Okay... Back from hiatus. Those sluggish bow-wow days of summer can really sap one's motivation to get much done. Nice, then, for the online old-school role playing community to start the fall by throwing a party...
I first learned about this challenge on Tim Brannan's blog, and I'm not sure where it originated. I'm kind of keen on doing this because right now is the 2nd anniversary of my very first month-long blog challenge: 2011's September of Short Adventures! (My entries are archived here.) Is it too "meta" to be nostalgic for a relatively recent indulgence in nostalgia? :-)
I wish that I had the time to do daily posts, but I'm afraid I'll have to collect several days' worth of responses into chunks, and micro-style them up for y'all. We'll see how it goes. For now, here's today's question:
(1) How you got started.
It had to have been 1979 when I first laid eyes on the AD&D Monster Manual. That sucker fueled my dreams for at least 6 months before I got the urge to actually play this strange game. I remember wanting to create larger-format copies of many of the evocative illustrations in that book, and I experimented with the grid method with some success. Thankfully, I knew enough not to mark up my book! :-)
Soon, though, I got my hands on a Holmes Basic blue box and realized what it was all about. It took me a while, and several clumsy attempts to run a dungeon for friends (and one girl I was seriously crushing on) before I really figured out that an explicit "game board" (i.e., a dungeon map on which the metal figurines were placed) wasn't needed at all.
Also, my love of all the strange creatures from the Monster Manual impelled me to stock my first dungeons with far too many deadly foes than my friends' newly rolled-up characters could handle. I don't think it helped my chances with my 8th grade crush that I killed off her character (along with all the others in that party)!
It wasn't until 1982 that my friends and I started up the long-term AD&D campaign that got us through high school, and was periodically refueled during college breaks until about 1989 or 1990. We stuck with 1st edition AD&D through it all, though near the end I bought the 2nd edition core books with the idea of converting and writing up some of my adventures for submission to the new "Dungeon" magazine. Grad school (1990-1996) put a damper on those ideas for a long while... but thanks be to the Old School Renaissance, which I discovered (via Jeff) around 2007! :-)
Okay, that was a bit longer than "micro-style," so maybe I'll just end it here for now. Stay tuned!