At what age and what game did you start pen an paper rpgs?


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7 years old

Red box

Played a fighter first but quickly switched to cleric after being killed by skeleton at door of starter dungeon while resting. Pretty much cleric for life in RBGB boxes after that.

Shadow Lodge

20 something AD&D literally just months before 3.0 came along.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

11, Holmes blue box. Pretty quickly moved on to AD&D.


18, Star Wars d20, Revised Edition

Quickly got into D&D 3.0/3.5 (it was around the time when 3.5 came out).

Silver Crusade

I was 12, and played Castles and Crusades. Two days later, I discovered Pathfinder.


14 or 15 White Box, by the time the first supplements came out we were playing off of topo maps from the backpacking store.


Pathfinder Roleplaying Game Superscriber
Daw wrote:
14 or 15 White Box, by the time the first supplements came out we were playing off of topo maps from the backpacking store.

Yep! We used the topo maps from Avalon Hill's "Outdoor Survival" boxed set, as suggested in "Men and Magic."

I was so thrilled when I found a copy of Dragon Magazine #16 in a hobby store. I couldn't believe actual adults were involved in "my game".


8 with basic.
Could have been the red box - but as I was a poverty kid it was like an eighth hand badly beaten copy with mismatched dice. Came with keep on the borderlands.

Blew my little mind.

Managed to pick up a bunch of AD&D books a year or so after at a school fete, things got serious :)

Dark Archive

17 with PFS


1988 I was 12 and received the Red Box for Christmas - off to the races after that as I brought 10 of my friends with me by introducing it to them. Only 1 of them still plays and he is a DM on these boards as well. :-)

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 4, RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

Depends on how loose you want to be with the definition of an RPG.

I was 11 when I first played D&D (black box with Escape from Zanzer's Dungeon as the sample adventure).

About a year prior to that, my brothers and I spent a lot of time playing Milton Bradley's HeroQuest, which is technically a board game but which we added enough dialogue and house rules to that it basically served as my first RPG.


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I was 11

Pathfinder Beginner Box.

First campaign was Kingmaker.


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SyrioForel wrote:

I was 11

Pathfinder Beginner Box.

First campaign was Kingmaker.

Cool.

I like hearing about people taking it up later (especially via the awesome Beginner Box). In the eighties everyone gave it a go.


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

Eleven or twelve years old, AD&D 1E.

Scarab Sages

Age 35, in 1994, playing RuneQuest 3rd edition.

Started playing AD&D a couple of years later.


Early 80s, age 10 or so. Had the red box then picked up the blue box. In high-school transitioned to advanced dnd.


9 years old. AD&D


Wow the main thing i got out of this is dnd redbox apparently was a starter for so many of you. 8 is apparently a common age to start as well that is cool I feel much younger then that might be to young.
i like all the new generations but you young folks starting at 3.5 make me feel old :D

Liberty's Edge

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Around 8, Red Book Basic D&D and Mayfair's DC super-heroes.


Age 10, Basic D&D. I don't remember the box colour, if it was the same as the rulebook then red.


Started in 1979+-1 (15+-1 years old) on Basic D&D (I didn't get to see the box, but the book was blue), with a switch to AD&D just a couple of weeks later. Hope or able mention to Champions 1st Edition in 1980+-1.


A group of 4 of us began with Hero Quest (the board game) when we were in middle school, so we were about 11. We didn't start a proper D&D sort of game (theater of the mind, unrestricted dungeon dimensions, etc) until a few years later in 1999 when a buddy picked up Eye of the Wyvern Quick-Start AD&D 2E adventure from this new fangled Amazon. The next Christmas, I gathered up my gift money and purchased all three core rulebooks for the new 3E (at that time, the books were $20 each).

I recently picked up a copy of Hero Quest (original Milton Bradley published, licensed by Games Workshop) and it is just as glorious as it was in 1996: simple rules, every character has something to contribute and the board is such a gorgeously textured piece of cartography when the doors and fixtures are on it.

We also still have that original copy of Eye of the Wyvern and I've used updated versions of the included adventure to kick off numerous short lived campaigns.


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1st Edition D&D. 1980. I was 6, my then 8-year-old cousin was the DM, and we played in one of the spare bedrooms of our grandparents' house. He eventually got bored with it and declared that my character's head exploded from accumulating too many experience points.

Silver Crusade

That magical summer between eighth and ninth grade circa 1980. I had the red box but never played it as I loved the options in 1E more. I luckily still play with two original members of that group of five.


Vanykrye wrote:
1st Edition D&D. 1980. I was 6, my then 8-year-old cousin was the DM, and we played in one of the spare bedrooms of our grandparents' house. He eventually got bored with it and declared that my character's head exploded from accumulating too many experience points.

That's a new one on me. Fave'd.

Grand Lodge RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32, RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Somewhere around 10-ish years old, invented my own by backwards-engineering from the observable mechanics from old SNES RPGs, before I even knew that tabletop RPGs were a thing.


I played my first ADnD 2nd Edition Character when I was 4 years old... he jumped into a pool he didn't know was acid and died quickly and painfully. There wasn't even enough left of him to raise.

Silver Crusade

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Cantriped wrote:
I played my first ADnD 2nd Edition Character when I was 4 years old... he jumped into a pool he didn't know was acid and died quickly and painfully. There wasn't even enough left of him to raise.

Substitute "jumping in a pool of acid "with fell into a river of lava" and you have my second attempt at the ToH


9 or 10, mish-mash of boxes followed quickly by 1E AD&D.


Somewhere around 11, AD&D at summer camp. I think we made characters, did some shopping and might have made it to the entrance to the dungeon before we ran out of time. Didn't matter. I was hooked.

I don't think the DMG was out yet, but I scraped up the cash and bought the PHB and MM when I got home and managed to play a little bit in middle school before most of my friends got too cool (or too worried about being uncool) to do so in high school.

Found more players and more different games in college.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber

It was 1981. I was 12. The game was Basic D&D - Holmes Edition. I was hooked.


1976


I was 12. It was AD&D 2nd Edition and my Dad was the DM.


10 years old. 2nd ed D&D.

...Although I soon moved on to 3.0. And not long after that, to 3.5. My brother GMed for me and my friends.

Silver Crusade

1984 - seventh grade, red box (Mentzer).

In seventh grade English class we all did presentations on our hobbies. Two kids - one girl and the other a boy with whom I was friends - each did D&D. I did stamp collecting.

Guess which one I'm still into.

For some reason, I thought it would be more like Choose Your Own Adventures but with dice (kinda like the old Lone Wolf books) -- no idea why.

D&D was a great gateway game for me. I next started playing TSRs Marvel Heroes before I really knew anything about Marvel. Now I've got a basement full of comic long boxes and fairly addicted to Marvel AND Pathfinder.

Ripples in the pond, man...


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Moldvay Basic, Christmas gift when I was 10, maybe 11. I moved to AD&D as soon as I stumbled across the Monster Manual in my local hobby shop. What can I say, they were published in hardcover and, y'know, advanced.

That was the same hobby shop (you couldn't find dedicated gaming shops outside Lake Geneva at that point, I guess, you had to look for the RPG stuff right next to model trains) where I bought my first issue of Dragon magazine, #73. My mind was blown!

Edit: It seems like most of the responses in this thread are from people who started playing RPGs before "pen and paper" or "tabletop" were relevant terms to the description of RPGs; those were just the only thing to play with, or surfaces to play on top of, at the time.

. . .

No insult to video gamers, I've wasted plenty of time breeding chocobos at the chocobo ranch, too. :)

RPG Superstar 2011 Top 8

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8 years old, AD&D. Played a thief- a staircase trap triggered, turning into a slide that sent me right at a stone golem. I think it was a short session...but it was the Monster Manual that got me hooked.

Shortly after I snagged both a Player's Handbook and Monster Manual, 2nd edition came out, invalidating my first long running character- a half-orc fighter named Beorn. 10 year old nerd rage ensued!


Gamma World. Would have been second edition. I would have been 10 at the time.


12 years, with "The New, Easy to Master Dungeons and Dragons Game" boxed set. Played a Thief who died in the very first encounter on the very first attack roll we ever rolled, trying to Escape from Zanzer Tem's Dungeon.
Quickly got hold of the Rules Cyclopedia and a Creature Catalog.

Liberty's Edge

It was 1980. I was 13. Basic D&D - first red box.


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You know... This made me realize that 1 year from now, I'll have been playing RPGs for 20 years! That means I'll officially be a grognard! XD

I can't wait to shout at kids on my lawn and reminisce about how everything was perfect when I was young!


14, homebrew system.

Before that I played Hero Quest and local licensed version of Talisman.


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This summer marks 40 years of playing D&D for me


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber

7 or 8, the original D&D Red Box. I was pretty much put in the DM role.

The Blue Box followed and went into AD&D from there - still have my original Player's Handbook and DMG somewhere. Somewhere in the middle of this, we also tried Top Secret and Star Frontiers.

Lemmy wrote:
You know... This made me realize that 1 year from now, I'll have been playing RPGs for 20 years! That means I'll officially be a grognard! XD

Well now I feel very much the grognard after that statement.

Grand Lodge

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I was 8 when I got the red box basic rules.
Best day ever!


Terquem wrote:
This summer marks 40 years of playing D&D for me
Alex Martin wrote:
Lemmy wrote:
You know... This made me realize that 1 year from now, I'll have been playing RPGs for 20 years! That means I'll officially be a grognard! XD
Well now I feel very much the grognard after that statement.

I look forward to your guidance and advice on shooing kids away and recalling how much bluer the sky was "back in the day". ;)

Sovereign Court

Playing consistently? 18 with 3.5

But I'd played an early D&D edition homebrew once years before that. (12-13ish?) I remember not rolling to hit, armor as DR, and fighting dark elves.

And I'd started playing tabletop wargames (40k) since I was 14.


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32 years on Friday for me.

My first game was on a relative's birthday, I made a dwarf, he had his brand new suit of chainmail and his favorite axe rusted by a g&&&!%n f!+!ing Rust Monster.

RPG Superstar 2015 Top 32

I started at 15, GMing GURPS 2E. It was over a decade, and six system changes later that I ever sat down to play without being the game master. Now it feels... unnatural to do anything but GM.


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Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Lemmy wrote:
I look forward to your guidance and advice on shooing kids away and recalling how much bluer the sky was "back in the day". ;)

In my day, we only played with "yella" dice. You could barely read the numbers, so you colored them in with a pen. None of this swirly colored dice or two-tone stuff with white "purty" numbers.

And we liked it that way! *Grumble, grumble*

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