Friday, February 7, 2014

[D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop] Day Seven


First D&D product you ever bought. Do you still have it?

Back around the time I was first getting into D&D, I was also doing this thing where I would lie about or exaggerate skills I didn't actually possess or activities I didn't actually do. For example, I claimed I knew how to ice skate, which really blew up in my face when I was invited to a birthday party held at an ice rink. (In fact, that incident right there might have marked the end of that little phase...)

At any rate, one of my exaggerations was that I "played" D&D, even though my actual experience had been limited to that one mysterious session. I did nothing to discourage the perception that I was an active and involved player. Therefore, on my birthday that year, one of my well-meaning friends gifted me the boxed D&D Expert Set. I had no idea what to do with it.

The set was in no ways designed to be beginner-friendly - why would it be? That's what the Basic Set was for, after all. Still, I paged through the rulebook and the included module (Isle of Dread, for the benightedly uninformed) and liked what I saw. I just wasn't entirely sure what to do with the thing, and was still sort of waiting for someone else to come along and run the game for me.

That summer we moved back to my old home town and I was reunited with my old friends. I decided it was time to take the initiative and get "back to Basic," as it were. I'll save that tale for Day 12, because even though the Basic Set was the first D&D product I ever technically bought with my own money, it was the Expert Set that will always hold a place as the first D&D product I ever owned.

The box long ago disintegrated, and I don't know what became of Isle of Dread, but in a wooden box on my bookshelf there sits the original rulebook from the Expert Set I received for my 11th birthday. I've never run a BECMI campaign, and I don't know if I ever will, but I could never get rid of that book. That's where it all really started.
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