RPGaDay2022: Day 3

Today’s question–which I had prepared for and yet somehow still ended up leaving to the last minute–is this: When were you first introduced to RPGs?

Initially I would have said it was around 1981, but checking the dates of various relevant things, it seems more likely that it was sometime in 1982 that I actually got my hands on a copy of an RPG and commenced playing.

The concept of RPGs came slightly earlier, in the form of advertisements in a UK science-fiction/fantasy/movie magazine called STARBURST (still going strong to this day, albeit after a slight break in the early 2000s). I remember ads for D&D, but oddly the one I recall most clearly (scientists fleeing from something awful) was for “Attack of the Mutants”, which was apparently a board game and not an RPG at all.

In summer ’82 I worked in a shop in a forest park, and used some of my wages to buy the 1981 Moldvay variant boxed set of Basic D&D. Which looks like this:

Classic Erol Otus cover (my copy doesn’t look anywhere near this good)

I then attempted to run Basic D&D for a couple of friends. With variable results. But obviously something went right because I’ve not stopped running games since.

Oddly, I also remember the influence of ET: The Extraterrestrial, a book about RPGs called What is Dungeons & Dragons?, and the first Fighting Fantasy book, Warlock of Firetop Mountain, but looking back those all seem to have appeared after I’d already bought and started playing D&D, so… shrug :-/

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