Over at the Tenkar's Tavern Google Community we have an "Introduce Yourself" thread. 74 members (including myself) have introduced themselves in the thread (and another 8 scattered in their own threads) It makes for interesting reading, especially if you want to get some insights into old school gamers. There are many paths, but all have led them to one general destination - an enjoyment of RPG and a fondness of old school gaming.
I've mentioned my entrance into RPGs before, but I omitted it in the thread and thought I would share it here for all. It's a bit more detailed then I've done before.
It was the late in the spring of 1979. I was at my friend Kenny's house. (background - For grades 1 thru 4 we went to the same public school, but in 5th grade he transferred to the local Catholic School out of fear I suspect. While our elementary school was damn good, there were some not so good stories of what 7th grade and Junior High School would bring, and not all of them were false). We were nearing the end of sixth grade.
Anyhow, the advantage to this is it expanded our circle of friends. The day in question we were goofing around with the Game of Life when Kenny said something to the effect of: "I have this new game. You wanna play it? You get to kill stuff!" Sounded like playing with our GI Joes when we were younger, but sure, I was up for just about anything. There is only so much fun to be had in a two player Game of Life.
He broke out these amazing dice. I mean, he said they were dice, so they must have been dice, but I only recognized the six sided ones. "You use these six sided dice to roll out your character. Your going to play a fighter." Sounded good to me, as a fighter musta been someone who fought. "He needs a name." Sure. Cyrus. Don't ask me why. I do not know. Cyrus Vance maybe?
I fought skeletons. I found a chest with a magic sword. I fought more skeletons. I found a magic shield. A phone call was made to one of Kenny's classmates to see if I leveled up, as he only had the DMG and his friend on the other side of the line had the Player's Handbook. Somehow, I made level 2. Cyrus was now a Warrior and I was hooked. My birthday was in July and I received the Player's Handbook and the Dungeon Master's Guide AND an awesome set of poly dice.
Here I am. 37 years later. Still gaming. Still loving the hobby and the friendships I've made over the years and continue to make, hopefully for years to come.