D&D turns 40!

Today is the 40th Anniversary of Dungeons & Dragons, a game that changed the course of millions of lives.
I began playing in 1976 when a Canadian Air Force officer’s son came to our school and introduced the game to the (one day to be named) geeks in the sixth form.
As the game wasn’t actually available in the UK we all took turns to borrow the rules and copy them out by hand. After that every lunchtime was spent fighting battles underground using Chess pieces as figures and a series of multi-sided spinners for the various dice.
Within a couple of years I had the original booklets, proper dice and a handful of figures from Minifigs in Southampton.
I left the navy in 1979 and found the Portsmouth Wargames Club where a band of young chaps had set up a thriving D&D club. Mark, Ian, Jim, Paul, Tim and a gang of others played every weekend from mid-morning until ten at night. We’d also play at various people’s houses in the week and in fact anywhere and anytime we could.
The rest is pretty much history. I became a regular DM, eventually DM’ing the open at Gamesday and then EuroGenCon.
And I still play now, though I’m now DMing and playing D&D3.5 (I never took to 4th) and running several games of my own invention as can be seen by this blog.
D&D gave me the chance to explore my creative side, it gave me and my friends tens of thousands of hours of social pleasure, and eventually led to me becoming a published rules author, so it shall always have a special place in my heart.
Tonight I shall raise a glass to Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson – well played chaps, well played.

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2 thoughts on “D&D turns 40!

  1. Too true – started playing in 1980 at grammar school, and still have the original DMG, etc from then (used to have some of the older booklets that I bought second hand back “in the day”, but these have been lost in the seas of time). Haven’t played for years (due to time and lack of opportunity), but have fond memories of it. D&D got me into wargaming too: teachers used to stalk the school buildings at break times – mainly looking for smokers but also taking a dim view of gamers lurking in classrooms…being chased out of any other haunts, we found a cellar under the music department building where a group of boys had permission to play wargames. We “acquired” a corner of said cellar for our D&D games (actually, mainly Runequest by then), and eventually I drifted into figure gaming. Good old days – and yes, let us raise a glass to the shades of Gygax & Arneson – hopefully reconciled!

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