Dungeons and Dragons pt 1: How I Got Started

I’ve been playing D&D for a very long time. Here’s a very brief history of what my RPG career has looked like.


There was this ‘D&D Thirty Day Challenge’ meme floating about the social medias, so I decided to get in on it and here I am.  Since I don’t want to inundate a multi-topic blog with ALL D&D ALL THE TIME I’m breaking it up some.


Day One: How I Got Started


The very very first rpg I ever played was TMNT.  I was sixteen and played a mutant raccoon with a tendency to get on the nerves of the RDF (Robotech Defense Force) who were stuck in the modern world.  After that, I played a Zentraedi rebel fighting with the RDF.  I don’t remember much about either character but I know the raccoon liked fast cars and the Zentraedi had purple hair and passed every single Cooking skill check I had to make.  No small feat considering she only had like a 9% skill at first.


My GM in those games, who’s turned out to be a lifelong friend and literally the reason I didn’t commit suicide at sixteen, mentioned D&D at one point.  I want to say he told me to avoid it, but that could be completely wrong.  This was back at the tail end of the ‘Dungeons and Dragons is eeeeevil‘ propaganda, so I may just be mis-remembering things from some nonsense the teachers at our high school tried to warn us about.  Anyway, one of the quickest ways to get me interested in a thing is tell me to avoid it.  I spent my summers in Montana with my father, and when I flew out there I began searching around for a game.


And I found one!  Probably up at the college campus nearby, I don’t remember.  My first D&D group was a bunch of college nerds living in a house.  I think I was the only girl.  Looking back on it now, I was possibly not very smart just walking into a house with a bunch of strange dudes and hanging out with them for hours on end.  I was young, not entirely stupid, and at that point relatively unafraid in nerdy circles.


I played a human wizard in AD&D 2nd Edition.  I died a lot.  Having only four hit points does that to you.  It was your average dungeon crawl style game, not a whole lot of RP in there and no overarching plot that I can recall.  One of the guys kept hitting on me.  I just thought hewas being nice to me.  I was still pretty far in the closet back then and didn’t recognize – or really want to recognize – when someone was trying to flirt.  The GM told me about it once day when I was early for the game, told the guy that I was underage and reminded him of the Joey Buttafuoco case that was still on everyone’s minds at the time.  (Shut up, I’m old.)  He backed off a bit after that.


I left the game when I had to go back to my mom’s for the school year.  I was sad.  I’d made friends who didn’t suck.  The GM gave me a set of dice, which I might even still have somewhere if I ever get all my shit in one place and sorted out.


Since then I’ve played in many a game.  I had a brief AD&D2.5 game where I played an Avariel, a winged elf; a human warrior; fell in love with 3rd Edition and delighted in not having to calculate THAC0 anymore for each and every weapon; absolutely refused to play 4th Edition or allow it in my house; played the Kingmaker campaign in Pathfinder with some old WoW buddies over Skype, which was really heavy on the RP; and was browbeaten into playing 5th Edition Rise of Tiamat run by some LARP acquaintances who’ve become some of my most treasured friends over the years.


Currently I have plans to join in another 5th Edition game run by the same folks who ran the Rise of Tiamat game.  This one’s set in the Underdark and I’ll be playing a male Elf with anger management issues (aka a Barbarian).  We’re starting out at level one, it should be a riot.


I’ve been playing RPGs for about 22 or 23 years now, long enough that I don’t exactly remember how old I was when I started.  I still have most of my books, in storage right now because I couldn’t bring all of them with me when I moved across the country (twice) looking for a place to live.  Roleplaying games aren’t a thing you grow out of, and I never want to.