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  1. #1
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    40 years...

    40 years ago, I started playing AD&D. I got to play because I cried to my dad that my older brother wasnt being nice and allowing me to play with him and his friends. They gave me the cleric to play, naturally.

    The first character I actually made was my ranger. His name was Silver Arrow because wait for it he shot silver arrows. I recovered a +1 dagger from the Caverns of Quasqueton (In Search of the Unknown). It was my precious.

    Around 1980 my brother got a copy of Greyhawk. I used tracing paper to copy sections of the map, so I could run a game for my friends. The maps I drew were my world because I drew themand there may be some odd truth in that. I was the Dungeon Master and I was all powerful. I scrawled dungeon maps onto graph paper making sure to create as many rooms as I could to hold all the monsters just sitting there waiting to be encountered by any that were brave enough to open their door. We had endless amounts of fun.

    Its fair to say that this hobby has been a foundational part of my life. Some might say thats not a good thing, but Ive got no complaints. My closest friends are those Ive roleplayed with over the years. I count most friendships in decades at this point. Were a tight-knit group.

    These days, Im playing 5e two sometimes three times per week. Life is grand.

    Im not exactly sure what the point of this post is other than maybe that I feel a need to thank the community for keeping these silly pen and paper games going.

    Whats your story?
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  2. #2
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    I too have been molded by 30something years of gaming. I no longer get to play with most everyone from middle school and high school, but now my kid has started playing, so that is actually better. I still play with my father, although he has not DMd for 20 years.
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  3. #3
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    Magsman (Lvl 14)



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    Quote Originally Posted by Hjorimir View Post
    40 years ago, I started playing AD&D. I got to play because I cried to my dad that my older brother wasnt being nice and allowing me to play with him and his friends. They gave me the cleric to play, naturally.

    The first character I actually made was my ranger. His name was Silver Arrow because wait for it he shot silver arrows. I recovered a +1 dagger from the Caverns of Quasqueton (In Search of the Unknown). It was my precious.

    Around 1980 my brother got a copy of Greyhawk. I used tracing paper to copy sections of the map, so I could run a game for my friends. The maps I drew were my world because I drew themand there may be some odd truth in that. I was the Dungeon Master and I was all powerful. I scrawled dungeon maps onto graph paper making sure to create as many rooms as I could to hold all the monsters just sitting there waiting to be encountered by any that were brave enough to open their door. We had endless amounts of fun.

    Its fair to say that this hobby has been a foundational part of my life. Some might say thats not a good thing, but Ive got no complaints. My closest friends are those Ive roleplayed with over the years. I count most friendships in decades at this point. Were a tight-knit group.

    These days, Im playing 5e two sometimes three times per week. Life is grand.

    Im not exactly sure what the point of this post is other than maybe that I feel a need to thank the community for keeping these silly pen and paper games going.

    Whats your story?
    love your story! I have played for close to 37 years. it has been a huge part of my life...it faded in grad school but now its back.

    honestly, it helped me become a better reader as a child and solidified friendships i still have. i have played with my core group over 30 years with some years of no playing at times.

    now we are back big time. I have taken the helm and dm'd for 5 or six consecutive sessions. we are getting a little gray and have wives and kids...but damn do we still like to roll that d20!

    We are engineers, lawyers, a psychologist and older fatter professionals but no matter. if i am not playing it i am dreaming it. its the hobby that can go anywhere and be fun while even just thinking about past or future sessions.

    All hail GYGAX!!!
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  4. #4
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    The Great Druid (Lvl 17)

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    Almost 43 years ago I started playing D&D. I mostly play with my boys now - ages 18, 14, and 12. But, I also get to play at a table every other week with some other grognards. I pretty much have stuck with O-D&D and the odd editions (1st, 3rd, and 5th). I play lots of different games, but I always seem to come back to D&D. There is something about the game that keeps bringing me back.

    I think my Mom finally realized a few years ago I was not giving up gaming for more adult pursuits!
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  5. #5
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    D&D and roleplaying games have been a huge part of my life since I was a kid. I met my wife at a game, and met all of my current friends through gaming. Being a DM has made me more comfortable in my own skin and more confident as well as teaching me how to command the attention of a group (a useful skill when giving an presentation or even just hanging out with people). I'm working on becoming a writer (my dream job) because of the D&D short stories and novels I've read as a kid. Just as importantly D&D taught me that the best games are cooperative and non-zero sum, and that striving to solve a problem with your friends is so much more rewarding than trying to out play them.
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  6. #6
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    The Grand Druid (Lvl 20)

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    I first rolled the dice in 1979. I've played in 5 different decades.

    My best estimate puts me at over 10,000 hours of D&D played, and over 27,500 hours if you include planning and related activities (D&D video games, D&D miniatures games, D&D forum visiting, etc...). There are 8760 hours in a year. That puts me at about 1.25 years of D&D played, and 3 years of D&D activity in general.

    I've played ~110 characters for more than 1 session (although more than a few of them were 'reboots' of a beloved character).

    My longest continuously run character was an elven thief-magic user run from 1993 to 2003. He was in an AD&D campaign that started off as weekly in college and then slowed down to being played on the occasional weekends.

    My favorite PC of all time was my first Forgotten Realms PC - The son of a Red Wizard of Thay, the evil Dryken stole a magic helmet that was being delivered to his father and discovered it was a Helm of Opposite Alignment. He went from CE to LG and proceeded to flee Thay before someone restored him to evil. He then proceeded to Dual Class to Wizard (changing his name to Myztek) after a near TPK and advanced rapidly. That instance of the FR is still being run by the DM somewhere in Texas, and Myztek is a prominent NPC. I occasionally get an email or text from my old friend asking me how Myztek would respond to a request from the PCs or to some major event in his Realms... something that always makes me smile.

    I've bought too many books in every edition, but the true money sink for me has been in miniatures. I was spending nearly a thousand a year on miniatures during the DDM era... for nearly a decade. If you toss in the metal minis, the board games I bought for the minis, etc... Oh, vey.
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  7. #7
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    I was introduced to the game 40 years ago, but spent a couple decades away from the game too. My dad brought home the Basic boxed set and he DM'd for my brother & I. Probably 1978/79-ish and I would have been 7 or 8. We played off and on and we bought the AD&D books. Then my brother started playing with his friends and playing as a family was infrequent at best.

    When I hit junior high, I started playing with my friends. We took turns DMing and had a blast - running photocopied modules, making our own crazy dungeons, etc. My dad was air force so we moved around a lot. D&D was really the only constant - we'd move, I'd try to find a new group of players which wasn't always the easiest thing in the 80's.

    Toward the end of high school & the end of the 80's my DM was a bit of a knob/control freak. Parties, girls and beer were far more interesting. I left the game behind. In the late 90's my girlfriend (now wife) and I played Baldur's Gate & Icewind Dale on the PC together - one would play while the other watched. That was the closest I came to D&D for a number of years and her only experience with D&D.

    Fast forward to 2015 - my kids wanted to spend their xmas money so we went to the bookstore. My wife & daughter call me over - they're holding the 5e starter set "wouldn't it be fun to play as a family?" I sigh and say "I'll DM for you, if you want, but you have to agree to give it a fair chance." Three years later we still play together as a family nearly every weekend. My daughter got me to run a one-shot for her friends - they fell in love with the game - one of them stepped up to DM for her group. My son (now 9) wants to get his friends into it - one plays with his brothers, but he is having trouble convincing his best pal. I've got an adventure ready to go for the day it happens, but no pressure... Actually he has run games for us - very free form, anime influenced games. Mostly improved stories where he gets us to roll dice when he isn't sure which way to take the story.

    I also play in a bi-weekly Roll20 game and my wife and I host a game night with some friends. I'm usually the DM, but another player is taking a shot and my wife wants to as well.
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  8. #8
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    @Hjorimir, good to hear that there are other old-timers out there. I had to add it up, but I first played D&D 41 years ago when an older friend brought home this new game from college. Who knew I'd still be sticking with it all these years? Or that I'd be using the same basic world I first created as a DM way back then?

    Admittedly my adventures are a little more advanced than they used to be, although I am still inordinately proud that one of my first dungeons had corridors that spelled out DEATH, DOOM and DESTRUCTION for every level. The last level took two whole pieces of graph paper to map out! Talk about intricate, in- depth planning.

    Things have changed over the years, and there was a period of time when I wasn't playing for about 10 years. When I started up again it was just like old times, sitting around a table laughing, joking and in general having a good time. I think someone asked me one time why I played and I simply told them that I laugh more per hour in a D&D session than just about any other activity. Well, that and I don't know if my wife and I would be married if it hadn't been for the campaign we joined after my dry spell.

    Another reason I've kept playing is that and every time I've moved it's been (relatively) simple to find a new group and make new friends. So I'm happy that 5E still feels much like the game I first played all those years ago, albeit with a slightly more comprehensive set of rules. There's just something about sitting around a table playing pretend that was always rewarding and still is.
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  9. #9
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    Story warms my heart!

    It was the 1980s, and with carefully saved birthday money I picked out the Red Dragon Box from the Waldenbooks in the mall. It was a big day. I had read numerous Super Adventure type Books (with dice!) and finally wanted to play the real thing. Since I bought the box, I got to run the games. Soon, we were pooling loose change for my mother to write a check so we could order something from the TSR catalog each month. I began painting miniatures, and once I got the AD&D PHB, I couldn't stop writing adventures, developing traps, creating treasure hordes, and sharing those with friends. When Dragonlance came along, I devoured every book, fell in love, and ran a campaign for heroic knights and wizards.

    It's weird to look back. I've had my highs and lows over the years, tried various editions, seen good and bad players, and ultimately D&D 5th felt like coming home, just more seasoned. I've got small kids now, and I have no idea if they'll think daddy's game is silly or something that spurs the imagination. But no matter how time flows, I know it's a good day when friends get around a table, dice roll, laughter flows, and there's a wonder about what lies around the next bend.
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  10. #10
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    Waghalter (Lvl 7)



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    Read The Hobbit in 1972 when I was 6 years old. Fell in love with fantasy genre. In 1974 I read LOTR. My uncle, who played in one of the very early Cal Tech D&D groups tried to introduce me to this game that he said was like playing LOTR. I was too scared (being 7 years old) and declined. On my 8th birthday, in August of 1974, my uncle gave me the boxed set of original 3 books as a birthday gift. I agreed to play and was hooked ever since.

    Been playing now for 43.5 years, DMing for most of that time.
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