Everyone else is doing it! My D&D….

So many peeps posting the front covers of “their D&D”.

This isn’t the cover I will forever think of when people say “Dungeons & Dragons.” But, this was the cover to MY first copy of D&D around the tender age of 10:

It was around the end of the TSR years. This box set I had actually seen on the shelves at Toys R Us, and I wanted it. I feel sorry for my parents, who had bought me the Heroquest board game I originally asked for Christmas, and then somehow found time to send it back and get this bad boy in time. It was worth it, even though it never got played much at all. The box set came with a single rulebook, which was essentially the Basic rules covering characters up to 5th level, and a DM section. The real joy of the game, though, was a HUGE vinyl map of the intro adventure dungeon (I believe it was called Zenzer’s Dungeon?) It also came with a DM screen, and a bunch of tabbed cards packed into two sides of it. The first set was a solo adventure, which taught you everything from character creation, combat, spell casting and the likes. It was a full solo crawl, if I remember correctly. It took me the better part of an afternoon to play, and it taught me not only how to play but how to run the game. The second set of cards were the same adventure, made for a DM and a small group of friends.

I should mention they also came with cardboard standup minis, double sided, and of course a set of dice. Not bad! It’s a shame that from 3E on, the starter sets weren’t as full as these. Regrettably, I no longer have the box, the screen or the vinyl map that came with this set. All I have is the rulebook. But man, that was a cool book. It’s the basic game for up to 5th level, both PC’s and DM. Plenty of treasure, monsters and spells to start off with. I also managed to find my bro’s copies of the Expert rules.

And I plan on handing them down. This week, for my birthday, a friend of mine’s son (who is turning 8 soon) made me a birthday card. On the front, it has figures that are supposed to be the kids from the Dungeons & Dragons cartoon fighting Tiamat. On the inside, an illustration of me and him playing with minis on a grid board. His parents say he likes to get up early after our game nights, read through the books we leave lying around and asks for stories of his parents adventure. It kinda brought a tear to my eye, since about 20 years ago I was doing the exact same thing to my older brother.

I’m hoping next weekend, I get to spend the afternoon using my old D&D book to teach role playing to a new generation.

And as a foot note, the image that is burned into my mind forever about D&D is this one — It was technically my brother’s copy, which I would smuggle and admire many times, until it was finally handed down to me years later.

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