20 February, 2013

My First D&D

I recently found the folder I used when I first played what I called D&D with my little brother, back in the early eighties or so.  It's falling apart and suffered water damage at some point, but it's a treasure trove of what D&D meant to me in those days of my youth.

I used to think that I hadn't had any exposure to "real" D&D, such as a book from Moldvay's Basic Set or a copy of the Advanced D&D Players' Handbook.  But a look at a character sheet from the old orange folder shows me something else.  Clearly I had been exposed to D&D at this point.  I did take part in a D&D club in middle school, so that might be where that came from.  I have a memory of being handed a triple-class character, on a sheet with stat names and such drawn in marker and the changeable information in pencil, all written on plain notebook paper.  Beyond that my only contact with role-playing games at that time was from the Fighting Fantasy Gamebooks.  These were basically Choose Your Own Adventure stories, but they included a combat resolution system that required a simple character sheet and a pair of six-sided dice.  My first polyhedral dice came from my Mentzer Basic Set, so I'm fairly certain we were using six-siders when we played.

When I played this "D&D" with my younger brother, I was both a player and a DM.  I drew the dungeon maps, I described the surroundings, but I had characters in the mix too.  I can only assume I stayed out of the way when my brother encountered one of the tricks or puzzles I put into the dungeon.  What fun would it be to solve my own riddle?

I've scanned in a few pages from this folder and I'll be posting about them from time to time, in the hope that this personal archaeology trip is of interest to anyone besides me.

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