My first game was 1979 with the Holmes edition. I was 11 and I found it in the hall closet. my mom had picked it up at a yard sale in perfect condition. I assume someone bought it and didn't care for it. I had seen D&D advertised, but I didn't really under stand how role playing worked. I poured over that book for hours before the light came on in my brain. The first thing I thought when I realized how the game worked was, " Holy crap! this is the closest I can get to actually being the Gray Mouser!" I DMd the first game ever with my little brothers, I remember a hydra, but I really have more impressions of the dice and the excitement than memories of the game itself.
It was autumn 1983 or spring '84, I was in fourth grade. Prior to playing, I had heard of D&D and had read some Endless Quest books (the first four at least). A classmate friend of mine brought his Moldvay rulebook with him but no dice, so we just free-formed things. About 15 of us gathered under a tree at recess and played. My character was a Halfling armed with a "fire sword" (which I later learned was a sword +1 flametongue), apparently a very common weapon since about 7 or 8 of us seemed to have them. There were no maps, no proper character sheets, just a bunch of us alternately listening tensely to the DM and then excitedly shouting our proposed actions over one another. I distinctly remember setting some trolls on fire with my sword, and watching my friend the DM demonstrate to us how the trolls were screaming and thrashing and running around on fire. Oh boy, was I ever hooked...
My first turn to DM came a few weeks later, still using our diceless version of Moldvay. I still hadn't even read the whole rulebook yet, as my friend was reluctant to lend it to anyone, but that didn't deter me in the slightest. I don't remember much of the adventure, other than that it was a 100% improvised ice dungeon that borrowed heavily from Mountain of Mirrors. Incinerating trolls with fire swords was a popular pastime of our group, so I made sure to include plenty of opportunities for such sport. I think there were also some giant icicle impaling traps, some Abominable Snowmen, and of course the white dragon and frost giant duo from the cover of the book. I wasn't as enthusiastic in my physical portrayals of monster suffering, but the adventure went well enough nonetheless!
Last Edit: Feb 17, 2009 11:43:49 GMT -6 by gnombient
1991, Red Box, Australian Edition (no idea what if anything was different, I think it came with an extra book of rules) session lasted 6 hours, short lived as I moved on to ADnD 2nd Ed after finding both Core Rules books in a book store in Bendigo..
I’ve decided to answer the question I want to rather than the one asked. See I didn’t start with D&D. I went to Steven F Austin University in ’77 and immediately met (forget how, failed luck roll I guess [g]) Robert Shultz. He and his brother had worked for Steve Jackson at Metagaming (pre-SJ Games) and he introduced me to “Melee” then “Wizards.” These were arena combat board games with cutout cardboard figures. When I started giving my figures names and personalities, someone -- maybe Robert but I forget for liability purposes -- brought out a bootleg copy of the playtest rules for “In The Labyrinth,” a precursor to GURPS that came out about the same time as the AD&D Player’s Handbook. About six of us fell in love with it and we continued to play it, and later D&D, Traveller and a few others, throughout college. We had large groups of PCs for ITL and ran them as chesspieces instead of personalities. We would go into the dungeon, come out and heal up and return several times in a day real time -- for 5 years one 16-hour ITL dungeon marathon was my longest. I still have our map of four sheets of hex paper in five colors to represent the different levels constituting that (eventually cleaned out and scoured) first dungeon.
I found that SFA had a fencing club ruled by Russell Wieder, a past Grandmaster fencing champion, and there met a group of OD&Ders who had been running a campaign in which they (characters corresponding to them by name, abilities and personalities) could enter a D&D world. I ran a “native” armed with a sniper rifle by one of the PC’s enemies for one game then the blue boxed set (still have it) came out and, because it was new, everyone had to play it instead and the Valley of Mystery campaign closed. THAT was my first OD&D game.
The boxed set seemed simple to me but the DM, who had been gaming OD&D for a couple of years, gave my dwarf a die four, die six and die eight for first level hitdice. Oddly, that PC continued to have the highest hitpoints in the party until the game died at third or fourth level. Anarrion is still alive, though not run in years, and at 8th level still has the maximum number of hitpoints he could legitimately have for his race, con and class.
Didn’t someone say something about a long, wild ride?
AGCIAS "I'd like to learn a new language: Scottish. It's a mixture of English and alcohol. You drink a pint and end each sentence with, 'you b*****d!'" -Sean Meo
Post by thegreyelf on Jun 10, 2009 19:58:08 GMT -6
1979. I was 5 years old. The game was AD&D first edition.
It was a dungeon the DM, Alan, had whipped up with the random dungeon generator in the DMG. My uncle (my mom's youngest brother with a VERY WIDE age gap--she's the oldest of 6), in high school at the time (I think he was about 13?) played with his buddies in my grandmother's basement. I was there for Grandma to babysit me while my folks were at their bowling league.
I clearly remember three things about that session:
1. I drew a picture of the character they'd given me (a half-elf fighter, iirc) that vaguely resembled Cousin Itt.
2. I successfully kicked in a door with an "open doors" roll at some point.
3. My grandmother yelled to my uncle down the stairs, "Johnny, don't you be teaching him anything bad down there!"
To which my uncle shouted "Here, Jase, smoke this!"
Now I write games and sourcebooks and get paid. Who knew?
Interesting footnote to that: 20 years later, I found myself working at the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Business, and who happened to run the copy center...but Alan! Took about 2 meetings for us to recognize one another. Amazing, as he and my uncle hadn't seen each other since high school ended. Small world.
Last Edit: Jun 10, 2009 19:59:09 GMT -6 by thegreyelf
Just browsing old threads and stumbled upon this one. I love hearing about peoples first exp's with D&D. It brings back all my old memories of the game I love. So I thought I would ressurect this thread to add my own story to it and hopefully get some of the newer members (like myself) to add to it as well.
For me it all started back in 83 when I was 13. I had just moved to a new town and I think I had a total of 1 friend in school (being the new kid in a small town really sucks). Anyways, he asked me if I wanted to try out a cool game to play called dungeons and dragons. I was a fan of the cartoon at the time but I never knew about the game. So after school the next day, we went to his house and he told me the character types I could play. One of the character types was an assassin which totally appealed to me so thats what I went with. I don't remember what his stats were or his name but I remember the name of the first adventure he went on, The Lost City. While I don't recall most of what happened, there were a couple of moments that stand out.
I remember having a fighter npc with me and during a battle with a fire beetle, my assassin was knocked unconcious so my friend let me take control of the fighter npc. So I picked up my assassin and threw him on my shoulder and continued on. After a little more exploring and a combat or 2, my friend says to me, "while you are creeping along, you feel something moving on your shoulder". So the first words out of my mouth were "I hit whatever it is with my sword!!!" To which he replies "ok, well you hit something and you hear a moan. Roll for damage". I rolled a 6 and with the fighters str bonus it worked out to 8 damage. He then tells me that I just killed the assassin. Apparently I had forgotten he was still on my shoulder and he had started to wake up till I wacked him on the head and killed him. Doh!!!
That was the end of the adventure for that day as I had to go home for dinner but we played again the next day. I continued using the fighter character and over the course of a couple of days playing I had somehow managed to make it down to Zargons lair. The details of the battle and how I had managed to survive it (some dm fudging I am guessing) elude me now but survive it I did. While looting the room after the battle, I came across a scroll in the treasure pile, so I read it. And that is how my fighter became a minature version of Zargon.
We played a few more times after that and a couple of months later while in a book store with my dad at the mall, I came accross the mentzer red box set. I managed to convince my dad to buy it for me and rushed home to open the box. I got my first set of dice with that box set, played the solo adventure and developed a crush on Aleena. Been hooked ever since. I still have a crush on Aleena too lol
Ameldor Delithum, level 2 Elf, dtspurrier's Basic to Expert Game
Mine's a little more unusual due to my young age (I'm 22 now) and that I didn't start with old-school D&D. I started with D&D 3.5e and worked my way back.
It was February 2007 and I was thirteen years old in Eighth Grade. My youngest brother and I had always liked fantasy stuff and we were interested in learning D&D when we saw the Freaks & Geeks episode about D&D, funnily enough. Well, my dad had been playing D&D since the days of AD&D 1e when he was a kid growing up in the 80's and he wanted to get back into it too.
The area we lived in (the coalfields of Southwestern Virginia) was pretty remote but there was (and still is) a local comics and gaming store in the nearby town of Wise that sold D&D stuff. So, my dad and I went over there and we picked up D&D 3.5's Players Handbook and some dice. We didn't get any miniatures or even the DMG or Monster Manual, but we still had lots of fun.
I was playing an Elf Sorcerer named Mordred who was a shady figure seeking lost relics and artifacts. My two younger brothers were playing a Human fighter and a Dwarf fighter. My dad was the DM. And it was awesome. Our characters ended up getting betrayed by the cleric who hired us but we still had fun.
Post by Vile Traveller on Mar 26, 2016 20:10:05 GMT -6
Xmas eve, 1982, Moldvay Basic, Caves of Chaos. I'd heard about RPGs through an article in the Space Voyager magazine, and read up on them in What is Dungeons and Dragons? by Butterfield et al. I'd known the magenta box was under the tree for a while. This was it!
We eschewed the keep and started straight in with the description of the caves. There were two of us, my magic-user, Cedric Catweazle, and an elf whose name I don't remember. We picked entrance D, the goblin lair, because it was near the entrance of the ravine and we thought the higher-up caves were obviously higher level. In we went, turn left - oh! Goblins! We lost the initiative, goblin spears came flying, and Catweazle died.
I can't believe that I never responded to this thread.
I don't have precice memory about my first game, but I have a few details. I thought it was the day after Christmas, 1975, but my friend who got the game recently told me that it was actually August, 1975, right before school started.
It would have been a dungeon crawl and I probably would have run a dwarf named Thorin. I say this because our first few months every game was a dungeon crawl, and back in those days I typically ran dwarves. My friend would have been the DM. We always made up our own dungeons, but I'll bet that our first time was the sample in the LBB.
But I can't remember much other than that. I know that I went home that night and made my own dungeon but that I didn't "get" the rules yet so my dungeon was basically a maze with thihgs like "skeletons -- lose 3 men" in the key. Of course, I didn't have any cool dice yet, either, so my dungeon style was the only way I could run a game for my sister.
The irony is that she loved my dungeon but disliked the actual rules. It would be another 20 years (1997) when I could finally convince her to play actual OD&D again. This time she loved it and has been playing RPGs ever since.
Marv / Finarvyn DCC playtester (2011) S&W WhiteBox author (2009) C&C playtester (2003) Builder of the TrollBridge for T&T; Amber Diceless player since 1993 OD&D Player since 1975; Metamorphosis Alpha since 1976
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!" - Dave Arneson
Summer of 1981. The "Bad kid" in 5th grade introduced me to the hobby. We were all around 11 years old. I played a magic-user named Toadwart. The system was a cobbled-together bastard mix of Basic & AD&D 1e and my 1st level character got thrown into an ongoing mass battle alongside a party of 14th-level super-characters with +5 everything. It was stupid and we were "Doing it all wrong" but it was a blast and I never looked back.
In the 4th grade my best friend and I were riding a bus somewhere one day when he told me about this new game he was playing, where they got to take over King Arthur's castle. I was intrigued, and sometime later I got to try this new game myself. My first character was a druid with platemail, a longsword and a potion of heroism...why let a little thing like reading the rules get in the way of the fun? All I remember of the adventure was entering a village full of skeletons, which attacked us, and later encountering a field of cactus monsters, which I think were our undoing.
Needless to say, I was hooked, and every RPG I've played since has been an attempt to replicate that initial high.
I believe it was summer 1984. I was in the 7th grade. Went to live with my grandfolks awhile and shortly after arriving I was walking down the country road in their rural neighbourhood and met another boy my age. We hit it off after exchanging hello and after asking him some questions about the area, he said something about being happy that a potential new D&D player was in the place. I had heard a bit about the game and was interested, as I owned the 1st Edition Monster manual (bought for the illustrations) but hadn't the slightest clue what any of it meant. He invited me over the next day and he and I and another boy met up and rolled up characters from his brother’s 1st Edition AD&D books. I rolled up a halfling thief and for the next several hours I sat spellbound and feeling completely immersed and empowered in the awesome story the DM created! Seminal life moment and lifelong love of D&D, interrupted for a long time while a member in a strict fundamentalist church where, sadly, I conformed for many years and did not play. BUt came back six years ago and have had many good games!
Not sure which one was my first game, but there are a couple of contenders for B/X. One was a playtest of the combat system. I rolled up a fighter and pit him against Morgan Ironwolf. She won the fight, btw. The fist time running was probably the time I created four mini-dungeons for a single character by race (human fighter, elf, dwarf, halfling). I got my cousin to play the characters in turn. Only the human fighter survived his ordeal.
My first AD&D adventure was The Tomb of Horrors. I had rolled up a half-elf character for it, but one of my friends persuaded me to play a dwarf instead, as dwarves would be useful for detecting sloping passages and such. I reluctantly agreed, and he had created a level 1 dwarf with 5 hp for me. My PC survived the first trap, but died soon afterwards. I think I rarely create or play dwarf PCs because I was made to play one when I didn't want to. It was a long time ago, but this being my "formative years" in the game, it helped shaped my preferences. That, and I was already a fan of elves after reading The Silmarillion.
Last Edit: Mar 28, 2016 14:20:49 GMT -6 by tkdco2: correcting typos
I pray for exactly seven things: strength, intelligence, wisdom, constitution, dexterity, charisma, and more hit points.
81-ish - Holmes Blue Book, but I can't say what edition. I had owned it for a while and begged others to play. My cousin finally agreed to DM. We had not idea what we were doing and the concept was a bit over our heads at the time. So, instead of the DM making a map, we used a parcheesi board. The 4 circles in the corners were rooms, connected by corridors of course, and the center circle was the 'big fight'.
I was a fighter (named Conan of course!) and I had a pixie for a side kick for some reason I can;t recall. Kicked some butt and then got wasted by a dragon in the 'big fight'.
Looking back now it sure was lame, but man were we on cloud nine at the time!
The very first time I played, I was something like 8 years old ad we had the french black box with a red dragon on it, which I think was an introduction rules-light version of AD&D 2. I remember fiddling with miniatures and exploring a dungeon called The Tomb of Damara. There was an elf prisoner we had to rescue, and I was terrified of a lizard-man shaman.
The most vivid memory I have is when I was 12, the first time I went to the RPG club which was mostly middle-age/retired grown-ups, they gave me a halfling and bought a goat so I'd have some means of transportation. There was a talking bear, I caught some disease by checking a rotten goblin corpse for loot and hid when we got attacked by...goblins I believe.
Must have been the late 80s or very early 90s; in summer. I visited our neighbour who was about 6 years older than me. I think it was the D&D Basic Set, but I can't really remember as it was completely new to me and he introduced the game with the help of the He-Man action figures we'd used to play with. In the adventure I was a fighter trying to stop the evil snake men, so I guess his inspiration was also drawn from the Masters of the Universe setting. Took me some more years to find out what that role-playing actually was and how much fun it can be.
My first rpg was GURPS, but my first D&D was that big black box, from late 90's. It was the first D&D in Brasil (some people got lucky to have Redbox in portuguese, from Portugal).
I was a elf, created in the learning of the game section. Than i fall to a pit an died. Next one was chosen by name, "Hector", and he was a cleric. That cleric got to higher levels, till i made him a npc, and finally, a god in our campaign. Than we god 2ed AD&D here, and moved on
Summer of '79, before starting 7th grade. A friend's older brother had been playing "this really cool new game" with his friends that we had to try out. My friend ran me and another friend through a random linear dungeon (passage-room-passage-room-etc.) that he generated off the cuff from the Holmes rule book. I played a Magic-User named Corwyn. I was instantly hooked.
Post by stevemitchell on Aug 26, 2017 19:16:09 GMT -6
Denton, Texas, 1977 or pretty close to it. I had a group of friends that I had introduced to boardgaming, then we connected to a second group that played miniatures and D&D. The boardgamers were curious about the RPG thing, so one of the guys from the second group offered to set up an adventure for us. (I have to admit to a shocking heresy: we all hated Vancian magic as a game mechanic, so we tossed that out and ported over the magic system from Tunnels & Trolls. Everything else was "strict" Whitebox D&D, or about as strict as it got in those days).
Our characters were situated in the obscure kingdom of Atuan, which, despite the name, had no connection to anything in Ursula K. LeGuin's series. Instead, it was described to us as resembling medieval Albania, only more ramshackle. Our patron was a wizard named Fornovol the Old, who, as we discovered in later games, was also one of the unnamed Istari and also a Lord of Order! Anyway, he sent us off into the mountains to track down and stop some evil sorcerer who was building up an army of monsters. It all ended in a grand battle in an immense cavern; I remember particularly hating the centaurs, who had poison arrows.
The survivors limped back to Atuan, to undertake many further adventures on behalf of Fornovol, before finally throwing him to the curb and establishing their own kingdom.
1976 Phil R. was at university in Derby and got involved in a strange new game to the UK called Dungeons and Dragons and when he returned that Summer with a few hand written rules we were hooked. He told us stories of the games he was involved in in Derby and Birmingham, stories of Werebears and Fire Giant castles and of his characters Gimli, the Dwarf who started dumb (4IQ) and got dumber after a quarrel with an intelligence eating plant. Also Varn and Elrond a Fighting Man and Cleric who were so evil they collected the stomachs of their victims. The dungeon itself had a Paladin at the entrace who collected taxes on the way out (a % of your XP total) and stopped any monsters escaping. Each door was kicked open in turn, the inhabitants inspected and then either attacked or the door closed and we’d move onto the next.
In Delaware in the fall of '75 or 76' one of the older guys in our scout troop learned D&D from another guy who had just learned at Origins in Baltimore. We used to go over to his place to play war games, so he invited us over to play D&D in a dungeon he had come up with. He talked about a character he had in another campaign with a dancing sword and it all sounded like a lot of fun. I can't say I remember much about our sessions. It was just three or four of us. I think we played with only d6 and d20, and the setting was just a small town near a hill with a hole at the top - you could climb down into the hill and explore. I was an elf and I must have been wearing armor because it caused some trouble - I wanted to outrun a monster or maybe swim across a river and the DM vividly pointed out the impossibility of doing so while wearing heavy armor. I think that's when I really "got it". We encountered a party of dwarves who were also exploring the tunnels under the hill, but we fought mostly giant ants in the early sessions. I remember the "aha!" moment when I said "It's and anthill!" and the DM responded "Now you're thinking!" Apparently it was a large anthill that was atop some buried ruins. Within a few months he was spending more time hanging with guys his own age and I had the three books and started DMing my friend and I taught it to a new group. We played a lot, even when camping, and eventually we had our scout leaders playing to. Everyone was into LOTR back then, so finding people to play was easy.
G1 was brand new. My friend had me roll up a Paladin....yah we fudged, so what! ;O)
And then he leveled him up to around 8th or 9 th Level or so. Gave me some NPC companions and off we went. I really don't remember much about the adventure itself, only I kept running into the next room every 5 minutes excitedly telling my mom the details. Totally munchkin, but we had a blast, and I was hooked.
Even when life's issues have taken me away from the game (high school sports and girls, work, dating every woman I could, marriage, divorce, dating again, remarriage, work, kids, etc) something always brings me back. Playing the game with my Kids is now the fun thing for me. And I hope my son, now almost 19, has his "G1" story.
"Maybe I'm just getting too old to want to have to deal with a heap o' rules and the steaming heap o' rules lawyers who go with them."-Gary Gygax
"D&D was meant to be a free-wheeling game, only loosely bound by the parameters of the rules." Tim Kask, Foreword, Eldritch Wizardry 1976
My first game was around 1997, with a group of friends (I was in high school at the time) playing AD&D 2E. All I remember is that my character was a Thief and at some point in the evening, the party's Necromancer threw a fireball at a tavern we had just vacated.
Whatever else happened must have been a blast (heh), I was hooked and I've been playing ever since. Good times.
Archaeology is nothing like Indiana Jones. I've never once gotten to punch a Nazi!
Post by punkrabbitt on Sept 21, 2018 23:00:37 GMT -6
I don't remember. Brain damage. It robs both the good memories and the bad.
I have playing D&D in various incarnations since the Holmes blue book... and a lot of other roleplaying games and minitures wargames since then. I did a brief stint as a freelance developer for Dark Age Games, and have written articles in Harbinger magazine about Dark Age, and in Signs & Portents about Traveller.
My last camppaign was an OD&D/S&W campaign with my two kids in 2015, when they were ages 14 and 12.
Rome, spring 1980: The caves of Tanakon. My cousin the DM wrote his own Mega-Dungeon. The group was composed of me (a Cleric) and my brother (a Fighter), a giant rat killed me one room short of getting out of the dungeon. So much for the crystal skull of disintegration I wanted to find.
Last Edit: Sept 23, 2018 10:14:20 GMT -6 by artikid
My first game was June 1976. I used my paper route money to purchase "Blackmoor" for some reason at Gandalf's Den. Disappointed to learn that this was not an entire game, but a supplement, I saved some dough and bought the white box and "Greyhawk." I was trying to figure out how you play from my 12-year-old's careful reading of the LBB plus "Greyhawk" and "Blackmoor" supplements. It made little sense to me how to start, but I generated some random dungeon following the instructions as carefully as I could. I recall that I could not understand the difference between the referee and the players, so you can imagine what misshapen thing I ran that day. I have no recollection of the details other than my friend Jim Wolfe, now a businessman in Portland OR, offered an unvarnished critique of my weird wasting of everybody's time. He observed numerous ill-logical aspects of the game as I had presented it. The only one I remember is his sense that damage over what was needed to kill a monster should not be applied to the monster to its right. Like I said, it was a 12-year-old's misunderstanding of the game and lots and lots of rulings were made on the fly.
That Saturday a couple of friends (Jim Wolfe wasn't there) and I went to open gaming at the Eugene Public Library and some college kids were there to play D&D. They let us join them (which was awfully kind of them, in retrospect), and suddenly everything made sense. They knew how to play the game. I believed then that college kids were the coolest, smartest, most important people in the entire world. I remember that I was a dwarf for liking them in Tolkien. I also remember being afraid of dying and standing in the middle of the marching order (did I like dwarves?) and suddenly a giant toad leapt toward us in a dungeon's hallway and landed in the midst of our marching order right on top of me. I survived, albeit barely, by being very, very careful with my remaining 1 hit point for the remainder of the session. I think I was a sissy dwarf, which actually sounds fun to me again, but was shameful at the time. After apologizing to my friends for getting literally everything about the game entirely wrong in our first play, I counted myself just about the luckiest person on earth for learning this game. That game where my sissy dwarf was nearly crushed beneath a giant toad stood out as the beginning for me.