach elf ranger we had a MM with the Grugach and Valley elves in it. Well DM Randy constructed a Dungeon in which every run we entered had a fire bat or an Ice elemental in it.

Eddie apologized for the session and invited back to play in his game. We started over with the same characters. Spent 10 hours going through a dungeon for some elders of a town. I found a magical sword and we ended the session against a hydra to which i set the magical blade on him. The sword would leave my hand and fight by it self for a while.

Most of my party injured and I broke my axe on the Hydras scales. Left the magic blade to fend off the hydra so we could escape. Two more sessions after that and I had amassed a basic and expert box set plus the 1st ed dmg and phb created a city and offered to dm. I also got us the proper dice and enlighted everyone to what the rules actually where.

It was their first non dungeon adventure in the 3 years they had played before I joined the group. I was now the fulltime DM Eddie and the others took some of my ideas and DM'ed me every once in a while. Though I was lucky to get a session or two before the duties where back to me. I had everyone give me a history of their character most went a paragraph if that. I took all our histories and meshed them together so that are characters had a reason to be together. This all took place in their game world . Once I found the 83 GH box set I incorporated are campaign into a greyhawk one. Now Argon had a home though I had to alter the trolls to meet the original concept for my character. Vikings sourcebook 2E is a good idea of what Argon was a Trollborn Barbarian.
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Wycked_Imp
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My first time playing was about 1984, the summer between my 5th and 6th grade. My neighbor, older than me by a couple years, was learning AD&D with a friend of his. He did not own any books, so my first actual experience was with a piece of paper, a pencil, and 3d6 from a Yahtzee game! My first character with him was pretty much a rip-off of Hank, from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon, 'lighting' bow and all!!

I soon acquired the blue Expert boxed set and it came with the Isle of Dread and I purchased A3 Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords. My other friend, in the same grade as me, started with that. We must have played those two modules a hundred times. We soon got the 1st Ed Player's Handbook and used a mixture of the Basic and AD&D systems. We had loads of fun.

My first major character was a female elf from the Expert set. But, we still sort of used the AD&D books too. My first real intro to AD&D, I used the elf, but the DM corrected me and helped me convert her to a Fighter/Wizard. It was all game-on at that point.
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Lanthorn
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 24, 2011 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Picture this: Cincinnati, Ohio, 1980/81. I was only about 8 or 9 at the time when I was first introduced to the game by an older kid (13) who, along with some friends, played first edition (obviously).

I dimly recall the old boxed sets, and, of course, the first edition PH and DMG (the one with the red devil on it). The DM ran a campaign of his own design. I remember our characters getting captured by some cultists or warlord (this is all so fuzzy) and the lot of us getting chucked into a deep pit wherein we had to fight an ogre with our bare hands and feet. The ogre, of course, had some type of weapon, either a battle axe or some type of polearm. The details are all foggy, and I am not sure if we survived or not, but I recall liking the creativity of the fantasy realm. I guess you could say at that point I was hooked. I began to collect as much of the material that I could get from my parents, starting with the original Monster Manual, then the other hard-backed tomes, and later on, some of the modules. My DM-friend gave me a set of dice, which, happily, I can admit that I still own to this day and use...pardon the expression...religiously. I still have my old books and modules and all the great memories, but enjoy making new ones, too.

Thanks for the question, and a long, circuitous path down memory lane. It's getting dark down there!

fondly,

-Lanthorn
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