Thursday, July 29, 2010

The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game... Oh, the Memories...

My experience with Dungeons & Dragons started with my dad's first edition AD&D books, but sometime in late elementary school (after my parents split up) my mom talked me into throwing them away and purchasing a less controversial game. I managed to convince her to let me buy Rifts: Conversion Book One (which was useless for a long time because I didn't have the actual rules for the game). Ironically, the warning in the front of the book about "violence and the supernatural" actually helped.

At some point (when I was in middle school, if I remember correctly), my dad found out that his old D&D books were gone and bought me The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game. We played through most of the adventure together that summer. In time, I slowly transitioned from this set back to advanced D&D with the 2nd edition Player's Handbook and DM's Guide, but I still remember how cool I thought this game was at the time. I had read through the first edition books, but I hadn't really understood much of it, and although I had played a solo game with my dad as the DM, he did almost everything "behind the screen," so to speak. This was the first time I had ever played D&D and actually understood the rules. I even painted my first miniature around this time, and I still have it somewhere if I could just find the darned thing. I had been intrigued before... but now I was hooked.

I had completely forgotten about this version of D&D until just recently, when my brother Eric mentioned wanting to play again. I said something about being able to start quickly with Character Builder, and his response was, "Nah bro, I want to play old school. I want to actually roll up characters." For my little brother, old school means 3rd edition, but he's right about one thing... as much as I appreciate the convenience of Character Builder, I miss creating characters by hand too.

In any case, I've got a few other friends who just started playing Warhammer 40K, but don't have the expendable income to really invest in the hobby... I might see if they'd be interested in giving D&D a shot. There won't be a poster-sized map this time, but we'll use Dungeon Tiles... and there won't be little red unpainted plastic figures, but D&D Minis will be a great replacement... and we'll probably use 3rd edition rules... but maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to recapture that sense of wonder that I experienced when I was a kid. And I'd like to start things out simply, the same way that the adventure in The Classic Dungeons & Dragons Game booklet did. If I remember correctly, it was something like...

You wake up in a dark dungeon cell... you can't remember anything... you immediately notice that there are others in the cells around you... and a small reptilian humanoid with keys jingling on his belt at the end of the hallway.

Time to escape from the evil wizard's dungeon! Oh, the memories!
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