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Robb Minneman
United States
Tacoma
Washington
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Jackasses? You let a whole column get stalled and strafed on account of a couple of jackasses? What the hell's the matter with you?
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sdonohue wrote:
It was 1979. The local and national news were filled with stories of this missing kid in East Lansing. There were vague mentions of this game he played. The rest of the story didn't really interest me, but the idea of the game did.


"There is no such thing as bad publicity."
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Eric Clason
United States
Cedar Rapids
Iowa
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I was/am an avid board gamer. I had known about D&D about a year before the first time I played. A friend of mine, who had the Basic D&D 1st ed, taught me to play and ran me through a dungeon he built one evening. Not sure if he had played before or not.
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United States
Texas
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"that's a smith and wesson, and you've had your six"
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In the summer of 1981 my mother's boyfriend at the time had a son that was about a year older than me. He introduced me to this thing called D&D, and ran me through the Keep on the Borderlands with a fighter...I think I died a couple times that day. I loved it so much I asked my parents for the boxset for XMAS, and that is what I got. After that, I played more with him and we even designed a "007" type game based on the BASIC rule set. My mom broke up with his dad, and we no longer played. Later the next year my new next door neighbor's sons and soon to be best friends were big fans of D&D, and them, me, and a few other friends played almost weekly until I graduated from HS in 1988.
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Chris Abbott
Canada
GTA
of Confusion
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1980 (in the before time, the long long ago) 1st semester of High School. Had just read The Hobbit and LotR during summer break. Saw a guy reading the blue Holmes "Dungeons & Dragons" book during 1st period English class. Asked what kind of magazine it was. He told me it was a GAME. His explanation of how it worked BROKE MY BRAIN. I told my Tolkien-crazed best friend ASAP. We were rolling up characters at lunch hour on the same day in one of the spare rooms with a crew that had only started a couple of weeks before. I still game with that guy today.
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Chad Bowser
United States
Kernersville
North Carolina
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I'd seen advertisements for D&D in the back of comic books for years. Plus as an avid R/C car enthusiast, I'd seen the books and minis in hobby shops.

A lot of my friends played the game throughout middle school, but I wasn't really interested. I'd read Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Robert Holdstock, and Richard Adams and thought the worlds the created were neat, but didn't really fathom playing a game in those worlds.

Then, one day early in high school I decided I wanted to give it a go. So I had my mom take me to Waldenbooks and I perused their collection. I decided on the one I wanted, when my mom suggested it might be better to start with the Player's Handbook (AD&D 2e).

I read the book that night and decided to finally accede when my friends asked me to play.
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Club Squirrel
England
Brierley Hill
The Black Country
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One Squirrel to rule them all, One Squirrel to find them, One Squirrel to bring them all and in the darkness TPK them.
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Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game

I was vaguely aware of RPGs having seen others in school playing D&D and Judge Dredd, but I didn't know enough to have any interest. The irony being I was a huge Star Wars fan and a friend and I were always making up Star Wars stories and acting them out with our figures. So I was role-playing without knowing it.

It was 1987 I properly encountered RPGs. There was a hobby store called Beatties, and on a visit to family in Cardiff I went in and saw the The Star Wars Sourcebook. I bought it, just because it was Star Wars. Now I was intrigued about all those numbers, 3D, 4D+2, they must be abilities, Chewbacca has the highest Brawling. But what did the D stand for?

I saw the advert for the Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game at the back of the Sourcebook. So a few weeks later on my next trip to Cardiff I went back to the store and bought the RPG. It had begun.
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Adam
United States
Tempe
Arizona
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"We are plain quiet folk and have no use for adventures. Nasty disturbing uncomfortable things! Make you late for dinner! I can't think what anybody sees in them."
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While I was in the third grade, friend's older brother, and another, older friend at school introduced me to Dungeons and Dragons shortly after I'd seen the Rankin Bass version of the The Hobbit. The perfect one two punch. If there was ever any chance I wouldn't be a gamer, that killed it.
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wayne r
United States
Pennsylvania
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Saw some older kids play the red box D&D in summer day camp. I asked what it was and when they replied role-playing game, I did not understand what that was. When I asked to play it with them, one of them told me it would take too long to teach me. Not long after, got my hands on the red box as well but my brothers and I were having too much fun just drawing dungeons. It wasn't until a friend of my brother's took us on a ride through the Keep on the Borderlands that I got to experience my first rpg game.
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Roger Hobden
Canada
Montreal
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I started playing wargames (Avalon Hill) in 1965. Discovered the D&D 1977 Blue Box in the early 80's, bought the game at my FLGS and started playing with family and friends. I eventually bought the Advanced D&D books and played that and also The Morrow Project. Quit playing RPGs in the late 80's, and started again in 2017.
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Doctor Tough
United States
Orlando
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Maybe I'm the odd one out because it was video games that got me interested in it. I played the old SSI gold box games when I was a kid back in the early 90's. When I got a chance to play the real thing when I was in high school in the late 90's I jumped on it.



Seriously look at this, how would you not want to play that when you were like 7 or 8?
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Rich Shipley
United States
Baltimore
Maryland
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I had just read Lord of the Rings when I heard the most fascinating conversation at a table in the middle school library. I didn't know what was going on exactly, but knew it was for me. Somehow we made enough sense out of white box D&D to have a great time.
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solipsist gaming

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robbbbbb wrote:
In first grade I got tracked into the once a week gifted program in my school district. Early on, one of the guys spotted the Basic D&D rules on the shelf.


D&D on the shelf: that's a cool school you had there.

My story is similar except I wasn't the gifted one. My first grade best friend was reading at a fourth or fifth grade level and he knew about all this cool stuff like comic books and "D&D". Of course it was the early 80s and there were rumors about "that evil devil worship game" but his mom was cool (probably one reason he was so bright) and let him buy from the TSR catalog. I was too young to understand RPGs but man I used to love to go over to his house and just look at the cool art.
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Froggy
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Awesome cousins (older than me); I have a particularly fond memory of Shadowrun sessions (when I was way too young to understand), where I wasn't really understanding anything but rolling lots of dice and exploding baddies
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Todd Miller
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1979. I was eight.

My best friend had an older foster brother who was into mysterious, "teenage" things. He listened to Styx and Led Zepplin and ownded a pair of nunchucks. He also played Dungeons and Dragons.

He conscripted us into a game one night. I played a thief. I backstabbed an orc. I may have tried to pickpocket my friend. I mean, I was eight. Why wouldn't I?

Later, we met a strange wizard who cast a geas spell on me to retrieve a gem. And then the session was over. And we never played with him again.

But it was a glimpse of Shangri-La. I was hooked!
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Ryan Ahr
United States
South Carolina
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It was a slow process for me. I mentioned in another thread that I avoided them for the first two decades of my life thanks to my parents' paranoia born from the propaganda campaign against D&D from the 80s. Then, my best friend got into it early in our college years and eventually I couldn't restrain my curiosity and asked him to explain it to me. When he did I stood there feeling foolish that I'd shunned such an amazing sounding experience due to the fear mongering that all too often infects conservative circles. He taught me the game in full in 2007 but I didn't really grasp a lot of the abilities and mechanics until I played through all of the classic D&D CRPGs over the ensuing years. That made me appreciate the pen and paper even more, and the rest is history from there.
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Patrick Zoch
United States
Kansas
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Origin stories. Love reading them all.

My introduction to role playing game began with a visit to a friend of my parents sometime in the 70’s. Their teenage son had the unfortunate task of entertaining me, a boy half his age. As our parents chatted and we walked down the hallway, he simply asked if I wanted to play a game. Sure, I said, and the next thing I knew, I was exploring a dungeon full of monsters and looking for treasure. We were playing the Original Dungeons and Dragons, and I was hooked. It was at least a year or so before I would find a the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Set (First Edition) in stores and begged my parents for the game. It turned out to be a good Christmas.
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Dave Terhune
United States
Colorado Springs
Colorado
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This is a blatant example of frivolous geek gold spending.
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I spent 100 geek gold and all I got was this lousy overtext.
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Got the D&D Basic Set for Christmas in 1979. I've pretty much played RPGs ever since.
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Cindy McDaniel
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My husband played with one of our friends before we were married. He wanted to DM a game for us. I told him we would have to wait for marriage because I had heard bad things about it and mostly was avoiding it. He eventually convinced me and I have loved it ever since. Now I play way more than he does. I have a face to face group I go to alone and pbf here all the time.
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Frank Eisenhauer
India
New Delhi
Delhi
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My first contact with a role playing game must have been aroung 1985 when an aquaintance brought a copy of the Palayers Manual to a game of darts in a pub on the island of Wangerooge where I was vacationing. I was already into The Lord of the Rings and the description on the back cover combined with the artwork and the explanation my aquaintance gave (especially the dice!) lodged in the back of my mind.
Fast forward to 1986 and I found a 1st Edition box of Das Schwarze Auge: Abenteuer Basis-Spiel (1st edition) in my local game store. Remembering the stories from the year before I decided on buying the box. Fortunately reading & understanding the rules was pretty straightforward and I gamemastered a one-on-one session with a friend a couple of weeks later. I was hooked. Starting an RPG extra curriculum group at my school some month later. Some of the players from that group are still fast friends of mine. The rest, as they say, is history.
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Peter Robben
Belgium
Antwerp
Antwerp
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And here...
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We were heavily into trad card games all these years back. A guy we sometimes played with (and usually sent home sans his money) suggested we play "something new." After 3 weeks of his not-too-great pitch we relented and gave it a shot. Never looked back...
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Alain Curato
France
Albi
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I found this Casus Belli magazine at my brother's older friends' place. I found it both ridiculous and amazing. I wanted to know more but never dared ask those friends to make me play, I felt they were too experienced for that. (I now suppose at least one of them would have been happy to gm, but I only saw them two months a year anyway.)

Instead I spent several years amassing reads and waited until I was a student before I really tried playing. First in a club (which collapsed imediately), then with fellow students.
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William Hostman
United States
Alsea
OR
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I've been Banished to Oregon... Gaming in Corvallis, living in Alsea... Need gamers willing to try new things...
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I was a videogamer (Atari) already, and my shrink introduced me to wargames... then a few friends invited me to play D&D. Summer before grade 7. I was hooked.
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Emile de Maat
Netherlands
Hengelo
Overijssel
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I was (and still am) very interested in boardgames, and our local library had a book that described and gave the rules of various public domain games. I'd borrow it quite often.

Now, somewhere near the end of the book, there were two pages about Dungeons & Dragons. (Perhaps it was about RPGs in general, naming D&D as an example.) I think there was only slightly over half a page of text; the rest was some green-black illustration.

It sounded very interesting, especially compared to other games in the book, and I went hunting for more information. I heard of some video games that were based on D&D, and managed to get my hands on Eye of the Beholder II.

Now, my friend's sister joined a student exchange program, which resulted in an American student staying at their house for a while - and he had brought some AD&D 2nd edition books. So, with him, I had my first actual sessions. Only a handful - I think it won't have been more than three.

Around that time, I also found out about a store that actually sold D&D. It wasn't anywhere close to my hometown, but I got lucky once again. It so happened that my parents had to visit that city for some financial business, so on their next visit, they took me and my brother along and allowed us to visit the store while they went about their own business. I bought my AD&D 2nd edition Players Handbook, Dungeon Master's Guide and Monstrous Manual, and began building my own world and thinking out my own adventures.
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Chris Talbot
Canada
Fort Smith
Northwest Territories
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On a lazy summer day in ~1987 (I'm pretty sure I was 11 years old), I was hanging out with my younger brother and a couple of our friends. We were bored and playing the "I don't know, what do you want to do?" game. Then this one friend asked if we wanted to try out a game called Dungeons & Dragons. We liked board games, so we agreed. He ran home, got his Red Box set and returned.

We rolled up characters and spent the next couple of hours fighting imaginary skeletons in my parents' garage.

The friend who introduced us to D&D moved away at the end of the summer. The next summer, I found the Red Box in a local hobby store, saved up my allowance and bought it. Since I was the one who wanted to play most, I became the dungeon master.

My brother, myself and our friend Tim... That was pretty much my first gaming group. We played RPGs together for years and even dragged other friends into the game over time.

Tim no longer plays. He stopped about the time he turned 15 but has occasionally expressed interest in playing again, even if it's just a one-shot session on the rare occasion I'm in town and see him. My brother has played on and off for years, but I've got him as a player in a VoIP game I've been running.

Chris
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Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
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pdzoch wrote:
Origin stories. Love reading them all.

If they are origin stories, shouldn't we have had at least one "stepped on a radioactive d4"?
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