Tuesday, August 05, 2014

#RPGaDAY #1: First RPG Played -- Dungeons & ... Boarding Parties?

I'm a couple of days behind schedule with my first #RPGaDAY post, but work and vacation took priority. It's my hope that I'll be able to do one of these a day for the next month and answer all of the questions posted by @autocratik. I don't often participate in list-memes, but this one has more of a blog carnival feel to it.

I've been playing role playing games for a long time and most of the friends I have today are connected one way or another with game play. Mirroring that sentiment, I was first introduced to gaming by one of my dearest lifelong friends Sean McPhail -- or rather he and I were introduced to gaming by one of his older brothers. I have discussed my first gaming session on this blog before when writing about "Pants Issues." In that post, I use the image of the Moldvay edited Basic Set to represent the version of Dungeons & Dragons that Sean and I "played" on that occasion.


Thinking back about that first gaming session though, I don't think that is correct. My parents did purchase me a copy of the Moldvay set for Christmas after I came home and conveyed how exciting my introduction to D&D had been, but I didn't own the boxed set at the time. My friend Sean owned some of the AD&D books and had rolled up 1st level characters named Gandalf and Aragorn. When the friend of one of Sean's brothers said he knew how to run a D&D game, Sean loaned me Gandalf and the adventure was on. BTW, the fate of Gandalf is discussed in the Pants Issues post.

The "game" that Sean and I experienced had very little relation - as far as I can remember - to Sean's description of the AD&D rules, but it was definitely some form of D&D. It was D&D that was highly adversarial in its player to DM relationship and it was so free form and abstract in its description of combat that I think I can claim that my first gaming experience wasn't Moldvay Basic. Though Moldvay Basic with its rich introduction is the reason I continued playing. It most certainly wasn't AD&D. There was no talk of segments, modifiers against armor type, or any of the particularities of that rules set. I think that Sean and I were introduced to White Box OD&D...though as the Pants Issues post makes clear I wouldn't say that I actually got much of a chance to play it. 

And if I didn't get much of a chance to play it, then what was my actual first RPG played?

That would be something that my friend Sean and I put together ourselves. We had been playing a bunch of Broadsides & Boarding Parties and we loved everything about the game...except the hand-to-hand combat and campaign rules.


So we decided to use the rules from Moldvay Basic as our combat system. Thus began a couple of weeks worth of piratical adventures with Fighter, Thief, and Wizard ship captains, and thus began the first of many house rule adaptations in my role playing game career.



Post a Comment