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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

And So It Began - Looking Back at My First Game Session

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.


  1. Hey Erik! I joined that group but I'm unable to post. Do I have to do something else?

  2. Ahhh, memories...

    I do look back with some fond nostalgia to those heady days of yesteryear. It was all so new to us. New avenues in RPGs were being pursued all the time by the game companies. For me it was the "Golden Age" of gaming. Local gaming groups were everywhere and big. There was a rich diversity in each gaming club, so new members could try out something new before buying it. The big games were AD&D, Traveller, Star Trek RPG, and Champions at first. CoC, Marvel Super Heroes, DC Heroes, and Star Wars D6 soon followed. There was so much and no divisions on what game was better than the other.

    The biggest thing for me was probably the friends I made through gaming. Star Realm was the local gamer hang out. We all felt like family there (dysfunctional and all). We all held the same interests: sci-fi, fantasy, Monty Python, Dr Who, Star Trek, Star Wars, comics, etc. It was all good. Nobody care if you liked one thing over another. It made me feel like I was finally part of a larger community of people who liked the same thing I did. And for an awkward 11 year-old, that was HUGE.

    I'm proud to say I'm a gamer. Because if it wasn't for those people in those early years, I wouldn't be the man I am now.