In 1981, I was given my first set of D&D rules for Christmas. It was the “Holmes edition” Basic Set. Some of my friends had the hardbound AD&D books and I eyed those tomes with envy.
I was invited to a friend’s house for my very first D&D game session. He was using his older brother’s AD&D books. And the adventure was something that my friend had created himself. What kind of characters did we have? 18th level, of course. None of that weak, low-level nonsense! It was ridiculous.
That experience electrified my imagination. Of all the RPG adventures that I had in my youth, that one was the one I remember the most vividly. It was short and involved only a handful of non-sequitor encounters. One involved a large sculpture of a hand that flattend someone in the party. Another took place in the room that was depicted on the cover of the Player’s Handbook. Hey, we were in 5th grade and we had fun. I enjoyed the experience so much that I asked my friend to write down the adventure and give me a copy of it along with the characters we used. I still have those papers someplace. As I recall, a few of the character sheets are missing. But I still have the adventure text. When I find them I’ll post it here.
After our game, I remember being told about a really weird dungeon involving computers and laser guns. It was Expedition to Barrier Peaks and I vowed I would eventually get a copy of that module.
When I went home later that afternoon, I remember telling my dad all about the adventures I had that day. He was working outside on a car or maybe a piece of wooden furniture. He listened to my little kid ramblings with only mild interest. And that was fine.
The following year, shortly before a long family road trip during summer vacation, my mother took me down to the local hobby shop one memorable day and bought me the three first edition AD&D rule books. For a little kid, I had a lot to read for the rest of the year.