Get To Know Me: TTRPG Edition

chuckdee

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Day 1: First store where I bought a TTRPG: Sword of the Phoenix, in Atlanta, GA.

Out of Business now, but it was successfully open for over 25 years. It was one of the few stores that I saw that had a location in two upscale malls at it's height. What attracted me to it was a huge diorama they had in the window on a custom table that they'd switch out with different scenes.
 

sharps54

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Day 1 - I can’t remember what I had for breakfast yesterday much less this.

Edit to add if I had to guess it would have been either Toys R Us or a large hobby store, I don’t think it was Mitchell’s but can’t remember the name for the life of me, in Wilmington DE who had an RPG section. We used to go there because my dad was into model trains.

The game would have been Marvel Super Heroes.
 
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Fenris-77

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Day One: I bought my first RPG item at a games store called Imperiums to Order in Kitchener, ON, in um, probably 1986. The store was shoehorned into the first floor of a Victorian house, and thus had a lot of nooks, crannies, and narrow aisles. At the back of the store, housed in what I imagine used to be a pantry with the door taken off, was the used section where I found a copy of module B1 that I bought with some horded allowance money.

Edit - I have a resource posted for Swords of the Serpentine called Mirandola and Sons that was very much based on my memories of how Imperiums looked to a giddy 10 year old.
 
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Nick J

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Day 1: I don't remember the name of the comic shop, but it was a pretty good comic shop. The owner was a young guy in his mid twenties, he didn't have B.O. he seemed like a normal dude with a girlfriend and friends and everything. Also he was super helpful and he even tried to steer me to buying Elric! over D&D because of the kinds of fiction/comics I was into, but sold me those AD&D books even when I insisted. I wish I would have listened to him.
 

ffilz

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First store I bought a TTRPG from was Excalibur Hobbies which sort of still exists as Hobby Bunker. It used to be in Arlington MA, then moved to Malden, and apparently has moved to Wakefield.
 

AsenRG

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You should ask for clarification on 2 and 3, because a) does Conan count as an NPC and b) does the real world count for a published setting?

The first store where I bought a TTRPG was a booksellers table that's guaranteed to no longer be there. There used to be a square in Sofia, named Slaveikov which harboured scores of book sellers. The city decided to chase them from there, though, to much discontent.
The square is conveniently named after a Bulgarian poet and Sofia City's Public Library is there.
The RPG was Endyval 1 I believe.

Slaveikov square before and now.

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Vile Traveller

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Day 1: I think it might have been Dunnes Stores, anyway it was one of the big department stores in Dublin. I bought the Moldvay Basic D&D box before xmas '82 because my mail order got lost (Basic D&D, RuneQuest 2, and Traveller), and that was all they had on the shelf.
 

JAMUMU

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DAY THE FIRST: I recall I bought my first RPG in a shop in a small northern city called Aberdeen. I do not recall whether the RPG first purchased with my own meagre coin was Dragon Warriors, or the thing that came to be known as the "Red Box". Nor do I remember if such a purchase was made in the toy shop in the dark, sunken lanes of the old town, or at the more specialist games shop nearer the university; I was known to frequent both while Mater sought victuals and cloth in other parts of the city.

What does pierce through the veils of cloudy memory is the fact that before any such purchase were made, a small library further inland had supplied our band with 1st edition tomes of the AD&D, tomes we used for some two years before our income (mostly earned from delivering newspapers to outlying farms, with a little banditry on the side) was commensurate with the purchasing of our own equipment. Twas not long before other members of our merry band began to purchase games themselves.
 

TristramEvans

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First Day: I sadly don't know the name of the shop, that is no doubt lost to history, but I'll retell the story that I've told before...

In my 8th year my family made the move from the small suburban town of Kingston, Ontario to the small rural town of Kensington, Pennsylvania. It was here that I made three close friends (not including the girl next door , Carrie-Ann, who always came by wanting to "hang out"); Chris, David, and Seth. And it was these friends that introduced me to RPGs.

I'd known "game books", sort of proto or pseudo-RPGs like Lone Wolf that I consumed along with a steady diet of Choose Your Own Adventure books. And I'd been aware of Dungeons & Dragons before that point, though primarily as a Saturday Morning cartoon and toy line. I'd had a friend in Ontario who owned the Red Box, but even though I expressed an interest in playing, he'd always say that he needed his father to "make the maps" or something or other I didn't quite understand, and we'd go back to playing with our He-man or Star Wars action figures. Or M.U.S.C.L.E.s. Thus, my introduction to RPGs didn't come at the hand of that ubiquitous system, rather Chris Thunderberg's copy of a new game called Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay.

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I was fascinated from the first moment I held it in my hands. Though raised on a steady diet of Arthurian legends, fairy tales, and even Tolkien, I'd never encountered anything like this. It was visceral, Germanic, dark and fascinating. The book was dripping with illustrations, violent and full of black humour. A whole new world rested between those pages. Once, once, I convinced Chris to let me borrow the book overnight. I still remember reading that introductory story on the first few pages, as a group of adventurers encountered lizardmen in chasms beneath the earth. Chris would run small adventures for us during the lunch hour at school, beneath an old tree in the far corner of the school yard. We coudln't use dice, because they weren't allowed by the teacher for some reason, but we didn't need any, it was just a "choose your own adventure" taking place in our shared imagination. I still recall my first character: "Redbolt", a pit fighter (I wanted to play a Chaos Warrior after seeing the illustration of one fighting a Jabberwocky in the book, but Chris said I couldnt be one of those until I got to a much higher level).

From then on I launched a steady campaign of pestering my mother for a copy of the book. The problem was the closest store that sold that sort of thing was about an hour's drive away. And my mom was not the type to go out of her way for such nonsense. But, my ability to be annoying eventually prevailed. The store was located on the top floor of a small building, once probably a small apartment building, but now converted into a sort of mini-mall. A used bookstore took up most of the first floor. Up some wooden stairs that had forgotten what varnish was several decades prior, at the back of a old, musty hallway, across from a small shop selling goth clothing and costumes, was a tiny room, largely taken up by a gametable in the middle. Bookcases lined one wall, packed with gamebooks and boxes, while 2 other walls were lined with various miniatures, as well as bags of dice. A stuffed dragon adorned the counter with an archaic register. The man behind it was an older fellow, with a grey beard, who eyed us somewhat suspiciously. A mother and her young child was not a welcome site in gaming shops in those days, though when she explained to him what we were looking for, he seemed to get in better mood. No random tourist was I , looking for Teddy Ruxpins or Cabbage Patch Dolls.

Of course, I didn't wait for him to provide directions, my eyes locked in on the spine of the book within moments of entering, and I feverishly ripped it from the shelf, clasping it in joy. I then wandered in amazement taking in as much as I could of the other products around the place before my mother's patience wore thin. The man helpfully explained to my mother that I would need certain dice, and he provided a small felt bag to go with them. I tried to convince her to let me get a miniature as well, but she said something about another parent (Chris's mom I think) warning her about lead, and I didnt want to push my luck that day. But the man behind the counter slipped a copy of a Ral Partha catalogue into the bag for me, and gave me a wink.

I have no further memory of that week, as I was lost in that book.
 

Gringnr

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Day 1 - The Game Keeper in the Palm Desert Town Center Mall. I don't remember which game it was, but this was definitely where I bought my first RPG that I bought with my own money.

Edit: now that I think of it, this must not be true. Before we moved to Palm Desert from El Cajon, CA, I owned the Villains and Vigilantes Box Set. This may have been the first RPG I bought with my own allowance, and I cannot for the life of me remember where I got it.
 

robb

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Day 1: Easons bookstore hobby section, O'Connell St, Dublin (possibly the same place as Vile Traveller above).
I bought Mentzer Basic D&D in 1983/4. I am not sure I ever actually played it as we moved to AD&D when we started playing and so I have long discarded it.
However the real jewel I picked up that day was the Games Workshop "Catalogue of Adventure” (for free!) which I spent many, many hours perusing and dreaming of the games I could play one day. I still have that.
Hmm, it does not like tmblr links
 

robb

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I don't know the answers to all of them for myself (and I don't even understand 19) but still interesting, and I'll try to answer a bit later.
Q 19 "Bleed" is when the emotions of your character start to get mixed with your own, real emotions.
 

spittingimage

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Day 1: Borders. It's not that we didn't have dedicated game stores, but I was a poor student pretty much restricted to the major bus routes. I had discovered Lovecraft and I was deep into cosmic horror. They had a copy of D20 Call of Cthulhu and realising there was a cosmic horror game I could play took my breath away. I bought it thinking I could run it for my friends until one of them wanted to try GMing and then I could mentally be in a Lovecraft story!

Turns out my friends at the time had a terminal case of Can't Take Horror Games Seriously.

My current group has a terminal case of Can't Play Horror Games Because They Take It Way Too Seriously And Freak Themselves Out.
 

ffilz

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I should have added that I'm really not sure what was my first RPG purchase. I had started to shop at Excalibur Hobbies before I got into D&D for 1/72 scale WWII stuff but once I was into RPGs I constantly devoured their tiny RPG section (well, tiny in the 1977-1979 time frame was pretty good coverage of everything available...). Once I started going into MIT to game every week, I stopped at Excalibur Hobbies on my way in (also stopped at the Games People Play in Cambridge and The Complete Strategist in Boston). Sometimes the trek in included walking my paper route to collect payment on my way to the bus stop so I'd have cash to spend...
 

Agemegos

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Day One: store where I first bought a TTRPG

The store where I first bought a TTRPG was Napoleon's Military Bookshop, a very unfriendly local gaming store in Pitt Street, Sydney, just south of Bathurst St. It was 1980, and I bought a Basic D&D boxed set (Holmes version).

The proprietor was a large and ancient bearded grognard, in his thirties at least. He did not like RPGs, nor schoolboys in his shop, and especially not posh people. So, though Napoleon's was very near the walking route from my school to Town Hall station, it soon got to be understood at School that it was poor praxis to go in there in school uniform after school.
 
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migo

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Day One: Either Great White in Prince George, BC (if you count parents buying it for me) with the AD&D 2nd Edition Revised Player's Handbook, or AniGamers Outpost in Nelson, BC (with my own money) for the first print run D&D 3rd Edition Player's Handbook.
 

JamesV

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1. My first game was TMNT and Other Strangeness from The Book Trader in the Dakota Square Mall. I was able to buy the game with my allowance, and my mom was cool enough to spring for a store subscription for the Mirage comics.

The other games (B/X D&D) I had were technically my big brother's.

Heh, it's rare I get a chance to share anything from my collection, so I'll share the books too:
IMG_20230126_100554-02.jpg
 
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chuckdee

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I could also add that my acquisition was a Ral Partha catalog that had all of these wonderful miniatures in it. I got it and realized it had a price tag on it afterwards and went back to pay for it and apologize and the bearded grognard said that was just to keep people who weren't really interested from just grabbing them, and gave me a few others. I saved all summer and my first purchase was the PHB for AD&D. He told me that I needed the DMG too, but I didn't have the money. I just made up the rules to go with the characters I made - I suppose that's where I got my love for hacking systems and making characters. I finally got the DMG when I was able to save enough money, and found out that the rules weren't so far off what I'd made up...
 

MichaelTee

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Day 1: First store where I bought a TTRPG: Sword of the Phoenix, in Atlanta, GA.

Out of Business now, but it was successfully open for over 25 years. It was one of the few stores that I saw that had a location in two upscale malls at it's height. What attracted me to it was a huge diorama they had in the window on a custom table that they'd switch out with different scenes.
I bought so much stuff from Sword of the Phoenix! My first RPG purchase was from Oxford Books Too (the used bookstore) also in Atlanta. Deluxe Traveller.
 

dragoner

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Day 1: D&D Boxed set. i still have one of the books. got it at a small bookstore in Vermillion, SD. the bookstore is gone now, several times over.

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I wonder how many of us have this exact game, I took the rule book off the shelf as was reading it again the other day.
 

gruagach

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Day 1: Bought the AD&D 1e Player's Guide in 1981 at the Bonnie Brae Hobby Shop on university street in Denver, Colorado in the USA. The store is now a health food store (I think). We moved around a lot when I was growing up, and that store was the basis of my most stable friend group (lasted almost 2 years) until I hit college.

We played in the store, as well as at folks homes. The store was primarily a model train store, with a small section of war games and roleplaying games.

I ultimately bought the remaining AD&D books, Daredevils, Bushido, James Bond 007, 1st edition Champions, Runequest, handfuls of dice, a bunch of miniatures and paint, and probably close to two dozen D&D adventure modules in that store. Good times. (Basically, all my lawn mowing money, Christmas money and birthday money - such as it was - went to this place).
 

Endless Flight

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My first RPG purchase was probably the Marvel Super Heroes basic set in 1985 and I’m pretty sure I got it at the Hobby Center in Scottsdale Mall (demolished in 2004, an all too common occurrence with indoor malls). I found one picture of it online. You couldn't miss it. It had a couple of big wooden toy soldiers in front. Notice also (besides people getting married!!) the big wishing well close up. They had a bunch of those and they all had that chlorine smell. Loved that place.

745D7653-583A-476A-BED6-875CE485F42B.jpeg

My first gamebook purchase was probably also in 1985, when I picked up Lone Wolf: A Flight from the Dark from the local K-Mart.
 

Toadmaster

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Day 1, The Lakeshore Toyhouse, in Oakland, CA. 1979 and I bought either the AD&D Players Handbook or the Monster Manual.

I still have that Monster Manual, a 4th printing August 1979. Sadly the Players Handbook, DMG, Deities & Demigods (original with Cthulhu mythos) and Fiend Folio have gone missing over time. Well not really missing, I know where most of them went, but murder is illegal so I've let it go.
 

chuckdee

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My first RPG purchase was probably the Marvel Super Heroes basic set in 1985 and I’m pretty sure I got it at the Hobby Center in Scottsdale Mall (demolished in 2004, an all too common occurrence with indoor malls). I found one picture of it online. You couldn't miss it. It had a couple of big wooden toy soldiers in front. Notice also (besides people getting married!!) the big wishing well close up. They had a bunch of those and they all had that chlorine smell. Loved that place.

View attachment 55367

My first gamebook purchase was probably also in 1985, when I picked up Lone Wolf: A Flight from the Dark from the local K-Mart.
Before I noticed the bride, I thought it might be a protest by a church...
 

Doctor Wombat

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Day One: store where I first bought a TTRPG

Kay Bee Toys, located in the Peru Mall in Peru, Illinois. It was 1978, and my first TTRPG purchase was the first printing of the Gamma World 1e boxed set.

I'd been buying Avalon Hill and SPI war games at the store for a few years. They even had a copy of the Monster Manual that I paged through a number of times - it was intriguing, but I couldn't figure out what the hell it was for.

My confusion cleared up when I bought my basic D&D boxed set (Holmes version) there several months later.
 
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