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How Did You Learn To Play?

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You mean you can play with these miniatures?

 

 

Edited by Glitterwolf
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41 minutes ago, Glitterwolf said:

You mean you can play with these miniatures?

 

 

 

Only if you're one of those weird people with both "friends" and "free time," while you're "friends" also have that mythical "free time" at the same time. I've got one, and sometimes the other, but never at the same time it seems like.

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I was a mix.

 

My buddy Bob had just begun playing with his older brother Tony, and there were 1st Edition books (it was early 1981) laying around their house. I flipped through one momentarily, and found it rather awesome, but didn't actually ask what it was, and was not invited to anything.

 

Not too long after, in fact, within a month or so (fate? destiny? a trap?!?), my stepdad came home with a box of officially licensed AD&D Grenadier Halflings (with a bonus Ral Partha barbarian stashed away inside). I can't remember now if they had been in the Lost & Found at his work (he worked in a hotel and a LOT of crazy stuff was found over the years), or if somebody had handed them to him because they thought "the kid" might like them. Anyway, I stared at the box for awhile, fell in love with the box art, began imaging the possibilities, and then suddenly my brain connected these with what I had seen at Bob's house.

 

"This must mean something," I thought. "These strange metallic shorties must serve some purpose! Perhaps they are toy soldiers of a sort."

 

So I went back to Bob, who was enthusiastic, yet condescending. I would love the game, he told me, but he didn't think Tony would want any newbs at the table (nevermind what a newb Bob himself was - he was only 12).

 

I realized the toy store up the street had the game, too, so I went there and bought the Pink Basic Rules box with the Erol Otis cover (in later years, a sociopathic - I am NOT kidding - high school girlfriend would swap out her Elmore cover reprint for my Otis original, and go sell my copy to an FLGS, probably, to her dismay, for only store credit). I studied it, but realized I needed help with a lot of the jargon. I got the gist, but my eleven-year-old brain could not seem to concentrate enough on all the abbreviations and weird charts. I understood two things:

 

1. That I would love this game.

2. That if I had to figure out all of the minutia on my own, that love would die in the cradle.

 

I started bugging Bob about what it all meant, until finally I was able to produce a character. Probably half because he actually was convinced we might have fun together (we went on to game together for years over some great campaigns) and half to get somebody else on the case, he finally convinced his older brother to let me sit in. My character promptly died in the first ten minutes from a spider bite in what I now believe to be the keep from the Village of Hommlet adventure (at the time I was so stoked to game I didn't ask what the name of the adventure was). I got to watch for awhile while the others played. A little turned off by the other guy at the table (a somewhat jerk of a friend of the brothers who scoffed at my very existence at the table), I promptly grabbed my friend Gabe and began to DM for him.

 

After I had improved by chops as DM, I found myself under Tony's wing to an extent, as he began to give me pointers. Eventually, I got to play with him as he ran us though White Plume Mountain, which was a gas.

 

However, I've rarely been a player in any RPG. I am almost always the DM/GM. Have been since I was 11. Most GMs I gamed with simply could not get down to business enough for my tastes. The more serious players would eventually get restless, get another game together, and I was usually the GM for whatever game that was. Which is fine, I guess. I am a world builder by nature, and as a consequence of all those earlier, frustrating experiences, I pack a lot into each session.

Edited by Bruunwald
a little grammar tweak
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Sorry, no older cousin here. I read about the college group playing at CU in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper. There was a copy of the white box set at Three Wishes Toy Store, I bought it corralled some friends and we taught ourselves. 

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34 minutes ago, Heisler said:

Sorry, no older cousin here. I read about the college group playing at CU in the Boulder Daily Camera newspaper. There was a copy of the white box set at Three Wishes Toy Store, I bought it corralled some friends and we taught ourselves. 

 

Learning to play from the white box edition was quite a feat. I know I had a lot of the rules wrong until I got the Strategic Review with the D&D FAQ a few weeks later.  Greyhawk helped a good bit as well; once you’d adopted the hit points and variable weapons damage, most of the gaps were OBE. 

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4 hours ago, Chris Palmer said:

    Sadly, as adult and married life interceded, and time became more valuable, I could no longer do All The Hobbies, so my RPGing has fallen by  the wayside in favor of the general tabletop miniatures gaming.   But I miss it sometimes, and still enjoy more RPG influenced miniatures games like Frostgrave and Ghost Archipelago.

 

We could do something about that, as long as original D&D worked for you. Too bad Crowley is now up in NYC....

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39 minutes ago, Rob Dean said:

 

Learning to play from the white box edition was quite a feat. I know I had a lot of the rules wrong until I got the Strategic Review with the D&D FAQ a few weeks later.  Greyhawk helped a good bit as well; once you’d adopted the hit points and variable weapons damage, most of the gaps were OBE. 

 

Took me a while to figure out the difference between "hit dice" and "hit points..."

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I never had a problem with that, probably because the concepts were ported over from other sorts of wargaming with which I was familiar. 

 

I think Jon Peterson points out in Playing at the World that damage points derive especially from naval wargaming. 

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Got started back in 1976-77

I was in Jr. High School and my small cadre of friends were a lot like those kids on Stranger Things we lived in the same area and hung out together in and out of school.

One of our number attended boarding school out of state and would be home on Christmas and during the summers. He had started playing D&D there and brought it back to us on his Christmas break. He was our DM at first and we continued to play in his absence which forced us to each take our turns as DM.

We were playing with a combination of White Box and Holmes basic. AD&D, Gamma World and Traveler came soon after.

 

In many very real ways D&D (and music) effected the course of my life more than anything else ever has.

Edited by DanH
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My Mum introduced me to Hero Quest before I could read.

 

Little plastic monsters and heroes, and a board a bit like Clue.

 

A few years ago we painted up one of Grump's old copies, and gave it me Mum.

 

Thanks Mum! :wub::;,;:

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6 hours ago, Rob Dean said:

I never had a problem with that, probably because the concepts were ported over from other sorts of wargaming with which I was familiar.

 

Yeah, but I was twelve, and hadn't played anything stronger than Stratego or Risk.

 

23 minutes ago, PaganMegan said:

My Mum introduced me to Hero Quest before I could read.

 

Little plastic monsters and heroes, and a board a bit like Clue.

 

A few years ago we painted up one of Grump's old copies, and gave it me Mum.

 

Thanks Mum! :wub::;,;:


I wish t'hellengone that someone would produce some manner of simplistic boardgame quest game like HeroQuest, and that someone would leave it in production long enough for it to become a classic like Monopoly or Clue, durnit.

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3 hours ago, PaganMegan said:

My Mum introduced me to Hero Quest before I could read.

 

Little plastic monsters and heroes, and a board a bit like Clue.

 

A few years ago we painted up one of Grump's old copies, and gave it me Mum.

 

Thanks Mum! :wub::;,;:

 

Heroquest counts?

In that case I did play!

 

I used to own all the expansions as well and played it with my girlfriend at that time.

 

Later played a handful games of WHFB and 40K.

That was the gaming career...only PC nowadays..

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HeroQuest totally counts! 

 

 

It's where I got my start. Not just in the gaming, but also the hobby side of things. These were my first painted minis.

 

It was followed by this D&D starter box about a year later 

Z0053325.jpg

Followed by some of the other boxed adventure sets, then the Rules Cyclopedia. 

 

Like some of the others, I was patient zero for my group, though my mother had played before. She wasn't willing to teach me the game, but did answer some questions, or at least pointed me in the right direction to finding the answers myself. 

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I have been a wargamer since 1975 - starting with Napoleonics.

 

I have been a fantasy gamer since 1976, and a role playing gamer since later that same year.

 

My first D&D game was in the basement of the Unitarian Church in Portsmouth, NH. I was the youngest player there. One of the other players was my comparative religion teacher - a Catholic priest. (He played a cleric - a horrible, unctuous, grasping, greedy cleric... I think he was based on the player's monseigneur.

 

We brought in an experienced DM, who... really, really sucked. Letting his BFF Charm Person the party - and this was back when Charm Person lasted for days or weeks.

 

This went on for two or three weeks, until the group told them both to knock it off.

 

I swear to Gogamagog, Woody's reaction was 'What are you gonna do? Replace me?'

 

The look of surprise on his face when he discovered that, yes, we were replacing him... that was worth the price of admission. :devil:

 

Both Woody and his BFF were given their marching orders, and I ended up taking over as DM.

 

The Auld Grump - Father Simeneau(SP?) had played before, but had never run, and didn't want to run, and nobody else felt up to the task, so I ended up running the game for adults when I was still a tween.

 

We kept the game running for three years, only ending it when I moved to Portland, Maine.

 

The Auld Grump - Lords and Ladies, I sucked as a GM, back then! But I was still a whole lot better than Woody and his best bud.

8 hours ago, Glitterwolf said:

 

Heroquest counts?

In that case I did play!

 

I used to own all the expansions as well and played it with my girlfriend at that time.

 

Later played a handful games of WHFB and 40K.

That was the gaming career...only PC nowadays..

I would say that HeroQuest totally counts!

 

I know a number of no-longer-young players that got their start with that game!

 

The Auld Grump - still holding out hope that someday my Anniversary HeroQuest comes in....

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On 3/5/2018 at 3:39 AM, redambrosia said:

I first caught it when I was still a little girl. In the early 90s my oldest brother brought home some of the books, loaned to him by a Boy Scouts buddy. My brother insisted that the game "wasn't for girls" (just like the Atari, jerk), but I sneaked the books away and read some of them. 

 

I think RPGitis lay dormant in me for a while, until I was in college. My other, less douchey, brother invited me to play. Of course, we only played a couple games, and I didn't get a good handle on the game, before the DM left the area. 

 

When it really became a full blown case was when I met my husband. He's all about DnD, and after some tentative questions from me, gleefully got me involved.

 

With the exception of the game at the dry bar, there have been girls, women, and ladies in all of my games. (And that was how I learned that I have a weakness for nerd girls. :lol: My first girlfriend, the woman I lived with for a while, and my good lady wife, all classic nerd girls. Megan working on her own campaign makes me want to stand up and cheer. Again.)

 

The Auld Grump

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