Your intro to RPGs

From what I've seen among the players in my area, almost none had a story as simple as "I saw the rulebook in the store and decided to buy it".
This was exactly how I got introduced to D&D.

I was eight (this was in 1981) or nearly so, and in a hobby store near my grandmother's house, I saw the shiny red Basic D&D boxed set. There was a picture of a dragon on the front, which was super-cool to eight year old me. So, with allowances saved for many moons, I bought it.

That summer, myself, my brother (11) and three neighbor kids (of approximately those same ages) learned and took turns running the game.
 
1980, Petoskey, Michigan. In my 4th grade classroom of our isolated little town, I got a Dynamite magazine that had an article on Dungeons and Dragons. I don't know how, but reading the short feature, looking at the pictures, I just knew that game was for me. It was love at first sight.

That afternoon, at afterschool snack (we always had afterschool snack, my favorite was oreos and orange juice) I told my mom. She got the game for me.

My mom was my first DM. I played a wizard, and my dad played Billy the Hindu Bishop, a cleric, because my mom had read that you always wanted a cleric. She ran us through B1, In Search of the Unknown, the dungeon that came with no monsters. I'm serious. You had to fill in the blanks yourself. My mom wrote in a few rats and a lizardman.

My mom was also my worst DM. We had no idea what we were doing. The game just fizzled under our incomprehension. Mom said, "Well, your cousins play. How about you learn how to play from them when you stay with them next summer?"

So I had a long wait until next summer, when I always stayed with my cousins for a while. They lived five hours away. Waiting was hard, but I still knew, I just knew, that I would love that game.

And then summer came, and we played, and I loved it. :)

Not to get sappy but sometimes it really gets to me how much my mom must have loved me to try to DM. My mom is unique (isn't everyone's?) and she has some issues that must have made DMing very, very tough. I guess it was kind of like asking a puppy to walk over hot coals to bring you your slippers. Ah well, that doesn't really capture it, I'm not sure what it was like. But I knew that she loved me. :)
 
Great thread!

I was introduced to D&D during a hard winter in Boston. I was 8 and my friend Mike told me that his older brother ran a game, and I should come visit. Mike was cool because he taught me how to skateboard (or rather how not to fall off and kill myself on a skateboard). And he didn't care that I wasn't cool. And cause he was Mike. :) I joined their game as (surprise) an elf ranger. We played Slave Pits of the Undercity, but he included some stuff from Vault of the Drow too I think. I remember one adventure we had to escape from these demons by sledding down the side of a mountain; I thought that was cool and decided to replicate it on the hill behind our grade school. Whoosh!

So what are some take-aways from our collective experience? That D&D encourages...

Teaching paranormal spell-writing classes
Secret meetings in basements
Being compelled (or compelling others)
Long hair in adult men
Disobeying parents/guardians
Breaking the rules
Breathing spaghetti like a dragon
Creating He-Man graffiti
Piracy
Reckless endangerment
...Getting Hooked
 

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