Hello Throwers! In this inaugural installment of My First Time I’m going to talk about the first time I played a RPG. My name is Dom Zook, I’m the creator of this site and subsequent web-series. Through the foggy haze of my memory let’s step back… back… BACK! Back to the Spring of 1986.
I was a wee lad, about 9 years old, and navigating a new school and making new friends after a recent move. I befriended a boy in my homeroom who had a koala backpack. I knew we’d be friends because we commiserated over wolves being the most awesome of animals.
I started out playing a lizard-man warrior. Had no clue what I was doing. Keep in mind this was before the 2nd edition Book of Humanoids so it was pretty fly-by-night. After one session it was decided to retire that character and start anew.
I then rolled up a dwarven fighter. When asked for his name I blurted out “OrjuinWahweh!” My DM jotted down a rough approximation and my fighter became “Orjuin Warwe,” champion of his people.
The dice left me in awe. Keep in mind that up until that point I’d only ever seen a 6-sided die. A 4-sided die? A 20?? My friend even had a 100-sided one. We never used it.
What I possibly remember the most, however, was the sound of the dice hitting the formica table in the rusted out RV we played in behind his house. It was cozy. The northwest rain would pelt the roof as we discussed the drinking habits of Orjuin. Tddddkkkk! A 20-sided die hits the table resulting in a 18.
An 18 was the first roll I ever cast for my character. It was an attribute roll, so I was able to apply that number to one of my character abilities. Before you grognards lay into me yes, we rolled a d20, which was against the rules at the time. You’re supposed to roll 3d6 for attributes. But my DM wanted superheroes and who was I to turn him down? I filled out the rest of my green character sheet and away we went!
I remember the warm glow of the RV’s flourescents, which flickered if we rocked the vehicle too much. The intimacy of a two-person campaign and the joy of dungeoneering. Slaying goblins and orcs. Pocketing every possible treasure (encumbrance rules be damned!). It was invigorating to escape the life of a 3rd grader and suddenly become ANYTHING I wanted to be. I could be anything. I could do anything.
To say Dungeons & Dragons influenced my life would be a gross understatement. It opened my mind.
What about you? Tell us your First Time stories! What mistakes did you make? Do you still have the character sheet of your first PC? Tell us in the comments, and post your pictures to our Facebook group!