Was the First RPG You Ever Played D&D?

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Was the First RPG You Ever Played D&D?

  • Yes

    Votes: 79 73.8%
  • No

    Votes: 28 26.2%

  • Total voters
    107

EmperorNorton

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Honestly curious what percent here started with D&D, and how many people started with something else.

I started with AD&D in the late 80s/early 90s (I was like 5-6 years old, so nailing down the exact date is pretty hard, it was when I was in Kindergarten though).
 

Agemegos

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I started with AD&D in 1980. I was fifteen. The GM was fourteen. We were all very bad at it and it went poorly, to the extent of one player storming off with our only DMG because his character was killed in a PvP incident. I was nevertheless totally hooked.
 

Voros

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Red Box sometime around 7-9 years of age.
 

carpocratian

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I first learned about D&D after seeing a friend's brother's white box set. I can remember seeing it for sale in a local hobby shop for around $10 at the time. I started playing with the Holmes Basic boxed set when it came out, then moved on to the first edition of AD&D when I was 12 or 13.

I played a lot of other games in the years following. D&D ceased to be my favorite one after I started playing Champions.
 

zcthu3

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The answer is “yes” but it was one session with my brother and his friend. My next game session was RuneQuest 3 (also with my brother).
 

Lundgren

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Well, I was introduced to roleplaying by a friend from school that had tried "a cool game" during a the summer break. So he ran a game without any mechanics or dice. At the end of that year, I bought Drakar och Demoner second edition. Drakar och Demoner first edition was a Runequest translation, so the second edition is an RQ derivate.

A few years later, I got my hands on the three first boxes of BECMI, and we ran a very short game with it. So D&D isn't even among the ten first games I played.
 

zanshin

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When I turned up at the school wargames club ready to play with my Napoleonic soldiers in 1978 there were far more people playing Dungeons and Dragons. Rolled up a fighter and got hooked.

Added Tunnels and Trolls, Runequest and Traveller to my repertoire pretty quickly. Bushido was an early game that really blew me away - mechanics to support roleplaying/acting.

Probably majored on Runequest, but D&D was always there, and was something my younger brother would run for me and his mates.
 

Rich H

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Tunnels & Trolls for me. And I did everything wrong!

1661334073001.png

But quickly moved on to this...

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However it wasn't until I read these that I started to understand how these games were played:

1661340762367.png 1661340806904.png 1661340833085.png

1661340535077.png 1661340568149.png 1661340644722.png

And with this I really started to get the knack of it...

1661340500520.png

What an adventure!
 
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Black Leaf

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Moldvay Basic was the first "full rpg" in 1983, although I came to it via Warlock of Firetop Mountain a year earlier. (There's a reason that Messrs Jackson and Livingstone have been called "patient zero" for the British geek scene).

Quickly moved onto Runequest and Tunnels and Trolls, especially the solo adventures in the latter case. Owned Traveller but never played it.
 

Silverlion

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You know, I cannot give a yes or now answer to this for one simple reason: The first game I played was fantasy, it used a d6, and I've no idea what "rules" were behind it. A kid during lunch or recess, explained exploring a maze, and fighting a monster. My PC had a halberd and a lamp. Why a halberd? Because it sound cool in the fantasy novel I'd been reading. I remember because I asked if I could have a cross bar to hang the lamp from while I walked to leave a hand free to open doors and such.
Honestly? I think it was a kid over heard others playing D&D and made up his own simplified rules. I was hooked, but I had no idea what D&D was at that time. I got into that a few months later.
 

StonesThree

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Old Redbox DnD found in the sale section of a large chain store. May have been that chains very last copy as I came across it in... I am going to say... '88, but may have been '89. Couldn't find the Expert set anywhere. (Never even saw copies of the rest of the Mentzer line until Ebay came along.)

The nearest FLGS hated kids so I only went in there the once. So I gave most of my meager pocket money to the bookshop in town which sold AD&D. That confused the hell out of me. ("Advanced? You mean for grownups?") It was there that I spent my birthday money on the '87 Forgotten Realms box set which just blew my mind. I wanted to play in this world right now. Of course none of made any sense to me with the basic rules and it would be some years before I could afford to buy AD&D2e core books. Which also confused me as that FR set was written for 1st ed and 2nd changed just enough of the rules to knock me off. (Er... Cavaliers? Why don't the gods have their domains listed?, etc.)

It was in that same store I bought the big black box re-release of basic DnD. Had a lot of fun with that. That must have been 1991. Of course they missed a trick with that box set - there was little replay value in the dungeon that came with it. Unlike the later Heroquest. And they expected you to move onto the Rules Cyclopedia after, but I never even saw that until I picked up a secondhand copy at a con in the early 2000s. Not that I would have been able to afford a copy of it back in 1991.

After DnD... Warhammer 1st ed, Star Wars D6, CoC... the rest is all a blur. I really wish I had kept a record of games played and with whom. Even if it was just a brief list of dates and names. Stupid I know.

Before that it was Fighting Fantasy/Lone Wolf if those can be counted as RPGs.
 

Baulderstone

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Come to think of it, my first 'game' was Dungeons and Dragons...

View attachment 49014

I still voted 'No' because this wasn't a real rpg.
I remember getting that book for Christmas along with The Pillars of Pentagarn. I was disappointed that it was just a straight CHYOA and didn't have any RPG mechanics like Fighting Fantasy books.
 

robertsconley

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The first time I heard of D&D was around 1977. It was summer and I was 11. I was walking home and a former friend showed me what I now know as the OD&D White Box and teased me about he was going to play Dungeons & Dragons and I wasn't. I scoffed and he sneered at me saying "I bet you don't know what D&D is?". Of course, I said "Of course I do" and stomped off. But I didn't although I was into wargames at the time.

I figured it out later that year as a result of winter camping in Boy Scouts. We stayed in cabins and since it got dark early there was some down time in the evenings. The older scouts brought their D&D stuff and played while the rest of look at what happening. I got to look at a Monster Manual and a Holmes rule set. Then sometime later in the winter of 77-78, I got a copy of the Holmes boxed set.

A friend and I played it. He went first as a referee and I made a magic user. I went down into the porttown dungeon, turned, and entered the room with the skeletons. Then died after I shot my one magic missile and realized I was in way over my head. But I was hooked afterward.

I also remember thinking that Gygax must have ripped off a book from library called Monsters of Mythology or something like that. It was a book with lots of pictures. Along with one or two page spreads of various mythological and legendary monsters. I remember being struck at how similar the description and illustration of Catoblepas were between the two along with other monsters. A couple of years back I tried to figure out what it was but never found it.
 

Nick J

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Mentzer Basic in the summer of 87 age 13, but only enough to whet my appetite. The rest of my friends were playing "gown-up D&D", so I quickly set aside the "game for babies" and we played (badly) every day that summer, but I was utterly addicted. I was too poor and too indoctrinated into the cult to really consider other games until much later (sometime right around the 3.5 era).
 

Spellslinging Sellsword

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I bought the Mentzer Basic and Expert sets along with the original Forgotten Realms boxed set in Toys-R-Us. Read them and then started running games for friends.
 

olivier legrand

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Hello

(Warning: big nostalgia vortex coming...)

Yeah, D&D (or "AD&D" to be more precise) was the first RPG I played - with my older brother as the DM. 1981 or perhaps late 1980, not sure (the past is another country and all that). We fairly quickly moved on to other games - namely Runequest and Call of Cthulhu (I remember receiving the 1st edition of CoC on Christmas - and IIRC it had "just come out" but I'm unable to recall if this was Xmas 81 or Xmas 82).

Anyway, my first D&D sessions were somewhat unusual, especially in these times... because the other players were our two parents. Since we lived in a French small town, we hadn't anybody else to play with. Back then, RPGs were somewhat confidential in France (outside of university towns)... so one summer, we decided to enroll our parents on a small AD&D campaign and they went along. My father, who played a fighter named Rodgary, was really responsive (he had always fantasized about a somewhat dubious Viking ancestry - I say dubious considering that he is short-sized and dark-haired (well, at least back then)); my mother was probably less enthusiastic but went along - I can still hear her (she passed 20 years ago) complaining about the reasons why her half-elven cleric-magic-user named Aude de Clèves couldn't enjoy life in her family castle instead of going on those uselessly perilous adventures).

These are really good memories. And this saved me from all the "D&D moral panic" that happened a few years later in France (yeah, we had that too here, but the 'crusade' in France was led by pseudo-psychologists, TV journalists, teachers and worried parents rather than right-wing religious fanatics). When I was in high school, I finally met other gamers and quite a few of them were going through a very difficult time with their parents, who had "heard on the TV" or "read in the papers" that "those American games" would drive them crazy, antisocial, murderous, suicidal, etc etc. Some were even forced to throw away their gamebooks... but luckily I got none of that. Having played D&D themselves, my parents knew that all this was harmless fun - and they had always encouraged me to develop my imagination so I guess that my experience of the 1980s as a teen-aged gamer was fairly unique.

A few years later, in late 1985 (I was 17), I wrote an article (in English) on Thieves Guild for the British magazine, White Dwarf - and the submission got accepted. It was published in the April 1986 issue (n°76) and I can still see my mother passing me the envelope with my advance copy inside, telling me: "I think that's your White Dwarf..." We were in the car that she drove to get me from high school back to our home and she had brought the envelope with her, anticipating that I would want to SEE IT RIGHT AWAY. It was a 20-30 minute ride and I think I spent all of them babbling away in reckless excitement (and, let's be fair, the geeky teen-ager version of gloating hubris) - until my mother gently told me to "land back on Earth".

(Sorry for the long post...)
 

NinjaWeasel

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Technically, the first RPG I played was Games Workshop's Judge Dredd. Although I'd really not got to grips with the rules at that point and it was a brief game. Prior to that I had run and played in a number of homebrew games though. Most of which were based on Fighting Fantasy, but with the Skill attribute replaced with a short list of individual Skills and a few other changes based on stuff about RPGs that we'd read about in issues of Warlock and White Dwarf.

I played BECMI Red Box D&D very soon after Judge Dredd. In fact, I finished reading the rules for that before I finished reading the rules for Dredd. However, the rules for D&D were not sitting well with me and then I bounced off it hard once in play. I tried playing it again later, had a dabble with AD&D 2e, read 3e, and gave 4e a shot too but D&D's never really worked for me.
 
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Tommy Brownell

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Marvel Super Heroes in eighth grade. I was the GM for one of my best friends at the local library.
I bought the X-Men campaign set in the 8th grade, before I actually knew what an RPG was and before I had ever played D&D. Realized I needed something else when I got it, but was at a loss as to what/how to go about getting it/etc. 9th grade, I make friends who had played some version of D&D before, and one owned the 2e core books (back when it was the Monstrous Compendium). I borrowed the books, started running the game for us, and later that school year found a comic book store that also sold games and had the Marvel RPG boxed set on the shelf.
 

Grelan

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I started with the Mentzer red box in 3rd grade, so 82-83. My aunt bought it for me and 2 friends and I played it on the playground at school during recess and during field trips. Just graph paper and endless dungeon crawling, with tons and tons of character death. I'm not even sure we gave our characters names. It wasn't until I reached high school that I even knew there was anything else for the game, after stumbling across some supplements at a Kaybee Toys. I distinctly remember that the first thing I bought with my own money was Grand Duchy of Karameikos.
 

SavAce

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I was in 7th grade, back in '89 I believe. The first game I played was "Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles & Other Strangeness" the second game was "Marvel Super Heroes - Advanced Set" and the 3rd was AD&D. The first RPG I owned was the Marvel Super Heroes - Basic Set (kinda because the guy I met that I first RP'd with heard the maps in the Basic & Advanced sets matched up...) The second RPG I owned was the MegaTraveller boxed set! I didn't own any D&D until about '94, when I think I picked up some second hand AD&D 2e material from someone who was selling off their collection.
 

DeadBob

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Moldvay Basic. I got the box in late 1981, and played for the first time in early 1982. I was in 6th grade.
Huh, I think that was exactly the same for me!

(Anyway, less than a year later, I was playing Gangbusters, so in some ways that is just as important to me.)
 

MattyHelms

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Got Moldvay Basic for Christmas in '81 after obsessing over the ads in my beloved Odyssey magazine.
odyssey-8-fc.jpg
At age 10, I sure identified with that cool older kid with overalls and a grab-able mane - I wouldn't need to simply hang out if I had D&D!
chKRtQKXwhg3LCxHUObS3A9AwNXGWngzIeuiP5KFX8w.png
 
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Moonglum

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Yes and no. I stumbled into 3E Chainmail ca. 1975 when shopping for miniatures and explored playing with its 1:1 scale combat rules for a couple of years. Then in '78 a friend introduced me to Melee and a month or two later his older brother walked us through a first session of 1E AD&D. So, if you have a strict concept of table top rpg's D&D was my first, but I'd been wading in the rpg-adjacent games for a while.
 

Cdr Vimes

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I played a text computer game "Pyramids of Aesop' and the Warlock of Firetop Mountain and mentioned to several friends I didn't like the way you were railroaded sometimes. One suggested I tried D&D with him and some other mates. He had Red and Blue Box and the Keep on the Borderlands, around 1983 I believe. I then tried AD&D 1e and Traveller with another guy before joining a local club. Then more AD&D 1e, Traveller, RQ, T&T, CoC. By the time Id left for college we were also doing Stormbringer, MERP and one guys home-brew Sci Fi game as well as Judge Dredd, Champions and Golden Heroes.
 
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