31 Days of Dungeons & Dragons

Day One — How did you get started?

OD&DThis past Christmas, 2015, I celebrated 37 years of playing Dungeons & Dragons. Christmas 1978 was the year I asked for and received the Dungeons & Dragons Basic Box Set. I was 12 years old.

That Basic Set contained the module B1 In Search of the Unknown, some really wretched polyhedron dice that you had to fill in with a crayon, and a rulebook with childish artwork that today I absolutely adore.

I immediately took to DMing. In fact, I wouldn’t actually play a character until 1980 when I joined the Oak Hill Dungeons & Dragons Club mothership.

The players at my table in those first forays into gaming were Robert Dennison (age 11), his brother Paul, my brother Bret, and Darrin Mylet (all age 9-ish). Occasionally my father (age 31) would sit in and play a ranger.

I was attracted to the game by the promise of the cover art. I had discovered Robert E. Howard, J.R.R. Tolkien, and Edgar Rice Burroughs earlier that year and had a thirst for heroic fantasy.

A game that promised to immerse me in those worlds was all I could have asked for.

Dungeons & Dragons delivered and I’ve been playing ever since. After that initial love affair with the Basic Set, I quickly made the switch to AD&D, though I merely dabbled in editions 3, 3.5, & 4. I am all in with 5th edition, however, with some homebrewed tweaks.

I am now playing with guys I slung dice with 35 years ago and our kids. Dungeons & Dragons is a game of infinite possibilities that fosters lifelong camaraderie and sparks the imagination.

Hard to imagine who I’d be today if I hadn’t discovered the game nearly four decades ago.

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