Saturday, February 1, 2014

[The D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge] Days 1 & 2

As the title (and event badge) says, there's a D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge happening as I type this. It's hosted by d20 Dark Ages, which has a list of the participating blogs (which I've tried to incorporate below) and some tips on how to join in and stay on course (it is a challenge after all).

Here's the list of topics for the month of February:

I'm always a sucker for these daily post prompting activities based around 'lite' topics. It's also a significant anniversary for the game, so for the sake of marking the occasion, why not.

And may D&D have many more anniversary and continue to inspire and help entertain many more fans and future players.


I'm technically late starting this already, but Saturdays aren't the freest days for me. As with all blog hops and challenges they always fall on the worst months (for me) as some sort of revving up for the usual disgorgement of exams and assignments, or other related obligations.

Knowing real life gets hectic starting mid-February, this one is going to be shaky, but trying is half the fun. Anyway, here goes --

Day 1: First Person who introduced you to D&D. Which edition? Your first character?

The first time I remember hearing about D&D was during junior high. I sat with the nerd-geeks during lunch time. The game of those hallowed tables was Magic: The Gathering. Here I learned to play by observation and played by vicarious experience. Never did buy into the hobby. At the time I was the kid with no income or allowance, it seemed an impossibly expensive hobby. Even years later when I had some spending money, I found out it is an expensive hobby (or could easily/often be).

As the geeks at the Magic table have a tendency towards all things geek and genre (gods bless them), one day my friend Andrew turned the conversation towards D&D (probably by way of a Lord of the Rings discussion). I had heard of D&D, but didn't actually know what D&D was. I don't remember Andrew explaining the game D&D either. He talked about the settings of D&D. Fascinating worlds. D&D had me hooked by way of settings from day one.

Day 2: First Person you introduced to D&D. Which edition? Their first character?

I didn't get to play D&D until a few years later, in high school. I was the one to suggest it to my band of friends looking for something to do on Friday afternoons besides video games and traditional board games (Monopoly, Risk, and Scrabble). My first (partial) convert to the hobby was my friend Wil.

We started with the free AD&D 2nd Edition Fast Play rules downloading from the TSR website (thank you, mid-late '90s internet) and d6s looted from our Risk game. Quite sure by then TSR was nothing more than a preserved skin-suit worn by Wizards of the Coast (and Hasbro was lurking around looking to kill Wizards and take its stuff).

We played with the pre-generated characters from the fast play rules. I want to say I played Darkblade the ranger (love those mystic warrior archetypes, with a groovy name to boot), but as I distinctly recall using a two-handed sword, I was probably Elanna the fighter at some point or another. I probably also run the other characters, Niles the thief and Thaddeus the mage at least once.

First character I created was probably the Nameless Paladin (I suck at names, I liked the paladin class write up). He was nameless and characterless, just a collection of stats for monster ass kicking. honestly can't remember my friends' characters. We didn't stay in character. At best, we narrating what our characters did, if that much.

Characters didn't really matter at that point (there are times they don't matter even now, and that's the truth). It was mostly hack-n-slash dungeon crawl with some element of exploration.

We messed with the Fast Play rules for a bit, extending them with DIY recklessness (the best kind), until we ponied up more money to get used copies via eBay. Why eBay? We didn't even know where to buy them brick-n-mortar at the time and if we knew where, we also knew from the web they were expensive if purchased new. We found the black binding revised 2nd Edition for relatively cheap in a lot with some of the splats. Little did we know, 3E was on the horizon.

I 'inherited' all of our D&D stuff when we split for college. Those books and boxed sets form the seed of my gaming collection.

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