From what I’ve heard the majority of gamers started playing with a variation of D&D, may it be the original D&D from 1974, AD&D 2nd Edition or the more recent D&D 3rd Edition (or any other edition). A lot of German roleplayers were introduced to the roleplaying hobby by “Das Schwarze Auge” (known as “The Dark Eye” in the US).
As I already described in my “Confessions of a Gamer: In the Beginning“ post, I started with TORG. Actually I played the game only once on a small gaming convention near Bonn and didn’t even understand half of the rules, but I was instantly hit by the RPG bug. Later I joined a Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay game. To this day, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay is one of my favorite games and obviously one of the games that influenced me most. So you could consider WHFRP 1st Edition my true first game.
So, what was your first game? Please share a few of your earliest roleplaying experiences with us. If you are a RPG blogger yourself, why not write a post about this subject on your blog? A trackback to this post would be appreciated though.
P.S.: Thanks to Roberto Micheri, who inspired me to write this post!
Call of Chtulhu.
I'm not entirely sure. I think it was Tunnels and Trolls but it could of been Traveller.
However I think I only ever played them once or twice with other people. It was only when I found a games club and discovered AD&D that I really got into gaming.
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Metzer red box D&D. I was 6 at the time and could hardly read, so it was mostly just, "What do you want to do? Ok, roll these dice."
My older cousin babysat and was my GM. Because he was older than me, I thought everything he did was cool, so I was immediately hooked. My parents had just started giving me an allowance for doing chores, so I immediately saved up and purchased the red box. It was technically the first material object I ever purchased with my own money. 🙂
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white-box D&D, when I was 11 or 12. I was the first person I knew who got it, and for a long time the only GM in middle school or high school. Man, rereading those booklets recently, I'm impressed that I ever figured out something we could play out of that. My step-brother eventually started GM, which gave me my first experience as a player.
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Good Old White Box D&D.
You have certainly been busy with blogging recently, kudos to you Stargazer. I wanted to voice my opinion in more than one post but my everyday life took the better of me as they say and at least I will try to contribute retrospectively, starting here.
The first game I ever played was Warhammer Fantasy RPG without the doubt – which interestingly makes a weird sense geographically, for many reasons. It was my first day at my local SF Fanclub to which I was lured since I had come across this whole rpg malarkey some time beforehand but known absolutely noone who had actually played. I was familiar with some other games at that stage already but only by reading their reviews and by playing some of their computerized versions. Anyway, there I was totally green and slightly apprehensive when one of the regulars (later to become one of my closest friends) invited me to join their group of adventurers on a quest into the unknown (details escape me completely today). I was given a character – a formidable dwarf mercenary (formidable in my view but mediocre otherwise 😉 ), and was ordered to tag along, as more of an extra fodder than anything else. That’s how my journey begun… My character didn’t perform well, it was a bit of a dud and I don’t believe I ever played him again after that one time. In fact I hardly ever played dwarves, still I had great fun and plunged into gaming from then on; taking many paths into the Old World, dark future of cyberpunk, and most notably the ones the led against the blasphemous schemes of the Great Old Ones.
Wow, my name appears in my favorite blog, I feel like a star! I’m the Roberto in the post…
Just kidding! Happy I could inspire the subject, you are welcome.
The fact that you started with TORG amazes me. It’s a setting I love but the system… Wow, that you didn’t loose sanity is amazing. Wait, that’s another game!
I started my love with role-playing with the D&D Basic red box with the Elmore painting on the cover, this was back in 1985, and I was 12 and didn’t really know what I was getting into.
I knew about the existence of D&D before, I had seen the little comic book adds, had seen the D&D cartoons (in Spanish since I live in Puerto Rico) and had the D&D toys. I had a classmate who gathered a group of his friend to walk around the school yard to “play D&D” based on the notes he had on a notebook but would not let me play. Later I learned his brothers played but did not allow HIM to play so he copied some rules in the notebook and made up the rest. I wanted to know what D&D was, so the next time we went to the book store I used my allowance money and bought the game.
I got home, filled the numbers in the die with the wax crayon and started readying, making my way through the solo adventure in the book. It was fun and since I read a lot of choose your own adventure type books it was not completely alien to me, but I stopped readying after that and put the box away for a year.
In 86 I was in 8th grade and a neighbor and friend who was one year ahead one day told us of this game he had played with some classmates at the other school he went to. He told us how he had been a wizard and another player was a brave warrior and how they had defeated monsters. I know that game I said, D&D! I have it. Obviously EVERYONE wanted to play. I tried to get the older kid to run the game but he said his English wasn’t that good so I ended up readying the game in one night and running the adventure in it the next day. I’ve not looked back since.
I learned to play with no guidance, no club or community, for about two years I was the only DM my players knew of and it wasn’t until 89 that I got to play with another DM. I don’t regret it, I think I developed my own style and love for DM/GM that continues to this day.
Short Answer: D&D
For my 12th birthday (Sept 1980), a friend gave me a middle version of basic D&D. It had a blue and white cover with a dragon hording its treasure from two adventurers (whose backs are at the bottom of the picture, the dragon looking past them to the person holding the book(let)).
It was a mix of D&D and AD&D … no races, just classes and class-based races (ie. "elf" was a class that mixed fighting and magic use). But instead of the 3 alignments of D&D, it had the 9 alignments of AD&D.
I actually didn't play that game for almost a year. I had no idea what to make of it, as no one I knew was playing it or anything. In the Spring of '81, my step-brother introduced me to a game called "Wizards Quest" (avalon hill board game), and I wanted more complexity, longevity (an on-going environment), and for the map to change each time (so that things weren't so repetitive as to key choke points and locations, and such). Then my step-brother wound up with the Basic D&D Red box, as a result of us wanting something that would give us what we were missing from Wizard's Quest.
After a year of basic D&D (and trying to resolve his Basic D&D with my "basic" D&D), we moved up to AD&D. Later that year, we also tried Gamma World, Tunnels and Trolls, and a few other games. My step-brother stopped gaming after a couple years, but I stuck with it.
Original D&D with supplements moving on to AD&D as it slowly released over the next few years. It all seems so long ago now.
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Das Schwarze Auge. At the time we were living in Portugal and anything brought from Germany was passed around as special. So friends of ours got the first box, and my mother told me that I should read it. And then I got to run my mom, her friends, and some of their kids through a few classical adventures. ("Der Wald ohne Wiederkehr")
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"STAR WARS: The Role-Playing Game", 1987.
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It was 1987, in Paris. A few month after I entered sixth grade, a friend of mine found this "RPG Club" at school. We didn't know anything, but show up anyway.
My first game session was… Paranoia (which was just recently translated into French at that time). It went very well, I was hooked pretty fast. But yes, even 22 years later, I still bear the psychological wounds of being initiated with Paranoia 😛
I played 3.5 dnd as my first RPGs experiance. It was by far the best!