How did you learn about D&D ?

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How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby shesheyan » Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:37 pm

Following the discussion on Live-play I was curious the learn how you started to play D&D (or RPGs) ?

For my part, I had just seen Ralph Bakshi's LOTR in 1980. Coming out of the high school theatre I said to a friend « It would be cool if we could play a game that can recreate this movie ! » Another student heard me and said. « I have a game called D&D which does that. Want to try it? » ... we played together for several years until I moved to Montreal.

My wife didn't play when she was in high school but her brother did. So when I asked her to play (1990) she was aware of the game and had a good idea how to play.

We never had kids. If we did, I guess we would have shown them using our 2E books.
Last edited by shesheyan on Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:07 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby timemrick » Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:52 pm

A few times each semester, always on Fridays (IIRC), my middle school used an alternate schedule with all the normal classes shortened to make time for a 1-1/2 to 2 hour "activity period" at the end of the day. The teachers then offered fun classes or other activities, that you could sign up for regardless of whether you were in 6th, 7th, or 8th grade. These tended to be things like short lessons in languages or cooking, reading groups, arts and crafts, sports, or board- and card games.

At least once a year, one of the social studies teachers hosted a space for RPGs, and recruited students to run games for their classmates. This is how I got my first introduction to D&D in 6th grade. I can't recall how much I'd heard about the game before then, and I have no idea anymore what my first character (provided for me) was or what the first adventure I played was.

I didn't get to play again until the next RPG activity period, when I was in 7th grade, but I remember more about the experience. I was given a half-orc cleric/assassin, somewhere around 3rd-4th level, who had a ring of invisibility. I used that ring a lot to hide rather than fight, and the kid playing the fighter got so annoyed about it that he had his PC challenge mine to a duel. I won initiative, and asked the DM what this "Hold Person" spell on my character sheet did. He told me, I cast it, the fighter failed his save, end of fight. I decided not to kill him, but instead just make him swear an oath at knifepoint to leave me alone. (I think the player left the table soon after to find another game.) Many years later, when I was reading old Dragon Magazines in my high school's library, I came across what I believe is the adventure I played that day: "Forest of Doom," which featured drow and a dungeon inside a tree.

I participated in the RPG group in 8th grade as well, but don't recall much about it except that the same player I remember from the previous year was in my group; he got bored and got out of the game by trying to eat a black pudding. However, 8th grade is also when I asked my parents for the Basic Set for Christmas, and I soon found/formed a group to play with: my best friend, his brother, another friend, and my little sister. They unanimously appointed me DM because I was "the only one with enough imagination" for it.

I asked for and was given the Expert Set the following Christmas (though I may have read my best friend's copy by then?). Our group played together from 8th grade to around 11th grade or so (though my sister dropped out sooner). The group eventually fell apart due to a combination of 1. jobs and other responsibilities and 2. my players' descent into cut-throat powergaming, which wasn't my thing.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby timemrick » Tue Nov 21, 2017 10:23 pm

My wife was introduced to RPGs by friends of hers in college, about the same time I first met her. She started out with Earthdawn and LARPing, before learning AD&D 2E through mutual friends of ours. She's played in pretty much every RPG campaign and one-shot I've run since then, across multiple systems.

Our kids were introduced to D&D because we played. Long before they were old enough to play, they were familiar with some of the jargon, liked the funny dice for their own sakes, and they adored my DVD box set of the D&D cartoon. (To give you an idea of how old I am, that series debuted in 1983, just a year or two after I started playing the game.) We eventually tried teaching them a simplified version of D&D v.3.5 when they were about 7-8. (They're now 12 and 13.) Since then, we've played Earthdawn, Pathfinder, D&D 5E, and Fantasy AGE with them; other family friends have run a little BECMI and Pugmire for them; they (or my daughter, at least) have done a fair amount of rules-free roleplaying with friends in person and online; and they very recently joined Pathfinder Society.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby ghendar » Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:23 am

I don't remember the very first thing that sparked my interest in D&D but the following things all had a hand in it.

I played in two games probably around the time of Moldvay Basic and Marsh/Cook Expert. One game was with cousins and the other was with friends. I don't remember those games having a huge impact on me but maybe they did and I just don't recall.

Endless Quest books - I bought and read a bunch of these. Still have all of them. They definitely played a part

I can also remember very clearly going to the Waldenbooks (defunct American bookstore chain) in my local mall and being enthralled by their role playing section. I clearly remember looking at Dragon magazines numbered in the 50s. It all looked so cool.

I also was probably influenced by Bakshi's Lord of the Rings film. I still love that movie

This all led up to me buying the Mentzer Basic and Expert sets while on vacation in the Summer of 1984. That Fall, I found some friends at school who wanted to play and the rest is history.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Morfie » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:41 am

I started via Fighting Fantasy gamebooks in 1987 as a 10 year old.. there was a related magazine (Warlock I think?), and it contained ads for D&D which piqued my interest.
I promptly went out to a local department store which sold D&D products in their book section (Plus there was no RPG store here yet) and I bought my 1st D&D product.. I3-5 Desert of Desolation.
Not only was this confusing to a complete newbie, it also didn't contain any of the maps that should've came with it!

Eventually I got the Basic D&D Red Box and went on from there, now having actual RPG dice helped... I either bought or was given the Expert Set, in 1988-89 a FLGS opened and I had a paper round and could afford to buy a D&D product once a month. I bought some of the excellent GAZ products and other BECMI material, but by that time a lot of the D&D Modules were OOP or just not available locally so I bought Dungeon magazines to adventure with.
In 1990 I had to give up the paper round and pocket money wasn't much.. the Companion and Masters set was photocopied from a friend! Well meaning relatives bought me the AD&D 2nd Edition PHB, DMG and MM (in the binder) without knowing the differences in D&D products.

There were some old D&D and AD&D modules available at the local library in variable condition. Some rulebooks like Unearthed Arcana as well.
I bought a DL module (DL10) and the DSG at 2nd hand stores and got a lot out of those.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Tim Baker » Wed Nov 22, 2017 7:43 am

My best friend gathered some of his friends, myself included, at his house when I was 13 years old. He wanted to play Heroes Unlimited, a Palladium game. He walked us through rolling up characters, and ran the game for us. I enjoyed it so much, I bought a copy of the game myself and began running it for my brothers and my next-door neighbor.

A year later, I found a group of friends who played RPGs frequently. They tried various different systems, so I was exposed to many games, including AD&D 2nd Edition. I continued to run nearly every game Palladium published for the next four years, while playing a wide variety of games.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby ghendar » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:08 pm

I forgot one thing. The D&D ads they ran in comics back in the early 80s also influenced me

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xr4XZ9Q6N6Q/T ... re+002.JPG
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby shesheyan » Wed Nov 22, 2017 6:17 pm

ghendar wrote:I forgot one thing. The D&D ads they ran in comics back in the early 80s also influenced me

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-xr4XZ9Q6N6Q/T ... re+002.JPG


AWESOME ! I wasn't aware of them.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Illuminatus » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:01 pm

My best friend in high school recruited me to join a game by giving me a copy of John E. Holmes’ 1980 Psychology Today article “Confessions of a Dungeon Master.”

I no doubt would have played anyway, because I was a big fan of heroic fantasy. I grew up reading the Conan and John Carter books and was getting into Tolkien at the time. But I have to say that Holmes sealed the deal. Without ever having played, I knew from that article that I was made to play this game.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby RobJN » Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:40 pm

My cousin showed me the basics of the game, back when I was in third or fourth grade. Left me the DMG and PHB, which I devoured. Flash forward to fifth-ish grade, and a friend who found the Moldvay Basic set at a garage sale (50 cents!) who wanted some help figuring it out, and I was hooked. Another friend had the Mentzer set, the art and organization of which I loved (Aleena! :ugeek: ). I bought the Expert set, and borrowed the friend's Companion and Masters books, DMing his characters through Talons of Night.

The rest, as they say, is history...
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Havard » Thu Nov 23, 2017 9:25 pm

I remember coming back from vacations one summer in my childhood back in the 80s and running over to a friend's place. As usual, his mother just let me in and I walked into the basement where we would all hang out and a group of my closest friends were there playing a strange game. It turned out it was BECMI D&D. I was never a huge fan of family style board games and at first I thought it was something like that, but I had read Lord of the Rings at a quite young age and my friends told me it was pretty much a game version of Tolkien. I sat down, rolled up an elf, and I was hooked. :)

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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Angel Tarragon » Fri Nov 24, 2017 10:59 am

The year was 1991. Prior to starting my five year stint in high school*. I was in group therapy because I was having trouble socializing. Met a person in the group that would become a friend for a while and he introduced me to wonderful wide world of table-top role-playing, AD&D 1E...it wasn't until six months later when I went looking for the books to buy that I found out that second edition was in full swing. I've struggled with being a gamer, but I can't deny myself something that is intertwined in my heart (and soul if you believe in that).

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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby shesheyan » Fri Nov 24, 2017 3:04 pm

Very interesting «origine stories» guys!
Keep them coming.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Nov 26, 2017 7:24 pm

It must have been about 1984 when I saw some kids playing a game with square paper. I asked what it was and they told me it was D&D but didn't invite me to join.

A year or two later I started chatting to people via a London free ads paper called LOOT. We all had LOOT names. Mine was Big Mac (after my favourite computer game). The LOOTers used to meet up to do stuff. It was mostly trips to a pub, but we went to Quazar games and Labyrinth fantasy LARP too.

A guy called Black Knight suggested playing D&D and six of us started playing with him.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby zontoxira » Tue Nov 28, 2017 4:45 pm

It was in the mid-90s when a friend of mine talked about a huge board game, where you had heroes, monsters, dragons, countless dice, unique stories etc. Me, being a long fan of fantasy board games, video games and even gamebooks, asked for more, but my friend didn't know much else. It was a few months later when I told another friend of mine (who actually, was friends with my older brother) that I was looking for this mystical board game. "I know what it's called" he replied "it's not a board game. It's Dungeons & Dragons."
I remember fondly the next days as we sat in a park and talked for hours, him explaining the game and telling me of his experiences. He even gave me one of his books to read, which was the Rules and Adventures Book from the Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game. But while Basic was my first contact with D&D, it was actually AD&D2e that I started playing with.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Bonetti » Tue Nov 28, 2017 8:12 pm

We'd just moved, and the son of one of Dad's coworkers (who was a couple years older than me) had the '77 Basic Set. It was during the 77-78 winter, but I can't place the month, and he was glad to finally have someone to play the game with. I think I got my own set Christmas 1978, and then maybe 80ish, Mom & Dad got me the three core AD&D hardbacks (PH, DMB, MM). Not bad for an elementary school kid :-)

(I bought my Fiend Folio later with paper route money... Come to think of it, I think most of my jobs were really just ways of enabling me to buy gaming materials and books to read.)
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby timemrick » Wed Nov 29, 2017 5:05 pm

Bonetti wrote:(I bought my Fiend Folio later with paper route money... Come to think of it, I think most of my jobs were really just ways of enabling me to buy gaming materials and books to read.)

My part-time job at the LEGO Store a few years back amounted to pretty much the same thing--a way to pay for my expensive hobby, and not much else. :cool:
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Big Mac » Sun Dec 03, 2017 3:02 am

timemrick wrote:
Bonetti wrote:(I bought my Fiend Folio later with paper route money... Come to think of it, I think most of my jobs were really just ways of enabling me to buy gaming materials and books to read.)

My part-time job at the LEGO Store a few years back amounted to pretty much the same thing--a way to pay for my expensive hobby, and not much else. :cool:


Surely, what you did "trumps" what Bonetti did on the grounds of you actually working for Lego to help you get a staff discount to buy the bricks to make Lego D&D minis.

I wonder how many members of The Piazza have worked in RPG jobs that have allowed them to get cheap D&D books.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby shesheyan » Sun Dec 03, 2017 12:13 pm

Big Mac wrote:
timemrick wrote:
Bonetti wrote:(I bought my Fiend Folio later with paper route money... Come to think of it, I think most of my jobs were really just ways of enabling me to buy gaming materials and books to read.)

My part-time job at the LEGO Store a few years back amounted to pretty much the same thing--a way to pay for my expensive hobby, and not much else. :cool:


Surely, what you did "trumps" what Bonetti did on the grounds of you actually working for Lego to help you get a staff discount to buy the bricks to make Lego D&D minis.

I wonder how many members of The Piazza have worked in RPG jobs that have allowed them to get cheap D&D books.


Working in a gaming store is the easiest way to get gaming stuff at lower cost... but the minimum wage pay sucks. If you are young with no kids its a good option. I did it for a while. Employee rebates on RPG books helped me buy all the DD3.5 and Modern books. I don't think I would have bought Modern hardcover core books if I had to pay full price.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby timemrick » Mon Dec 04, 2017 5:30 am

Big Mac wrote:I wonder how many members of The Piazza have worked in RPG jobs that have allowed them to get cheap D&D books.

For my first couple projects for Green Ronin, I was compensated in product, and on later gigs, I had the option of taking part of my payment in that form. That's why I have most of a shelf of GR books in addition to the shelf of Freeport titles.
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Big Mac » Mon Dec 04, 2017 2:51 pm

shesheyan wrote:Working in a gaming store is the easiest way to get gaming stuff at lower cost... but the minimum wage pay sucks. If you are young with no kids its a good option. I did it for a while. Employee rebates on RPG books helped me buy all the DD3.5 and Modern books. I don't think I would have bought Modern hardcover core books if I had to pay full price.


I suppose that doing a second job in a RPG store, would be a trick for someone married with kids. If you did the job for a while, and they knew they could trust you, you could probably drop down to part time, covering the holidays of other people or covering the rush for Christmas (and so on) and buy stuff at the times you are working there. ;)

(It might also be a sneaky way to recruit new players to your game! :twisted: )
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Yaztromo » Mon Dec 04, 2017 9:20 pm

A classmate introduced me to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks at the end of primary school, later on he asked me if I wanted to try roleplay (the Red Box, of course!) and later, later on he asked me to plytest with him Magic the Gathering... everythime the same guy and everythime by word of mouth :cool:

Reading the above posts, sounds like I wasn't the only one going this way... ;)
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Big Mac » Tue Dec 05, 2017 8:23 pm

Yaztromo wrote:A classmate introduced me to Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks at the end of primary school, later on he asked me if I wanted to try roleplay (the Red Box, of course!) and later, later on he asked me to plytest with him Magic the Gathering... everythime the same guy and everythime by word of mouth :cool:

Reading the above posts, sounds like I wasn't the only one going this way... ;)


Has your classmate been asking other Piazza members to read Fighting Fantasy, play D&D and playtest Magic the Gathering? :o ;)
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Re: How did you learn about D&D ?

Postby Yaztromo » Tue Dec 05, 2017 9:12 pm

:D
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