My RPG Start

(Inspired by Jason Hobbs’ Random Screed: Long Story Long 9/8/18)

As a grade schooler, my cousin tried to get me and his sister to play AD&D with him. He had the only book. I didn’t find it that interesting, and the attempt was pretty much just dropped after one try.

Fast forward a year or two, and one of my grade school friends had the Mentzer red box. I borrowed that box and read it covers to covers a couple times. I made dungeons, I recruited other friends to play after school or even at school. We had a teacher who let us have study hall type time when we were done our classwork for the day. This seemed the perfect opportunity to play with the most people. I also got my cousin to play one-on-one on the weekends.

What’s the difference between the failed AD&D attempt and the BECMI red box attempt? I think borrowing the book to read and having a book that taught you step by step was the difference. I first learned to play. Then I learned to DM. Then I learned to build a dungeon. All by following the steps in the book. I didn’t have the opportunity to do that with the AD&D book.

To this day, I still hold the Mentzer red box in the highest regard. Enough that I flew to a convention in the Midwest almost expressly to play a game run by Mentzer and have him sign my books.

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