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Engar
07-04-2008, 05:15 PM
I was reading what I believe was Farcaster's intro thanks to Nijineko freshening it up with a new post. It may have been done, but I like doing it again.

I actually disliked DnD at first. I had a cousin introduce me first to Top Secret (which we never played more than the single one-on-one) and later to DnD for which he had a group. Unfortunately I was encouraged to play what I wished and I liked the idea of playing an assassin. I also had no concept of the game. In the harshest introduction, the lawful good group led by a paladin sensed evil upon meeting my character and proptly dismembered him. After over an hour deciphering how to even create a character this may have reflected poorly on the game for me.

Fortunately a couple years later a guy I worked with at a movie theatre offered to sell me his brothers DnD books after fostering my interest in comics (I was about twelve and working for a family friend at the concession stand). I looked up to the guy and figured he would not steer me wrong. There were about seven or eight books and I promptly tried to decipher them (no PHB and I did not know to look for it at the time).

It would be a couple more years before I found a PHB at a local greenhouse that also sold miniatures of all places. Despite the lack of a core book, I soon had enough to run a rough game for a few other freshmen friends (instead of going to football practice which eventually led to my being cut). Football faded but DnD remained and a few of the "jocks" joined us as well.

Funny, we started with an idea of the game, all kinds of supplements, MM's and a DMG, but no PHB. Talk about "roleplaying", we did not even have dice at the beggining and based actions on how well explained or interesting they were. Players could as easily find a holy avenger as a +1 sword since the former seemed more interesting to the story and the mechanics were as yet lost on us. Granted this sort of simple improvisational storytelling did not last too long, but by then we had found the PHB.

All this nostalgia has me verklempt. I will give you a topic: how did you start with DnD? And why is it a players objective to master the dungeon and a dungeon master's objective to master the play?

Tamerath
07-04-2008, 05:43 PM
I was a kid my mom and dad would buy me knights and dragons (I'm thinking they were actual d&d action figures from the cartoons) and yes I did watch the cartoon as well on Saturday mornings. Years passed and I also picked up the D&D novels "Choose your own Adventure" books with multiple branches. From there when I was 13 or 14 I saw the Forgotten Realms books and from there I was hooked....then one day I went into my book store and looked on the shelf and saw the Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting....a game? I thought to myself. Hmmm...Well I picked that up..didn't even know about the actual Dungeons and Dragons game. Slowly over the years I picked up the basic box set, Dungeons and Dragons, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons PHB, DMG, and MM. and from there well...I didn't go anywhere...I couldn't get my friends into the game and it wasn't until high school that I joined a group in my town. I had a blast and tried to urge my mom to take me week after week to the game. And that's how it all began for me :)

As for a Dungeon Master's objective to master play question I think that as a DM you always strive to give the best entertainment to a night's session as you can. It doesn't matter if you are further learning and refining the rules, striving to learn more of your player's motivations, or craft the best story and/or campaign you can...these things are essential to what makes a great dungeon master....

As for the Player's Motivation to Master a dungeon question you posed I would say that players will always strive to find their place in the story. It is their legends that bards will speak about over time and the horrors they have faced. I think it's also a testement to each player's Dungeon Master who provides these wonderful stories for these player's characters to grow and flourish in.

Stormhound
07-04-2008, 06:15 PM
Well, if we're going to visit nostalgia-land, I'd better pull up a chair by the fire and get good and comfy.

To elaborate more on the story I told in my intro: I first actually heard about D&D in the pages of GAMES magazine, which had what was (to me) a truly fascinating article that discussed this very new type of game that had players pretending to be warriors and wizards. I was 15, and had been voraciously devouring sci-fi and fantasy novels almost since I could read (oddly enough, I'd not yet read LOTR, but that changed soon enough). I was hooked without even having played the game myself; all I knew was that this was fantastic stuff, and I had not the slightest notion where to find it for myself.

One of my brothers actually found a couple of D&Ders among his friends, and made the introduction. I got to hear tales of their adventures, told by the DM, including some behind-the-scenes plot details that his players didn't yet know. It was heady stuff, and I knew which side of the screen I wanted to sit on. I indicated my interest, and as noted got to run my first game about a week later. It wasn't much by my current standards, just a basic dungeon grind, but I loved it and the players wanted more, which only made it all the sweeter.

And thus we segue into the questions...why does the DM want to master play? In this case (and it can't be an uncommon one), for the same reasons as I do anything else creative:


To make something of which I can feel proud, a creation of my heart and mind that in turn inspires me to create more.
To share that creation with others and know, whether by their actions or words, that they too find it worth their time and effort to be a part of.

I may never write the Next Great Fantasy Novel, but I know I've nevertheless been able to entertain multiple audiences with my efforts. If you haven't felt the rush of a great gaming session as GM, I can't describe it to you, and if you have, I don't have to.

Why do players have to master the dungeons? Heck if I know. Sheer masochism, maybe? ;)

Engar
07-05-2008, 01:41 AM
I did watch the cartoon as well on Saturday mornings. Years passed and I also picked up the D&D novels "Choose your own Adventure" books with multiple branches.

Ah, DnD cartoons, I always liked the no nonsense barbarian. Choose your own adventure books are an even bigger "remember when". I found most of them were not very good, pulpy time fillers mainly, but they did create a nice stepping stone to roleplaying.


I was 15, and had been voraciously devouring sci-fi and fantasy novels almost since I could read (oddly enough, I'd not yet read LOTR, but that changed soon enough).

I read mostly dark fiction or horror (Cujo was my favorite pre-teen novel). But I loved sci-fi and fantasy TV/movies, (Doctor Who, Twilight Zone, Hitchcock, Lost World, Star Trek, Dune, Star Wars). I first read LotR a few years ago just before the recent movies (still have not read The Hobbit actually).


I loved it and the players wanted more, which only made it all the sweeter.

It is nice to be appreciated. I agree with the sentiment of accomplishment and joy at both creating and others' enjoying the creation. I also admit to a certain attraction to the control aspect of DM'g. I like setting the bar for what I find important like having fun, engaging all the players, roleplay and story development. Call it confidence or ego, I prefer to control those aspects than play in a game I see as below my standards. LOL, I am a gaming nerd elitist.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-05-2008, 01:43 AM
I was lucky. I was living on a military base. My mother was finishing her BSN in Nursing and my dad spent alot of time remote. It was around 1975, and all the kids in the neighborhood were interested in trying it out. So we picked up a game and started playing at my house, where my brother and i would DM campaigns on a weekly basis, and quite a bit more over the summers. Only one lady in the neighborhood thought the game was of the devil but she was such a quack-pot, we were all allowed to ignore her. Those were good times.

Thoth-Amon

agoraderek
07-05-2008, 02:15 AM
my first game: (i was nine years old...)

i joined a party that consisted of a 13th level paladin (Valar the Bold) and a 12th level assassin (Jaak Larethian) (1st ed, 1979, they were "geas"ed into taking a quest together for some reason) and me, a first level thief (Mouser, i didn't even name him...). the dm said everyone had to start at first level, and i was coming in late, so...

anyway, we entered the dungeon, i had NO idea what i was doing. the first room had the standard "gargoyle posing as a statue" gag, but, it being my first game, i had no idea. so, the gargoyle attacks, and goes after the paladin. when my turn comes up, i roll (this is my first roll EVER, mind you) a 20!!!! cool, i feel like im doing something now...

the dm says "sorry, your swing has NO effect..."

im confused..."i thought a 20 was good...."

dm: "oh, your steel finds its mark, but bounces off the gargoyle doing no damage..."

me: "um, ok..." my first experience with "+1 or better weapon to hit"...

next room. we come upon a brass door. Jaak suggests i "look for traps"... i roll a 94 on the %. think this is good, high number, right?

well, a nozzle comes out from behind a sliding stone and incinerates me. i think it did 45 points of damage, and i had 3... my first experience with "neutral evil"...

for some reason though, i was completely enthralled with all of this and loved the game ever since...

cplmac
07-05-2008, 07:27 PM
First time I played an rpg was in high school when the neighbor boys tried to get my brother and I into it. I don't remember the name of it, but it was set in modern time. Needless to say, the guy that was GMing was not very good, and we didn't play but the one time.

Jump ahead to 1991. I was in Saudi Arabia with the 2nd Marine Division. After we chased Iraq out of Kuwait, we were waiting for our turn to get to come back to the states. One of the guys had brought his AD&D second edition stuff with him and asked if anyone want to play. Fortunately, he was a very good DM, and I have been gaming since. Although, nowadays with schedules not meshing up, we don't get to game as often as we would like to at times.

Engar
07-05-2008, 08:05 PM
All but one of my entire group back in IL was prior or current military. I have yet to meet any with a military background with whom I did not enjoy gaming. A few were nuts, but they were interesting nuts you could later tell stories about.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-05-2008, 11:20 PM
my first game: (i was nine years old...)

i joined a party that consisted of a 13th level paladin (Valar the Bold) and a 12th level assassin (Jaak Larethian) (1st ed, 1979, they were "geas"ed into taking a quest together for some reason) and me, a first level thief (Mouser, i didn't even name him...). the dm said everyone had to start at first level, and i was coming in late, so...

anyway, we entered the dungeon, i had NO idea what i was doing. the first room had the standard "gargoyle posing as a statue" gag, but, it being my first game, i had no idea. so, the gargoyle attacks, and goes after the paladin. when my turn comes up, i roll (this is my first roll EVER, mind you) a 20!!!! cool, i feel like im doing something now...

the dm says "sorry, your swing has NO effect..."

im confused..."i thought a 20 was good...."

dm: "oh, your steel finds its mark, but bounces off the gargoyle doing no damage..."

me: "um, ok..." my first experience with "+1 or better weapon to hit"...

next room. we come upon a brass door. Jaak suggests i "look for traps"... i roll a 94 on the %. think this is good, high number, right?

well, a nozzle comes out from behind a sliding stone and incinerates me. i think it did 45 points of damage, and i had 3... my first experience with "neutral evil"...

for some reason though, i was completely enthralled with all of this and loved the game ever since...
DnD is like golf, for all it takes is a slice for one to forever get hooked on the game. My first death ever was from a carrian crawler from B1: In Search of the Unknown, i believe. I was hooked ever since. In fact, for years i use to stab at the ceilings when entering rooms, and wear armor with a helmet point a case something fell on my from above. LOL.

Good times!

Thoth-Amon

tesral
07-06-2008, 12:11 AM
DnD is like golf, for all it takes is a slice for one to forever get hooked on the game. My first death ever was from a carrian crawler from B1: In Search of the Unknown, i believe. I was hooked ever since. In fact, for years i use to stab at the ceilings when entering rooms, and wear armor with a helmet point a case something fell on my from above. LOL.

Golf? Golf? Do you know why the game is called Golf? All the good four letter words were taken.


All but one of my entire group back in IL was prior or current military. I have yet to meet any with a military background with whom I did not enjoy gaming. A few were nuts, but they were interesting nuts you could later tell stories about.

I played with a Vietnam era vet back a while. We still talk now and then but work won't let him play with us.

The guy is famous for getting the wrong idea, taking the bit in his teeth and death spiraling down in a blaze of mistaken glory. Still fun to play with however.

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-06-2008, 01:13 AM
Golf? Golf? Do you know why the game is called Golf? All the good four letter words were taken.



I played with a Vietnam era vet back a while. We still talk now and then but work won't let him play with us.

The guy is famous for getting the wrong idea, taking the bit in his teeth and death spiraling down in a blaze of mistaken glory. Still fun to play with however.
Interesting trivia. Golf stands for gentlemen only, ladies forbidden. I'm serious. Check out all the trivia for golf and you will laugh your arse off. Like why is it 18 holes? It takes 18 shots to finish off a 5th of scotch, or something like that, i dont remember. Whether true or not, it's still funny. LOL

Thoth-Amon

gdmcbride
07-06-2008, 07:22 AM
Interesting trivia. Golf stands for gentlemen only, ladies forbidden. I'm serious. Check out all the trivia for golf and you will laugh your arse off. Like why is it 18 holes? It takes 18 shots to finish off a 5th of scotch, or something like that, i dont remember. Whether true or not, it's still funny. LOL

Thoth-Amon



The "gentleman only, ladies forbidden" false urban legend is thoroughly debunked at snopes.com.

http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/golf.asp

And let me assure you as an avid scotch drinker, a fifth of scotch (a lovely 25.4 ounces, that is roughly a fifth of a gallon and approximately 17 shots) can be finished quite quickly by the experienced drinker. Not that this wouldn't be a terrible waste of fine scotch. And a mistake the fool of drinker will soon learn to regret.

The truth is golf has 18 holes because of St. Andrews, the original golf course.
http://golf.about.com/cs/historyofgolf/a/hist_18holes.htm

Golf does have some interesting true history and trivia about it. Some of it can be found here:
http://golf.about.com/od/historyofgolf/a/faq_golfhistory.htm

Gary McBride, Scot and descendant of a long line of avid golfers and expert whiskey drinkers

Arch Lich Thoth-Amon
07-06-2008, 09:03 AM
The "gentleman only, ladies forbidden" false urban legend is thoroughly debunked at snopes.com.

http://www.snopes.com/language/acronyms/golf.asp

And let me assure you as an avid scotch drinker, a fifth of scotch (a lovely 25.4 ounces, that is roughly a fifth of a gallon and approximately 17 shots) can be finished quite quickly by the experienced drinker. Not that this wouldn't be a terrible waste of fine scotch. And a mistake the fool of drinker will soon learn to regret.

The truth is golf has 18 holes because of St. Andrews, the original golf course.
http://golf.about.com/cs/historyofgolf/a/hist_18holes.htm

Golf does have some interesting true history and trivia about it. Some of it can be found here:
http://golf.about.com/od/historyofgolf/a/faq_golfhistory.htm

Gary McBride, Scot and descendant of a long line of avid golfers and expert whiskey drinkers


As i said, "Whether true or not, it's still funny. LOL"

Thoth-Amon

Tomcat1066
07-07-2008, 05:25 AM
I got started about 14 years ago, but wanted to get started a WHOLE lot sooner. I loved the DnD cartoon, but my Mom was caught up in the hysteria floating around at the time (still looking for the demon summoning rituals in the PHB). In high school, I had a friend who had played, and wanted to play more, but we didn't have a DM and neither of us were willing to do it (I didn't know how after all).

A few years later, I was in the Navy and some of my friends were about to start a new game. One session, and I was hooked! It was awesome!

All these years later, and I've never grown tired of it ;)

Webhead
07-07-2008, 02:20 PM
DnD is like golf, for all it takes is a slice for one to forever get hooked on the game. My first death ever was from a carrian crawler from B1: In Search of the Unknown, i believe. I was hooked ever since. In fact, for years i use to stab at the ceilings when entering rooms, and wear armor with a helmet point a case something fell on my from above. LOL.

Good times!

Thoth-Amon

Funny that you mention carrion crawlers because it seemed like just about every 1st to 3rd level module I ever read or played had at least one carrion crawler in it for the party to stumble upon. The problem was that I would always have to fudge the dice in those encounters because a 1st or 2nd level party would be decimated by a carrion crawler. I would invariably end up with half the party paralyzed on the first round and (without GM assistance) the rest of the party usually followed by round 2. Then it's just the agonizing process of the crawler nibbling off your face while you lay helpless. Should someone shake off the paralysis and try to save their friends, the crawler just repeats the process. Quite a nasty critter.

Carrion Crawlers and Rust Monsters became the bane of low-level parties in my AD&D days.

Engar
07-07-2008, 04:51 PM
With eight tenticles per round and something like ten minutes of unconsciousness (if I recall correctly) it was a beast to be feared (even if rounds were a minute long back then).