The D&D 30 Day Challenge: Day 1 – How You Got Started

I came across a 30 day challenge list that seems right up my alley: The D&D 30 Day Challenge. I found it on the GM’s Day page on Facebook, and encourage y’all to take a peek at it there if you are interested in following along or finding out about the list’s creation and such.

I will include pictures with some of the posts, so you can look forward to some art in upcoming posts. How much visual material I generate really depends on how much I get invested into my other projects. Also, as a note, not everything will be D&D related. I play several non-D&D RPGs, so you will likely see stuff that is beyond your typical dragons, Dwarves, and Elves. Though there will be plenty of those as well.

So, without further ado:

Day One: How You Got Started

You could say that I got started as a wee lad when I started watching He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. He-Man engrossed me with it’s hyper-muscular character models, creepy skull-faced bad guy (Skeletor!), and strange mishmash of swords and ray guns. Combined with my interest in mythology that started with Clash of the Titans, and you can see how I soon ended up sitting at a table and rolling dice.

With a youth filled with Conan, He-Man, Beastmaster, and countless other fantasy franchises, my interest in D&D seemed like a natural progression. However, that progression was halted because my Mom had one rule that applied specifically to me: “No Dungeons and Dragons”. You see, I grew-up in the 80’s, and that’s when there were all these stories about how D&D was Satanic, and that it was the first step on the path towards evil etc…

Without D&D, I still pole-played quite a bit. However, it was with action figures and I was by myself. When Nintendo entered my life, I was able to get a fantasy fix. I played games like Shadowgate, Simon’s Quest, Battle of Olympus, and lots of other fantasy-related games. I’m not sure how pretending to be a warrior with a video game was different than pretending with dice, but I was content.

Then came HeroQuest. HeroQuest was a board game that pretty much simulated a very basic version of D&D. As I played, I started building my own spells and items to expand the game. I painted the miniatures and made my own adventures, and soon I was sneaking D&D material borrowed from friends into my HeroQuest game.

After HeroQuest, I started making my own game systems. I made one called Blood Warriors that capitalized on the fighting game craze and involved a large network of friends creating characters and me determining who would win in a fight and how. I built a storyline in, and it was a good time, despite the fact that there weren’t as many players as I told my friends and acquaintances there were.

That kind of tanked in high school. I started focusing on ceramics and photography, though my ceramics were almost completely devoted to modelling fantasy-related figures. Monsters, warriors, mages — they populated my imagination like nothing else.

I believe that it was the summer after my Senior year that I started playing D&D. I created a monk that was based on the wrestler Hakushi. I played in a couple of sessions, and was kind of peeved that my character couldn’t do the things that I wanted him to do. I was a complete novice, and already that limitations of the system were getting to me.

In my college years, I started playing a more elaborate version of my custom HeroQuest game with both friends from college and high school. Afterwards, my attention turned to Vampire: The Masquerade and other World of Darkness games. I remember heading into the basement to play Vampire with my friends, and my Mom asking me: “You aren’t going to summon demons or anything, are you?”

Of course I wasn’t. I was just going to pretend that we were vampires and roll dice.

Now, years later, I’m in the middle of running a Hobomancer game and have a group patiently waiting to play Pathfinder with me once I finish Hobomancer. I’ve played and DM’d several D&D games, though the system (in all its iterations) was never really my favorite. Still, there is something great about pulling out all the different polyhedrals and a massive pile of books just so that you and your friends can play pretend.


About harrylthompsonjr

I'm a writer, a photographer, and a lover of role playing games. I've moved my blog to wordpress in hopes of actually getting some feedback. We'll see :)
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