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What is your earliest and most impressionable childhood memory of reading the original D&D or other games

Greggy C

Adventurer
Supporter
For me it was reading Tunnels and Trolls and the descriptions of combat. Those fights are etched into my brain as they spiked my imagination of what it was like to be an adventurer

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Same in 1st edition D&D. The example of combat just brought everything together. Unlike T&T they didn't use names of people to make it more real, but it still worked.

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Mezuka

Adventurer
Reading Basic Moldvay for the first time in English, a language I barely understood at the time. Couldn't figure out how to play D&D! I fond someone who played a month later.
 

Professor Murder

Adventurer
I can vividly recall getting my first DnD book, the 1st ed Monster Manual. I was in a Barnes and Noble, and saw the cover, covered with monsters. Now I was I figure 7 or so, and loved monsters and begged my father to get it for me. He warned me that it "wasn't the sort of monster book" I might be expecting, but got it for me anyway. None of the rules stuff made any sense, and there were naked breasts in it, but yeah, seven year old me loved and devoured it. I think like less than a year later, I got invited to sit in on a game, and probably was super annoying, as I called out the name of every monster we encountered based on the DM description. Life changing stuff.

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Piratecat

Feline buccaneer
Someone showed me In Search of the Unknown in 1979, long before I ever saw a rulebook. I was ENTRANCED. I still remember reading about the room of many magic pools, and feeling like someone opened up a door into a world I hadn't even known existed.

It'd be another two years before I actually played.
 

Yora

Legend
Playing Baldur's Gate. I remember I was really bored during summer break and pulled out my videogame magazine collection to look for games that looked interesting but I never paid any attention to before. That Baldur's Gate thing had gotten really rave reviews half a year earlier, and even though I've never bothered reading reviews in the "Roleplaying Games" section and wasn't into fantasy, I was really damn bored and so I got on my bike to get into town to check if one of the stores had it on the shelf.
Even that game manual was a small tome, showing off all the class abilities, spells, and some of the monsters. It was weird, but awesome, and I'm still coasting on that wave.
 


J.Quondam

CR 1/8
The illustration of rot grubs utterly horrified me back when I was casually flipping through my older cousin's 1e MM in the early 1980s.
So naturally, as a 10 year old boy, I decided I had to play that game.
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This image continues to utterly horrify me to this day.
 

Dannyalcatraz

Schmoderator
Staff member
It was 1977, and I had just heard of the game when someone posted they were starting to host a game in the school library after school. I asked my folks if I could join. They let me.

I went out and bought the AD&D PHB & MM, a set of purple polyhedral dice, and 2 minis- a human fighter with a 2hd sword and an elf fighter with spear & shield. I made a human fighter as my first PC.

The DM was a Bob Ross/Hobbit lookin’ dude who ran a tough game. My PC was among the last 2 left alongside a human wizard. We both died in the penultimate room of the dungeon in an epic fight with a purple worm.

My compadre only had his quarterstaff, dagger, and a single Magic Missile left when it reared up, cutting us off from escape. He opened with the spell and started swinging the staff. (Mightily, I must add.) I started whiffing with my blade. I landed my first meaningful blow a round or two before a Nat20 got the wizard engulfed.

We traded blows for a few more rounds. Finally, we were both down to 4hp…and initiative was simultaneous. My fighter missed, the worm did not. My PC died, completing the TPK.

…and I’ve been hooked ever since.
 



Li Shenron

Legend
For me it was after a friend had run a game of BECMI for us (my first D&D game ever) and I asked if I could borrow one of the booklets (it was a boxed reissue) to better understand the game. I remember locking myself in the bathroom to read the monsters section, getting hooked on the undead list by increasing difficulty, which ended with the "necrospettro" (probably the spectre) and its double-level drain... that's exactly when I knew I was going to be a DM eventually!
 




Tantavalist

Explorer
For me, the defining moment like that was when I was six years old and got The Warlock of Firetop Mountain without even realising that it wasn't an ordinary book. Once I did work it out though... The next few years were a string of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks that I became just a little bit obsessed with. Wet weekends spent in front of the gas fire as I ventured through the Forest of Doom or the City of Thieves are a defining memory of my childhood.

A secondary moment came when I was 10/11 and realised there were these games like the Fighting Fantasy books that you could play in a group. That led to Dragon Warriors after my 11th birthday in the summer and WFRP 1e for Christmas of that year.
 

MGibster

Legend
I'm going to pick Vampire the Masquerade. My fifteen year old self was impressed by almost everything in that book because it was very, very different from anything I had seen up until that point. The use of Biblical stories as part of the setting, the complicated world of the Camarilla with princes, justicars, and archons, and a game that was decidedly different from the kill 'em and loot 'em paradigm I'd enjoyed thus far. It's not the earliest game I have an impression of, but it's one of the first ones I played that was just so different from what I was used to that it left an indelible impression.
 

kenada

Legend
Supporter
Playing Baldur's Gate. I remember I was really bored during summer break and pulled out my videogame magazine collection to look for games that looked interesting but I never paid any attention to before. That Baldur's Gate thing had gotten really rave reviews half a year earlier, and even though I've never bothered reading reviews in the "Roleplaying Games" section and wasn't into fantasy, I was really damn bored and so I got on my bike to get into town to check if one of the stores had it on the shelf.
Even that game manual was a small tome, showing off all the class abilities, spells, and some of the monsters. It was weird, but awesome, and I'm still coasting on that wave.
Same. I remember pouring over the Baldur’s Gate manual trying to decide what class to be. I didn’t actually get into tabletop RPGs until college (with 3e).

I did play Hero Quest as a kid, but I don’t think that would quite be considered an RPG. We made my brother be the referee. I had a character with a crossbow who (through a rules misinterpretation) got to shoot every creature in the room every round.
 

Cadence

Legend
Supporter
Reading the classic Red Box, going through introductory adventure repeatedly, both utterly captivated by it and seeking an ending where Aleena didn't get fridged. I would've been nine years old at the time.

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Also the Moldvay basic art for me too. I think the Kobold stood out most. They were the centerpiece creature to the first "module" I wrote myself.

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