Tuesday, January 13, 2009

D&D with tears and retching

The first version of D&D I ever played was this boxed set, a present from my mom when I was about ten years old. It's something like the fourth revision of the basic rules and the fifteenth or sixteenth printing of said rules. It had little punch out paper minis, a map for the one adventure where the characters escape from slavery in the salt mines run by an evil wizard. (What a wizard is doing running a friggin' salt mine is beyond me...talk about bush league) I remember very little about the first play session (with me as the DM) except two notable things:

1. The evil wizard somehow got caught in a web spell, which must have been from a scroll picked up during the adventure (no 1st level PC could cast that spell) and that while stuck in the web, he was cloven in twain by the fighter and his trusty two handed sword.

2. The sole girl of our group, Evanne, announced that her character got violently ill after the battle was over and sat in the corner crying. We boys were totally bewildered....we just killed a whole bunch of monsters and got some treasure... that was awesome...right?


It's no surprise that Evanne would later leave our gaming group. She was the first of us to have characters with actual personalities. She introduced characters who had romances and motivations. Once we hit junior high, her characters actually had romantic relationships with PCs or NPCs in the game worlds. When we tried Gamma World, her character had an intricate back story while the rest of the party was pretty much content to blast robots and mutants and take their stuff. Right before high school, Evanne went off and found White Wolf (and was actually the reason I got started with WoD to begin with). These days, Evanne (who is one of my oldest and dearest friends) is involved in lots of LARP while I roll the funny dice all over the table. It's interesting to remember that formative event, when a charater reacted as though they had more to them than someone who kills monsters and collects loot with nary a second thought. We would probably collaborate on all kinds of crazy stuff if she didn't live in Florida.

Evanne's elf, if I recall, got over her revulsion and joined in the combats when she had to, but she was more interested in interacting with the fictional world in many ways, not just putting a sharp object into everything she came across. I also recall much consternation when she wanted to keep ornate jewelry and art the party found rather than just cash it in as soon as possible.

I suppose the moral of this story is to illustrate that the old school produces more than just mindless hacking...but I bet anyone remotely interested in reading this probably knows that already.

Evanne, should you happen to read this entry: Starlight forever, yo!


  1. Yay!! Also, Starlight didn't like to fight because she was better at picking pockets and thieving. Fact and double fact on the traumatized reaction and jewelry keeping, although, I was the only one who could really wear it. I remember her well, she was the first character I ever played that wasn't just a pretend game, ;)

    Your games were fun, and unlike many STs/DM/GMs/Whatever that came after you didn't seem to find it all so disruptive to a good time.

    And you're damn right we would be collaborating more if we lived anywhere within three states!

    Rupert 4-Eva! ::Elf Terrorist Fist Bump::

  2. Hey, we were elven freedom fighters. :)