How You Started Role-Playing Games

I posted an entry on my blog with ruminations about how our first experiences playing RPGs, and the groups we start playing with, have a lasting impact on our preferences.

The end of the entry invites readers to leave notes about their own experiences. Please leave yours, too: here.


Civman, thanks for leaving a reply on the blog. Now what about the rest of you? Don’t be shy.


It’s no problem, you always post good stuff and you posed some really good thoughts and questions.

I’m leaving my reply here (feel free to repost it as a comment on your blog).

I’ve started playing by chance. My father had tried the red box before I was born, didn’t like it, and abandoned the thing in his study. That place was (and somehow still is) a magical place for me: he is an Ancient Christianity historian and his study is filled with old books, xeroxed ancient manuscripts in both Latin and Ancient Greek and basically all the trappings of a mage tower. It was also the only place with a PC in the house when I was young, so I spent countless nights playing with that old and slow PC, wandering around the study while I waited for the games to load.

One night, when I was about 11, I found this mysterious box with a warrior fighting a dragon on it. It was fascinating. It still had all the dice inside it. I took it out, blew the dust from it and started reading. That night I ignored my game’s starting screen to play the solo adventure. I went on playing the same solo adventure for a whole week, finishing it more than once. Then I brought the box upstairs with me and to my friend and we started playing. We didn’t understand all the rules (i.e. our first game didn’t have a GM) but we had tons of fun. After a summer playing with it we moved to the third edition.

I still love that box, it’s esthetic and the solo adventure. While it wasn’t what drew me toward the OSR scene in the first place, it’s one of the reasons I’m so passionate about it. Also, the whole experience of discovering the red box in a medieval farmhouse (now it’s not a farmhouse anymore, but the structure is still there - my father’s study was once a pigsty) had a great influence on my first game Abandoned Malls & Cultists.


Kernel, that’s a great story!

If anybody else wants to add theirs here, I’m sure I’m not the only one who will be interested.