My brother, Robert, seemed to have a knack for learning about interesting things that I also found interesting. I am ten months older and the way our birthdays fell, we went through school in the same grade.
He convinced my parents to pay for a subscription to Science Fiction Book of the Month. I think he also got Asimov’s Science Fiction Magazine. I’m not sure if that is where he learned of D& D, but that was in 8th grade in 1978. I’ll have to ask him. He still plays with his wife & kids and a classmate from our high school graduating class. Robert is my favorite DM and can handle anything the players do and can ad lib any situation. I wish I lived in the same state so we could play more than once every year or two or three.
I mowed lawns and did other things to bring in money, so I was the financial backer to our endeavors.
We went to the hobby shop at the nearest mall, Independence Center, in Independence, MO. (More on that in a later day for the challenge.) I bought the blue boxed set and we both consumed the rules. He was DM and we soon had others playing with us. We were frustrated that it only went to 3rd level. I don’t think we managed to get any characters past that point for a long time.
In 9th grade one family moved in with three brothers the same ages as my brothers and I. They played D&D and lots of other games. My brother, Robert, and the oldest brother of the other family, David, took turns DMing. We ended up with trains of adventurers, war dogs, mules, and hirelings navigating dungeons. Not very practical or realistic, but we had fun.
I do not recall my first character. My oldest character that I still have the character sheet, is Kad Staglar, halfling fighter/thief. We had a set of characters that we rotated between two or three DMs, one was my brother, Robert. It was Monty Haul, as this character ended up with a girdle of storm giant strength, gauntlets of ogre power, and a ring of regeneration. In dungeons we just had him run through locked doors and knock the bottoms out. For a thief, not very responsible. I don’t recall having any death traps to stop that behavior. More on this in Gladiatorial Combat. This would have been about tenth grade.
We had a lot of fun and I remember a lot of laughter about things we said not coming out right and repeating something that we found funny until it became a catchphrase for the group, even if only for the session.
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