So there I was with a big red box of RPG fun. I had no idea what to do with it and the solo adventure they had included looked fairly slim.
The books said that there were two kinds of people involved in a game of Dungeons and Dragons. The players who undertook exciting adventures and the dungeon master who set the scene and did everything else. I didn't know any dungeon masters to let me become a player.
For that matter I didn't know any players. D&D did not look like it would be much fun as a solitary activity.
Back then geeks, not that we were called that, tended to clump together at my school.
I knew a clump of people who were trying their best to read all of Lord of the Rings, played Fighting Fantasy books, liked Science Fiction, read comics, were socially inept, were smarter than the average bear and were poor at sports. Or some combination thereof. Somehow I convinced them trying this D&D lark was worth trying. I suspect I said something like:
"It's like Fighting Fantasy but totally different and you have these dice and it has dragons and wizards and you can kill stuff and it is red and comes in a box and is called Dungeons and Dragons and is awesome!!!"
That sounds about right. Then I achieved greatness, I became a Dungeon Master.
[caption id="attachment_568" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption="D&D TV Series - Dungeon Master (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085011/)"][/caption]
I don't think I had seen the TV serial by this point so I did not really understand what I was letting myself in for. In future life telling people I was a Dungeons and Dragons Dungeon Master was not to be the ticket to easy success I would hope.
Running games was fun, especially as I only had the sketchiest idea of the rules. A trip to a now defunct RPG shop in Edinburgh (I forget the name, it predated Mac's Models) found me owning a battered copy of the Expert Set and a couple of issues of something called Dagon.
[caption id="attachment_546" align="aligncenter" width="430" caption="D&D Expert Set (Source The Acaeum http://www.acaeum.com/)"][/caption]
Dagon was to have a disturbing influence on my life. Like many potential serial killers to be I had discovered the writings of H. P. Lovecraft.
[caption id="attachment_569" align="aligncenter" width="510" caption="At The Mountains of Madness, Voyager"][/caption]
[caption id="attachment_570" align="aligncenter" width="695" caption="Dagon #10 (Cover by DC http://www.cthulhuart.com/)"][/caption]
At this stage though I was still some distance away from my meeting with the 3rd Edition (HB) of Call of Cthulhu.
Our circle of geeks at the high school found a couple more who were in the process of discovering RPGs. Roles were beginning to develop, the cheater, the rules lawyer, laid back gamer, proto goth and satanist. (joke, mostly)
One of our number had heard of a club at the enemy high school. A roleplaying club. A club where people played roleplaying games! We had to go. We had to see other people that played D&D.
Land of the Lost
I remember it as a giant smoke filled room (the smoke was probably sweat) filled with tables and giant hairy human shaped dinosaurs. Mostly male, older than us, playing a wide variety of games. Small books of Traveller (Classic and Mega), Twilight 2000, Traveller 2300 A.D., Call of Cthulhu and Advanced Dungeons & Dragons (it came in an advanced edition!)
Frankly I was terrified. TV had warned me about the dangers of fat smelly men.
[caption id="attachment_572" align="aligncenter" width="500" caption="Charlie Says ... (http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/magazine/4690146.stm)"][/caption]
I was concerned I was going to be shown a puppy at any second. I never attended the club much. But it did introduce me to some other local players from other schools. The gaming circle grew and games mastering roles were shared. Leading to at least a weekly gaming session for the next several years.
More in Part III: From Boyz To Older Boyz
D&D TV Serial http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0085011/