Saturday, February 1, 2014

D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge, Day 1

Here it is February 1st, and that means it's time to start posting in the D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge (hereafter shortened to D&D40ABHC.)  I just celebrated my own 40th birthday last July, so I guess that makes me officially about seven months older than D&D.  Anyway, without further ado, the Day 1 question:

First person who introduced you to D&D.  Which edition?  Your first character?

I'm one of those oddballs who wasn't really introduced by anyone.  It was one of my aunts who found a slightly used copy of the Moldvay Basic rules at a garage sale and thought some of us might like it, but she didn't introduce me to it, unless by "introduce" you mean "left on the coffee table at my grandma's house until I happened to notice it."  I had heard of D&D before, and though I had very little idea what it was all about, it was enough to generate an intense curiosity as to how this game of dubious repute (it was 1987-ish, so the "Satanic panic" had already occurred, if I have the timeline right) had come to reside on grandma's coffee table.  So I opened up the box, thumbed through the contents, and was immediately fascinated.  Was it the weird artwork on the cover and throughout the books?  Was it the crude but exotically-shaped dice in a little plastic bag?  Was it the game itself, so different from anything I'd played before?  Yes to all.

After working up the nerve to ask my grandma whose game that was, and her assurances that it was for anyone who wanted it, I commandeered that little red box and spent hours over the course of a couple weeks poring over the rules every chance I could.  I read the hell out of that book, while pondering ways to get some of my younger relatives interested in playing the game with me.  So I guess I pretty much introduced myself to D&D.

As I mentioned above, the edition was the Moldvay Basic Rules.  This meant nothing to me at the time; as far as I knew, D&D was D&D, just like checkers was checkers and Candyland was Candyland and Uno was Uno.  Nonetheless, in hindsight I think the fact that it was Moldvay shaped my formative perceptions of the game in very different ways from how the Mentzer edition, which was the one actually in print at the time, would have.

It was a long time before I made a character of my own, since I was DM.  Two of my brothers rolled up the first two characters, an elf who was christened Elvie and a dwarf named Sam.  The first never actually saw play, since that brother decided the game was silly.  I don't recall if Sam made it into an adventure or was superseded by another character before our first session.

My own first character was a thief named Peter, patterned after Peter Venkman of the Ghostbusters franchise.  Besides my love of Ghostbusters, I think I was motivated by a desire to hint to my brother, who was taking a turn at DMing, that I would like this character's adventures to feature a lot of undead creatures and spooky scenarios - which I guess does work back around to my love of Ghostbusters after all.

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