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D&D General Did you get your start playing D&D, and what do you play now?

What RPG did you start with, and what do you play now?

  • I was introduced through D&D, and only play D&D

    Votes: 36 20.3%
  • I was introduced through D&D, and play both D&D and other RPGs

    Votes: 99 55.9%
  • I was introduced through D&D, and only play non-D&D RPGs

    Votes: 13 7.3%
  • I was introduced through a non-D&D RPG, and only play D&D

    Votes: 5 2.8%
  • I was introduced through a non-D&D RPG, and play both D&D and other RPGs

    Votes: 21 11.9%
  • I was introduced through a non-D&D RPG, and only play non-D&D RPGs

    Votes: 1 0.6%
  • I will not be quantified, by you or anyone else!

    Votes: 2 1.1%

  • Total voters
    177

Grendel_Khan

Adventurer
I never liked fantasy as a kid, so while poking around in AD&D books was my introduction to the idea of RPGs, I couldn't bring myself to run a single session with it. Just always seemed like such hack-and-slash no-story-having nonsense (no offense to the D&D-only). Wound up doing Call of Cthulhu and GURPS and then tons of World of Darkness throughout my formative years.

Tried 5e during the pandemic and it's fun, but, to me, just unbearably dumb. Feels like you're fighting against the current to do anything interesting that isn't tactical boardgamey whatever.
 

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kenada

Legend
Supporter
My first D&D was 3e. I knew a friend who played it at the local college gaming club. When I transferred to that college and heard an advertisement for the D&D College Tour 2000 on the radio, I went to check it out. I still have the tat I got (a cup, a badge holder advertisement for the D&D movie, and a bottle opener with the 3e logo).

We played 3e and switched to 3.5e when it came out. After that, some new people joined the club, and we started playing indie games like Dogs in the Vineyard. I recall playing in an aborted D&D campaign, but we most did other stuff for several years. I eventually ran a few one-off adventures in 3.5e around the time right before 4e landed.

4e was … okay. There were some things I didn’t like in the lead up to its release, but I didn’t quite feel as negatively towards it as my players did when we started playing. Most of our time spent doing 4e was with the player/GM I wrote about in the worst player thread, so it wasn’t a great experience.

After 4e, I started running Pathfinder 1e and ran that for years. We tried the D&D Next playtest, which was variously okay. I did run Murder in Baldur’s Gate using it, and thought it was pretty good. After 5e released, I ran Lost Mines of Phandelver and Hoard of the Dragon Queen. The former ended in a TPK (the PCs conveniently lined up in dragon breath formation for the dragon in Thundertree). We finished HotDQ, but I didn’t go on to run Rise of Tiamat.

After that, we bounced around back and forth between systems. I ran another Pathfinder 1e campaign. This one was homebrew but set in Golarion. It ended up being the last PF1 game I ever ran. I also ran a homebrew hack of Fate set in Golarion, and we tried Dungeon World a few times. I finally shifted to a homebrew setting with Open Legend, which was just sort of okay.

I’m currently running a hex crawl, which has been run in several different systems. We started in 5e, switching after a TPK to Pathfinder 2e. I ran PF2 for about a year before burning out on it and proposing a switch to Old-School Essentials. My players were nice to agree, but I don’t think they really wanted to do OSE. We’re on Worlds Without Number now. I’m getting close to do with setting reation.

We have our second WWN session this Saturday, which will introduce the revised setting (v1 was Open Legend, v2 was 5e and PF2, and v3 is WWN). From what I can tell, WWN seems to resonate much better with my players than OSE did. I think that’s because it feels a lot like 3e in places, which is the game we played for so long.

In the spirit of the question, we’re not playing D&D, so I answered no D&D right now. Other players have run Delta Green in Savage Worlds, Mage: The Awakening 2e, Cyberpunk 2020, Call of Cthluhu, and Scum and Villainy; but they don’t seem to want to run a concurrent D&D game (or some other fantasy RPG).
 


cbwjm

Hero
I started with fighting fantasy/advanced fighting fantasy before getting the rules cyclopedia for DnD and moving into that. I've played a couple other systems (Rifts, Marvel Saga system are two I can think of) but mostly stick with DnD nowadays.
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Started with: D&D Basic (Moldvay)

Currently playing: D&D 5E regularly, with the occasional Call of Cthulhu or Esper Genesis one-shot thrown in.

Have played: Pathfinder, Dread, Shadowrun, Vampire: Masquerade, D&D 3.X, GURPs, Star Frontiers, Boot Hill

Looking forward to playing: Coyote & Crow and LotOR as soon as the books ship.
 

Gnosistika

Mildly Ascorbic
What kind of stuff are you playing with Cypher? Been curious about that system for a while.
We're playing mostly fantasy in the Scarred Lands setting. It's good fun and quite easy reskinning the classes to fit any character concept.

The GM is planning a future horror/transhuman in space where we will be scavengers that reclaim and strip old spaceship hulks abandoned during an old war.

It is not a crunchy system, so my group is having a lot of fun with it.

When I run again, I'd like to try a World of Darkness type game just to see how the system handles those setting restrictions.
 

Aldarc

Legend
I was introduced to TTRPGs through D&D 3e, but I began venturing out to a lot of other non-D&D RPGs not long thereafter, albeit mostly fantasy heartbreakers (i.e., True 20), when D&D wasn't really able to do the sort of fantasy or game experiences I was wanting it to do.
I realized that I didn't really answer what I play now. The short answer is "quite a bit," but I also enjoy playing different sorts of games.

With my gaming group in California, I didn't have a chance to run 4e because the person I would likely be co-sharing GMing responsibilities with was pretty dead set against it despite a large number of misconceptions he had about it. So we instead played Pathfinder 1 for several years. 5e D&D was released around the time our PF1 game was wrapping up. But the GM, that other fellow, basically burned out as a result of "world-building sickness" before we barely got into play. So I used the opportunity to run a number of one-shots of Numenera.

When I moved to Austria, my first group (i.e,. my flatmates and their friends) were Pathfinder 1 players, so I played a bit more of that. My next group were into 7th Sea, so I played a bit of that. I also played with them a several year-long campaign of D&D 5e and several one-two shots. This group was far more receptive to other games. During this time, I ran several campaigns and one-shots for Numenera/Cypher, No Thank You Evil, Fantasy AGE (Titansgrave, Blue Rose), Fate Core/Accelerated & Jadepunk, Black Hack, and Index Card RPG. I also played a bit of WFRP 2e with them as well. Sadly, this gaming group ended.

During the height of the pandemic, I ran my partner (who has never played TTRPGs) through a game of D&D 5e. They found it a bit overwhelming, and they didn't like it too much. We switched their character over to a hack of Dungeon World (i.e., Homebrew World), and they liked that much better. I also played a bit of Titansgrave with them as part of an upcoming revised Fantasy AGE core rulebook, and they liked that as well, especially the stunt point mechanic. They have asked if I would run them through games of Numenera and Blue Rose as well.

I still have an enormous back catalog of games that I want to play (e.g., Cortex Prime, Worlds Without Number, Blades in the Dark, Stonetop, Paleomythic, Tales of the Weird Wizard,* etc.), but I will likely need to find a new gaming group here, preferably one that games primarily in English.

* Upcoming game from Rob Schwalb, which is basically a Gygaxian fantasy conversion of his Shadow of the Demon Lord game.
 

Started with D&D in 1989, technically, though an argument could be made that I was already quasi-aware of RPGs via The Riddling Reaver, but that's more like multi-player choose-your-own-adventure, and I'd never actually played it. I heard about D&D and was totally blown away by how amazing it sounded.

Within a year we were buying other RPGs, but the big difference was it was really easy to do so pretty casually, which isn't the case now. Back then if you wanted D&D books, you had to go to places that sold RPG books, which were in relatively normal large stores (like Virgin stores), so you were constantly exposed to other RPGs.

The biggest wow moment after D&D was probably Vampire the Masquerade 1E, I still remember my brother coming back having bought it, throwing it on my bed and going "read this!". I did and was blown away. Since then I've seen some pretty fantastic RPGs, but that was the biggest shock.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
Along with my brother & cousin I started completely cold (none of us had any RPG xp & no one to teach us - but being kids of average intelligence + literate....) with Basic over Christmas break 1980.
Then about a year later things blurred into 1e.
After that we tried all sorts of stuff through the '80s. They quit gaming during high school. Me? I've played soooo many things between then & now...
And I added miniature wargaming to the mix! All genres. Small fortunes worth! :) And MTG. And Board Games too.

ATM I regularly play:
5e
PF1
Age of Sigmar/Warhammer Fantasy
40k
WWII Bolt Action
WWI/WWII/WWIII Flames of War (15mm)
Board Games
 

TerraDave

5ever, or until 2024
D&D has almost always been the main gateway to RPGs, and when it suffers, there is the long-standing feeling that the whole RPG industry, such as it is, suffers.

But, I do think that in the later 90's, Vampire and WOD reached a point were they could also do new player acquisition, and had some advantages in new player acquisition.

Yet, I do not see one person here that came in through Vampire on this thread, so I could be wrong. Or they just wouldn't be on these boards.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
D&D has almost always been the main gateway to RPGs, and when it suffers, there is the long-standing feeling that the whole RPG industry, such as it is, suffers.

But, I do think that in the later 90's, Vampire and WOD reached a point were they could also do new player acquisition, and had some advantages in new player acquisition.

Yet, I do not see one person here that came in through Vampire on this thread, so I could be wrong. Or they just wouldn't be on these boards.
I actually first came across the idea of an RPG in a Hardy Boys book when I was about 7, and I was enthralled by the concept. I actually wondered whether it was real, or whether the author had simply made it all up. Taking inspiration from the Game Boy game, Final Fantasy Legend, I set out to create my own RPG. I hadn't the first clue as to how to design a game though, so it didn't go far beyond some drawings in a notebook that had Attack and GP values arbitrarily assigned to them.

A year or two later, I finally found a hobby shop that carried D&D, and I convinced my mom to buy the black box for me. So that's where I officially got my start. However, for the next 10 years I'd have a lot of trouble getting a stable gaming group. I played maybe once or twice a year on average. A disproportionate amount of my time was spent reading a variety of RPG books and working on my own material (most of which never saw the light of play).

Among the books I owned was Changeling, but I had avoided Vampire because I had gotten it into my head that Vampire was for goths (and I wasn't). All of my friends knew that I gamed, and while we were hanging out at a pool hall one day, one of them struck up a conversation with a guy who invited him to a Vampire larp. My friend said he wasn't interested, but pulled me into the conversation since he thought I might. I had my reservations, but ultimately decided to take a chance and I went.

I ended up enjoying larping Vampire, though I still much prefer tabletop RPGs. More importantly though, that larp lead me to meeting some folks who became a long term D&D group (several of whom were groomsmen at my wedding). We also played a number of other games, but it was usually D&D, often 2-3 times a week.

So, finally getting to the point. While D&D was my first RPG, without Vampire I would have probably never met my main gaming group. Without them, it's hard to say whether I'd even still be part of the hobby.
 

Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
Way back in 1981 I made my first character for D&D. Since then I've branched out many times into a long list of games (too long to write down or even remember!).

Right now, I'm playing in a StarFinder game. I'm running a smaller 5e game, but also Deadlands: The Weird West (for the dude and his family who taught me D&D) and The Expanse RPG (for my daughter and her friends).
 


Doc_Klueless

Doors and Corners
... Now a days I run Fantasy AGE (+ most AGE incarnations) ... .
How hard did you find it to get an AGE group together or did/are you running for your already established group? I'd like to play/run more of it, but haven't figured out how to sell it to others.

I do like that Foundry VTT has an unofficial AGE ruleset that is coming along nicely and that Green Ronin has stated that they have people making/converting the rulesets for Foundry, Roll20 and Fantasy Grounds which should really open up potential audiences...

Back to your regularly scheduled thread...
 

jgsugden

Legend
95% of the RPGs I play these days are D&D, but in the past I have played Paranoia, GURPS (primarily Western, Spy), Champions, Marvel Super Heroes, a few Star Wars RPGs, Pathfinder, Gamma World, Top Secret, Call of Cthulhu, and Vampire.

I've also designed an asymetrical RPG. It is a single adventure set in an alternate world with technology balanced around 1920 levels. It used 4E D&D as an inspiration, but each of the 5 PCs for the game function differently - and it is designed so that you sit down and play with absolutely no instructions what-so-ever. You put 5 large envelopes/boxes on the table, each player takes one, and then the Game Master reads the introduction - without the players even opening up the box. The box/envelope is opened as the PCs proceed through the introductory scenario (in which they have no memories), and they learn the basics of their rules through a tutorial style introduction ... although advancing in the game is achieved through the PCs figuring out the mechanics of their PC and acquiring the power to safely use those abilities. This puts the heroes on a roughly 80 hour of gaming adventure that starts with a city adventure, and then expands into a globe trotting race. It has inspirations from D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands and Pandemic Legacy. I've run it twice, and refined it a lot each time based upon feedback.
 

Fanaelialae

Legend
I've also designed an asymetrical RPG. It is a single adventure set in an alternate world with technology balanced around 1920 levels. It used 4E D&D as an inspiration, but each of the 5 PCs for the game function differently - and it is designed so that you sit down and play with absolutely no instructions what-so-ever. You put 5 large envelopes/boxes on the table, each player takes one, and then the Game Master reads the introduction - without the players even opening up the box. The box/envelope is opened as the PCs proceed through the introductory scenario (in which they have no memories), and they learn the basics of their rules through a tutorial style introduction ... although advancing in the game is achieved through the PCs figuring out the mechanics of their PC and acquiring the power to safely use those abilities. This puts the heroes on a roughly 80 hour of gaming adventure that starts with a city adventure, and then expands into a globe trotting race. It has inspirations from D&D, Call of Cthulhu, Deadlands and Pandemic Legacy. I've run it twice, and refined it a lot each time based upon feedback.
That sounds awesome!
 

Voadam

Legend
I started playing with AD&D 1e, my parents got me the Moldvay Basic set and those were the two systems for a while. Non D&D early stuff eventually included GURPS, Star Frontiers, various Palladium stuff (Fantasy, TMNT Heroes Unlimited, Ninjas & Superspies, Rifts), Warhammer Fantasy RPG, Shadowrun, and a little Mechwarrior. Later Vampire the Masquerade came out and I did a lot of that, plus Mage, along with AD&D 2e, 3e, 3.5, Pathfinder 1e, 4e, d20 Modern, Mutants & Masterminds, a little BESM, homebrew systems, and 5e.

I only run D&D games, but I incorporate a lot of stuff from other games into my D&D ones from Ars Magica to GURPS, Earthdawn, Kult, Palladium, Rolemaster, and World of Darkness.

I am currently DMing a 5e game online and my face to face group is going to start up a new Vampire game after a year of me not being there.
 

Stormonu

Legend
Started with Holmes basic, lost the rulebook and did free form until I got my hands on the Moldvay basic game.

I’ve played quite a number of non-D&D RPGs over the years; long stints of Villains and Vigilantes, Marvel FASERIP, Gamma World*, Star Wars D6 & SAGA, Palladium Robotech, Savage Worlds, Spycraft, FASA & Last Unicorn Star Trek, Vampire (o & nWoD), Werewolf nWoD & Hunter nWod . I’m also familiar with a dozen more systems that I’ve either read and/or played a session or three.

I’ve also played/own multiple wargame/RPG systems such as 40K, Warmahordes, Battletech/Mechwarrior, Car Wars, Battlesystem & (90’s) Chainmail and Interceptor/Crimson skies. Recently I’ve been getting into a lot of WW2 games such as Flames of War and Bolt Action.

I’m still waiting for the right group to try Call of Cthulhu, and my biggest disappointment is although I’ve read GURPS, I’ve never done a game with the system - and probably never will.

* my favorite character was a quasi-Hoop from a tribe inspired by the rabbits from Watership Down
 

elZombie

Villager
I'm curious to see what RPG people started playing with, and what they currently play. Specifically, whether or not you started playing with a version of D&D (any version), or a different RPG, as well as what you are playing now.

I'm speaking fairly broadly in terms of "now" for purposes of this poll. If you are playing CoC currently, but your last or next campaign might be D&D, then you would be currently playing both for purposes of the poll.
2E was the first RPG-thing I played back in school in 2000 (damn). A year earlier, my folks got me a Hero Quest box, and I ran it a whole year, playing twice a week so I probably wrote countless dungeons for that thing.
After 2E, I picked up White Wolf's Vampire and Werewolf, and played those three until 3E hit the stores, when we switched editions of D&D, and so on. I GMed about 2/3 of the games we played.

I'm currently running 5E and about to start playing Mothership.

Right now, I'd also like to play Deadlands (SWADE), and the next edition of Werewolf, when it is out.
 

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