Monday, January 23, 2012

Reverb #1: So it began

You've probably seen other people doing the Atlas Games Reverb Gamers thing. If not, well, follow along anyway. It's basically a list of questions to spark discussion and stuff. I will be doing one a week for the rest of the year, so as not to saturate this blog by just going straight through.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #1: What was your first roleplaying experience? Who introduced you to it?
How did that introduction shape the gamer you've become?

And we begin with a tricky one. My first roleplaying experience, honestly, was receiving the fabled Red Box for Christmas in 1983. I read the heck out of that thing. I ran myself through the Keep on the Borderlands over and over. Yes, playing it solo. I've never had a lot of friends.

My first ever game was probably with a couple of guys who had a campaign going. There were several unfortunate things about this. They were using AD&D, and all I had was Basic. They were in the middle of a campaign, and handed me the character sheet of guy who couldn't make it that week. It was an illusionist, which was fairly baffling to me at the time. The adventure that week was a "dungeon of death", in which the DM had stocked what was basically a long corridor with some of the nastiest beasties from the Monster Manual. The set-up made the illusionist even more useless than normal, especially for a newbie.

And, to cap it off, these guys were snot-nosed twelve-year-old bullies. They were reveling in rubbing my nose in the fact that I didn't know what I was doing. In my memory, I was actually trying to play really well. Trying to use my spells in creative ways, trying to engage in character, etc. None of that was interesting to these guys and their power fantasies.

To this day, I'm not sure why I was there. I think it's mostly because one of the kid's parents was friends with my parents, and he'd been pressured to invite me. I opted to not go back.

How did that introduction shape me? I became an expert in reading and digesting RPG rules. I got almost the entire BECMI line (the Immortals set never interested me). I subscribed to Dragon and read it voraciously. Tips, tricks, and theory filled up the crannies of my cranium. I also bought Top Secret, Marvel Super Heroes, and a couple other games.

And, yet, I think that first experience made me really gun-shy about playing with an actual group. I played a few individual games here and there. But I wouldn't start playing in a campaign until I got to college.

No comments:

Post a Comment