Friday, May 1, 2015

30 days of D&D Day 1: How you got started

I didn't start playing Dungeons and Dragons until Sophomore year of college, and the Spring half of Sophomore year at that. Until that point, the only thing I'd done in that area is play the collectible card game, Magic: the Gathering. Well, I'd free-form roleplayed in the chat rooms designated for such on Prodigy Internet, but I've yet to meet anybody else who did. Or who would admit it. Or who heard of Prodigy Internet. I have known some people who RPed on AOL, anyway.

But my now-fiancé, then boyfriend, Jim was running a 2nd edition game for some friends of ours. I wasn't deliberately disincluded, but I was ignorant, and there was a point at which I asked to be taught. I never did join that 2nd edition game (though I did put a character on paper for it), and 3rd edition came out or at least caught on in our college gaming culture at about that times, so once the door was opened, D&D was on the table.

(get it, on the table? Tabletop role playing? Yeah. I'm here all month!)

Because most, if not all, of those people I played Magic with were people who were D&D players. And, in my eyes anyway, D&D was better. We also added World of Darkness in pretty short order, but numbers wise, most of our college games were Dungeons and Dragons.

I think the first game I actually played in was an ancillary or maybe a continuation to one our friends had been running the previous year, commonly referred to at the time as "the Henry game". We went to visit one friend, and that's what we ended up doing. I played a rogue named Bella Windjammer, a half elf who had an aversion to magic and a love for sailing. Not long after that, back at school, the same DM ran a game for my fiancé, Kelly, and I. That time I played a ranger named Tory, with a skunk animal companion. That was the game I learned about tieflings, because that's the race Jim played in that game. More on them tomorrow.

Towards the end of the semester, we got involved with a game in town, with some friends of Jim's I hadn't met yet (a friend from home and some "townies"). I played a druid in that game (name long gone) with a raven animal companion, Jim played a....sorcerer? He was into the charm spell sorts of things. Our friend Dave (who's been my most frequent other DM I'd say) played...a paladin? But that's the game where I eventually learned about aasimars. More about them later in the month too.

D&D is like writing a story together with people. Or like improv theater with specific agreed upon rules. It's the kind of thing I wished I'd known about years before; I'm sure it would've enriched my high school life immeasurably, especially when I was busy writing my terrible fantasy novel. 


  1. Psh, Prodigy Internet. You Johnny-Come-Lately. I free form role played in chat rooms back when it was just regular old Prodigy, before they added the Internet thing onto their name

    1. Well, I was on Prodigy all along (did you ever play Mad Maze? They got rid of it when they added Internet to their name) but didn't RP until then, it's true.

    2. I don't remember even ever hearing of Mad Maze. I did play an online text adventure game called Gemstone III briefly though. I remember next to nothing about it, except that I vaguely remember it as being like an MMORPG that was text-only.

    3. Perhaps it was a MUD, which tended (tend) to be text- based RPG's that are "multi user dungeons". I never partook myself, but there was one a couple friends played in college....dragon something.

    4. There ya are, MUD is the term I was grasping for. And a quick Wikipedia check reveals that that game still exists! Though it's now Gemstone IV, apparently, so I guess it's one better than it was back when I played it.

      Yikes, it's almost harrowing to look back at that. I was basically playing a proto-WOW type game. If I had stuck with it, I could be one of those crazy Warcraft people.

    5. WoW was fun for awhile, but I played WoW like a single player game. So there was a point at which I just wasn't interested anymore, especially when Cataclysm came out and it was ridiculous and I hated it. Most of our local WoW playing has fallen off, actually (though Pillars of Eternity is a fucking amazing game. I haven't played it but everybody who's touched it has loved it).