The easy answer, per Day 3, is my mom. She bought me the Moldvay boxed set for basic Dungeons & Dragons, which unlocked the potential of role-playing games for me. The actual answer is probably more complicated.
Truth be told, I don’t remember when I first heard about Dungeons & Dragons. Looking back, I know that it was the early 1980s (say, 1980 or 1981) so I was nine or ten years old. I recall a hodgepodge of influences, any one of which could have led me to the game.
- I remember my friend Steve’s brothers leaving a copy of X2 Castle Amber lying around and being fascinated by the image of a giant smashing a castle tower. It looked so amazingly cool, and I wanted to play that adventure.
- I remember buying (or getting my parents to buy) D&D-themed Choose Your Own Adventure books and devouring the possibilities they offered.
- I remember going into Walden Books as the Hackettstown Mall (long since demolished and replaced by a Lowe’s) and browsing the wall of Dungeons & Dragons books.
- I remember E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, circa 1982, and its Dungeons & Dragons scene, in which I related a hell of a lot more to Elliot than I did the older kids actually playing the game.
- I remember playing D&D on the stage of our elementary school during winter recess. No one was paying attention as we rolled our dice and hacked and slashed our way through a dungeon … no one but us.
- When I was in high school, I remember my 6th-grade teacher explaining that she wanted to start at D&D club, but the school board and parents wouldn’t support it because they thought it was Satantic. Thankfully, that didn’t stop us.
So yeah, it’s a hodgepodge … but it’s the good kind of hodgepodge.
- This post is part of the RPG a Day 2022 event. Catch up on Nuketown’s posts via the post category and learn more about the event at its community page on Facebook.