Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Now we've got a party going

I'm the other guy! The name's Ricky. I guess it's time for my origin story as well.

The first time I played D&D was back in college.

No, wait, rewind. The first time I thought I played D&D was a young boy, in the back seat of my father's car, on the way to karate.

Twice a week, several of my childhood friends and I would pile into my father's car and make a 40-minute trek to our karate dojo. For a kid, this is a LONG trip. There are only so many arguments you can get in to about "which Power Ranger is the best" before you get exceptionally bored.

One day, to help pass the time, one of my friends brought a copy of the 2nd edition "Dungeon Master's Guide" with him. None of us had played before. In fact, I'm not certain that the kid with the book had even played before.

We engaged in epic adventures on those car rides, though in retrospect I don't remember rolling a single die. It might have been a simple matter of logistics, as rolling dice in a moving vehicle is no small matter, but the 10-year-old "Dungeon Master" of our group didn't seem to find dice all that important. I can't remember what (if any) numbers were on my character sheet, but I still vividly remember the moments. Moments like my character, a were-flying-squirrel warrior, fighting an ogre by stabbing it in the eye with an arrow.

A couple years later I acquired one of the rule books myself, and spent many sunny Saturday mornings pouring over the epic fantasy drawings, the cinematic examples of gameplay, and most of all the cornucopia of magic items in the back. Flying carpets? Rings of wishes? A cloak that lets you turn into a bat? Badass!

As I got older, my close friends grew away from pretend games of D&D, and I developed a taste for video games and online computer games. I spent many afternoons in the fantasy-themed chat rooms of early America Online. Eventually, I discovered the world of roleplaying MUDs and MUCKs, and those sustained me through high school.

So maybe I didn't technically play D&D until the first time I rolled a d20, many years later, in college. As far as I'm concerned, it all started in the back seat of my father's car.

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