Dungeons & Dragons

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It first began in the winter of 1980 when my brother's friend Paul introduced us to this new game called "Dungeons and Dragons".

I was 8 years old, and this game was like many childhood imaginary games - a fantasy game. You played a "character" in a medieval fantasy world with knights, evil monsters, fair princesses and powerful wizards.

Anyone can tell you that as a child my imagination was beyond the normal realm of other children. I was one of those kids that would think A LOT and come up with wild thoughts about how the world worked. My mother to this day keeps telling me stories about the questions I would ask about God.

Suffice to say, I was immediately enthralled by this game - which encouraged people to use their imagination to "roleplay". I could play a powerful warrior or mystic wizard or cunning thief or wise cleric. The game was designed for a group of like-minded people to get together as a party of adventurers and one person to play as the "Dungeon Master" (DM) - or narrator of the game.

The objective of the game is simple. You, and your party, are on a quest. The quest is described by the Dungeon Master - it could be anything from destroying a lair of evil monsters to solving a murder mystery to seeking out a buried treasure. The role of the Dungeon Master is to describe the world, the setting and the interaction of Non-Player Characters (NPCs) with the Player Characters (PC's - the people playing the game). All of our major actions, like attacking a monsters, opening up traps, avoiding damage, spying on someone are determined with dice rolls.

To me, playing D&D was like being in your own movie or being a part of a book. I got to explore new worlds, meet strange creatures and immerse myself in the role. Imagine instead of reading a Harry Potter book - you were Harry Potter instead. The Dungeon Master would tell you a fanciful tale, and it was up to you to determine what you do as Harry Potter. You can be good or evil Harry Potter.

My brother, who was briefly interested in the game, lost interest in playing once spring 1981 arrived - and all the outdoor sports started to call his name.

I, on the other hand, was bitten with the bug. I was very much interested in playing and did everything I could to keep my brother and his friends to play the game. They did, from time to time, but I couldn't get enough of the game. I had to find new recruits.

I found them in the form of an unlikely alliance. I turned to my once enemy, now friend, Brad - who found our friendship over afternoons acting out our Star Wars roles. As kids - we are running around with action figures and toys - acting out our attacks on the Death Star and protecting the Hoth Rebel Camp. Soon that turned into exploring the Tower on Bone Hill or destroying The Temple of Elemental Evil. We recruited Brad's brother Matt, a "new" neighbor that recently moved in named Eric and my family doctor's son, and neighbor, Ashish.

Over the next years, while I lived in Richboro, we played every weekend. Many weekend games would turn into overnight games, and we would take turns at each other's houses to have sleepovers. We would go to our local WaWa and stock up on the essential supplies:

1. Mountain Dew (or Jolt!) - liquid crack for every gamer in the world. Sadly, Brad switched to Diet Mountain Dew which
2. Pop Secret Pop Corn - the secret was EXTRA SALT
3. Cool Ranch Doritos - great to eat except when I got dorito dust all over my fingers and was trying to game at the same time.
4. WaWa Sandwiches - My favorite sandwich is WHITE American Cheese (not the crappy orange they have up here) and Ham (my favorite today is Boar's Head Honey Virginia Ham) with French's yellow mustard (not Guldens!).
5. Sprees - I just wonder why I didn't hook up an IV of sugar water to my veins instead.
6. Won Wah Chinese Restaurant - We single handedly kept our local restaurant in business at Mallord Creek.
7. Dominos Pizza - Ham and Pineapple (aka Hawaiian Pizza) was our favorite and I still order it today.

All good things must come to an end, and one of my saddest moments was leaving my friends for Gwynedd Valley.

Once there, I discovered a new and interesting device called a modem. It was 300 baud and I connected to a new service called "CompuServe".

How interesting.

CompuServe was the very basic version of AOL in 1985. It had chat rooms, e-commerce (My first online order was Chocolate Chip Cookies for my twin sisters birthdays), and bulletin boards.

I looked around and found a chat room which was dedicated to role playing games. I found out that a group of people played Dungeons and Dragons each week for 2 hours. It was called "XGame", DM'd by a guy from Alabama named, appropiately, "X".

X had an existing group already in a large campaign. I joined Colistus, the warrior; Dolzan, the assassin; and Bismul, the cleric.

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This page contains a single entry by Furey published on June 7, 2005 12:11 PM.

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