About Me

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I was lucky enough to play in a spontaneous LRPG when I was a kid in second grade. It was pretend on steroids. We would either climb under the table and pretend that it was the bridge of a starship, or, we would run around with toy pistols and pretend to be spies and officers in WW1.

Here is the thing - it was an RPG without a GM, or rather the group consensus was the GM. The game started out with each player introducing their character. Say, I am a German counter intelligence officer. See the nice Luger (pistol, toy) I got? I execute spies with it - like this. A mock execution of the imaginary enemy. OK, cool. Everyone would do a round of introductions. Then you build on it by adding more stories about the character. Basically we would walk around pretending to be characters talking about themselves as they walk. Sometimes there would be spontaneous interchanges in character. Two cardinal rules were (and this is where this went into the LRPG territory) was that 1) you did not copy another's story or try to one up another tale and (2) you can not contradict what you claimed about your character previously. The game usually involved someone throwing out a crisis, and the rest trying to solve it. The starship is flying into Yellow Fog! If a ship goes into Yellow Fog, everyone on the ship dies!

I first encountered D&D when we moved to New York City and I was going to the seventh grade. I went to the IS 145 Joseph Pulitzer Intermediary School, and it had a temporary classroom building abutting the playground. The year was 1979, and the wall facing the playground was decorated with a mural depicting dragons. There was a Green Dragon, a Red Dragon, a Blue Dragon, and a Black Dragon running the corrugated metal wall for the entire length of the temporary classroom building. There were mountains, lakes, and pine forests in the background, and a gray silhouette of a castle in the background. The image was evocative. It captured awe, mystery, and the unknown in my soul. On one corner it simply said: Dungeons and Dragons.

I stumbled upon a hobby shop a little while later. There was an article in the paper about D&D being possibly involved in a man’s suicide. I went in the shop and asked about the game. There was a grizzly bearded man and a skinny kid with a pockmarked face working in the store. The kid showed me Moldway’s red and blue boxed sets, the basic and the expert sets of the game. Sometime later I saved my allowances, bought the red box set, and brought it home. It took me an hour and a half to roll up my first character. I rolled 3d6 in order and it was a Magic User. I didn’t understand most of the book. It took me two years and advice from a kid in High School to figure out how to use the percentile dice and how to figure out weapon damage. He also showed me the hard cover books of the Advanced Dungeons and Dragons fist edition, and I was hooked for life.


  1. It's great to hear stories of how people got into games! It always brings me back to receiving my first D&D game for Christmas in 1979.

    David S.
    Minnesota, USA

  2. Good to hear from you! Which set did you receive? Was it the White Box or the Holmes basic Set?