Jun 26 2008
I just had a startling realization: This weekend marks thirty years that I’ve been playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. How do I know? Because this weekend is my birthday and I spent all of my birthday money from my 12th birthday on buying the only D&D book that was out at the time. Or at least the only book at my local store, Toy and Model.
I’d received the blue box set of Dungeons and Dragons the Christmas before, but quite frankly had no one to play it with. I’d been playing with my childhood best friend, Fred Zeiber, but it’s hard to play a game like that with just two people, so we usually ended up forgetting the rule books and just playing pretend games. Every once and a while I try to look up Fred, but it appears he has almost no presence on the net, not being a computer geek like I turned out to be.
There were other games like Gamma World and Traveller, but AD&D is the one I’ve always come back to. I do have to give Traveller credit for getting me interested in math; you had to know some basic trig and calculus to even attempt to create a game world in that system. And all of the games taught me what the word “probability” means.
I still have my Monster Manual in a storage locker across town. The cover is still recognizable, even though there are so many layers of marks from using it as a hard surface to write on. I could probably recreate at least a few of those earliest characters I created just from the marks on that book.
I know 4th Edition is out, but I haven’t had the time or the interest to pick it up. When Second edition came out, I tried playing it once or twice, but after I purchased most of the books, I realized I still liked first edition better. I got a lot of play out of editions 3 and 3.5, so I’ll probably pick up some 4th Edition books eventually. Unless someone wants to send them to me for my birthday :-).
What’s my all time favorite Role Playing Game? While I love playing AD&D, I have to say Champions: the Superhero Roleplaying game wins out. I’ve always loved four-color comic books and the epic struggle between evil. Not the angst-ridden Iron Age stuff we have now, but the wonderful Silver Age comic book stories that ended with the death of Gwen Stacy in Spiderman.
And now back to the angst-ridden real world of being an adult.