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


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captain yesterday wrote:
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.

That takes me back to Will Mclean's classic rust monster sketch from the DMG.

Liberty's Edge

Age 19 (spring 1983) AD&D.


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11 years old, D&D (the Moldvay "magenta" box that came between the Blue Box and Red Box editions), 1981.

For about three years it was just me and my brother, and I conflated adventures for Basic, 1 and 2e AD&D until 3e came out.

Grand Lodge

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Age 23, with 3.5 D&D. In Kuwait, no less!


Lessee, I started 2nd ed AD&D (the black border book) at about the same time as I played basic D&D.

I was maybe 20 or so.


Jiggy wrote:
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 kind of did that too but Sega fantasy star 4 I think was the game maybe 3...


TriOmegaZero wrote:
Age 23, with 3.5 D&D. In Kuwait, no less!

wow I think you have an interesting story there somewhere..

your definitely an outlier lol.


Age of 8, Advanced Dungeons and Dragons run by my dad for me and my best friend at the time.


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Vidmaster7 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Age 23, with 3.5 D&D. In Kuwait, no less!

wow I think you have an interesting story there somewhere..

your definitely an outlier lol.

In soooo many ways. :)


At age 14 I picked up the Blue Book at a hobby store. I had to return to buy dice and "ink" the numbers with a Sharpie. I played it solo at first. Later I picked up the "Original Collector's Edition" D&D white box and taught some friends.

Grand Lodge

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Vidmaster7 wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Age 23, with 3.5 D&D. In Kuwait, no less!

wow I think you have an interesting story there somewhere..

your definitely an outlier lol.

Well, the military does have a lot of gamers with long stretches of time on their hands. My first campaign was run in Afghanistan.

Scarab Sages

Pathfinder Adventure Path, Rulebook Subscriber

I started a bit with Hero Quest in middle school. We kinda winged it, and had fun. I started really getting into pen and paper when 3.5 released in High School. And I guess I really started playing a lot in college over openrpg in circa 05.


This thread makes me wonder what's the difference of average age between Pathfinder players vs Forum members.


I started with AD&D 2ED a week before my 13th birthday and I've been playing some sort of tabletop ever since, pretty much solely with my older brother and some of his old high school buddies (who have always treated me as a mix of little sister/one of the guys, hehe).

Silver Crusade

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11 years old 1983 the "red box". That was when I started. I also remember playing the Marvel Superheroes game as well.

RPG Superstar Season 9 Top 16

When I was ~11, I went to a summer camp with my friends that essentially ran LARP for the kids. We loved, it, and got started with DnD 3.0 soon after (and for our first characters, rolled a d20 to generate stats).


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Lemmy Z wrote:
This thread makes me wonder what's the difference of average age between Pathfinder players vs Forum members.

Try polling to see who remembers what THACO is and that might give you an idea. ;-)


Alex Martin wrote:
Lemmy Z wrote:
This thread makes me wonder what's the difference of average age between Pathfinder players vs Forum members.
Try polling to see who remembers what THACO is and that might give you an idea. ;-)

But just a vague one... I remember THACO and apparently, quite a few people around here have been playing for a decade (or two) longer than me. oO


Alex Martin wrote:
Lemmy Z wrote:
This thread makes me wonder what's the difference of average age between Pathfinder players vs Forum members.
Try polling to see who remembers what THACO is and that might give you an idea. ;-)

To Hit Armor Class 0.

Nope, don't recall that at all. :-)


I can't keep track of these new-fangled things like THAC0. Why can't we just stick with the simple tables?


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thejeff wrote:
Why can't we just stick with the simple tables?

Because they always end up wobbly... And we eventually run out of things to place under their mismatching legs!

Sovereign Court

Pathfinder Card Game Subscriber

18, 4th edition. As much as some veteran players weren't fans of it, I think it's probably the best one to start with. It's light on the roleplay (which is half of what people didn't like in my expeience), but that's actually what was great for me. Having such a lite intro to a new type of game was a fantastic way to learn about the worlds and roleplay experience.


Age 18 in 1978, using modified original D&D

First character - 15th level wizard! I was a member of a wargames society at uni and a D&D campaign wanted help playing out a battle scenario. I was an NPC ally of the good guys but with his own agenda - take out a specific evil guy. So Irode invisibly across the battlefield looking for him whilst helping out when opportunity presented. Forced one enemy leader to withdraw, used wall of fire to to block the advanced of a regiment of mummies. Was confused, needed lots of help. Had great fun.

I remember when THAC0 was new.


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I, for one, hated THAC0.

Silver Crusade

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I have heard of THAC0, but my father (who played First Edition when it was new) has to deal with it firsthand.

He likes the new ways better


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I tried explaining THAC0 to my wife once and the response was "Stop. Stop talking. SHUT UP! Please."

Community Manager

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I was 10, and it was the Red Box (1983 edition).


Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Lemmy Z wrote:
This thread makes me wonder what's the difference of average age between Pathfinder players vs Forum members.

Yeah, I am interested in this as well - also the average age of Pathfinder players to players then. I started age 9 with the D & D red box.


Pathfinder Adventure Path, Lost Omens Subscriber
Lemmy Z wrote:
But just a vague one... I remember THACO and apparently, quite a few people around here have been playing for a decade (or two) longer than me. oO

I was joking when I mentioned it, but I guess I should have emphasized "remembering" as opposed to knowing what it is. Just from the couple of responses above, there's a distinct line of experience you'll get from folks who played in a certain timeframe with THACO.

Of course, if someone mentions playing first edition Harn or Rolemaster as their first RPG, then you are really talking hard-core grognard (and possibly a masochistic one at that). And I say that with a wink; not a criticism.

Grand Lodge

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Liz Courts wrote:
I was 10, and it was the Red Box (1983 edition).

Hey, I'm as old as that version! :D

Community Manager

TriOmegaZero wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
I was 10, and it was the Red Box (1983 edition).
Hey, I'm as old as that version! :D

I'm older than that version! :D


Alex Martin wrote:
Lemmy Z wrote:
But just a vague one... I remember THACO and apparently, quite a few people around here have been playing for a decade (or two) longer than me. oO
I was joking when I mentioned it, but I guess I should have emphasized "remembering" as opposed to knowing what it is. Just from the couple of responses above, there's a distinct line of experience you'll get from folks who played in a certain timeframe with THACO.

I know. I actually used THACO for two years (or three. I'm not sure)... Then 3.0 came along. :P

Still... I started with D&D 2nd Ed... Well... Technically, it's AD&D 2nd Edition. I don't know if it's the revised version, though... But I started playing in late '97 (Maybe early '98?)... Then 3rd edition came around and my brother bought the new books for me.

I also played 1st Ed. D&D, but that was just me trying the old game. 3.5 was already around at the time.


Let's just say we didn't have paper. Or pens, come to think of it (leastwise what didn't come off the back of a goose). And we used to roll dickety-sided dice, because the Kaiser had stolen our word twenty...


8. 2nd Ed Sword of the Dales modules.


Summer of 1979, I was ten years old, and my Godmother's son introduced my brother and I to the wonders of the D&D Basic Set. RPGs have been a part of my life ever since.

Shadow Lodge

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Liz Courts wrote:
TriOmegaZero wrote:
Liz Courts wrote:
I was 10, and it was the Red Box (1983 edition).
Hey, I'm as old as that version! :D
I'm older than that version! :D

*shakes fist*


1980, when I was in the sixth grade. I took an elective class called "Intellectual Gaming" and discovered people playing Advanced D&D in the back, and I was hooked.

Also played some Traveller.


About the same time I was introduced to AD&D 1e I played in a short Boot Hill campaign, using the rules in the back of the Dungeonmaster's Guide. Same with Gamma World. Oh, the fun we had.


I was 9 or 10


12 or so. RIFTS.

and i remember/played with THAC0. i remember it somewhat fondly because, though i started with RIFTS, i really got into gaming through AD&D 2nd Ed during Living City.


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My first RPG was playing Champions with some friends at school while I was 13.

I'd been hooked on roleplaying games on my Amiga for a couple of years though, especially the Gold Box games, Eye of the Beholder and Dungeon Master. I have fond memories of staying on the phone for hours with a friend as we raced to see who could finish a play through of Champions of Krynn the fastest.


either 8, Das schwarze Auge
OR 15, Cyberpunk 2020

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber

I was 16. It was 3rd Edition D&D. I ran the campaign, and remember it fondly.


DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I was 16. It was 3rd Edition D&D. I ran the campaign, and remember it fondly.

you ran your first game? that's interesting i probably didnt run till I had 4 years of playing under my belt. was it a module or something?

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:
DM_aka_Dudemeister wrote:
I was 16. It was 3rd Edition D&D. I ran the campaign, and remember it fondly.
you ran your first game? that's interesting i probably didnt run till I had 4 years of playing under my belt. was it a module or something?

I made up the campaign, campaign setting and adventures all by myself. With heavy inspiration from numerous fantasy sources. I started the players off prisoners of a tribe of goblins and hobgoblins, they managed to escape and headed through a frosty wilderness to what would become the player's home base and campaign town, which was city built just beyond a world spanning wall of ice.

I ran that campaign for about 8 months, before I accidentally TPK'd the party in a random encounter with a Tiger. I still think back on that olde campaign setting with fondness, it was really a great sandbox for my imagination. I'm still bummed I never got to run the adventure that the players were on their way to when their characters died.

It was going to feature a frozen castle ruled by an intelligent psionic arctic spider, they were going to fight a chaos dwarf who could use the psionic "skate" power, in an ice rink of doom! just because I loved the idea of the players being frustrated by a Dwarf that could outspeed and outmaneuver them.


That pretty cool that you got all that from top of your head without anyone to guide you and no prior experience I was taught by a older DM myself.
your way seems kind of pure I could only imagine starting and learning everything like that sounds kind of cool.

Silver Crusade

Pathfinder Adventure Path Subscriber
Vidmaster7 wrote:

That pretty cool that you got all that from top of your head without anyone to guide you and no prior experience I was taught by a older DM myself.

your way seems kind of pure I could only imagine starting and learning everything like that sounds kind of cool.

I made a lot of mistakes, and wince to think of some of the choices I made a DM. At the time I was the only person with the books and I wanted to introduce it to my nerdy friends. A lot of us liked Fantasy fiction and the Baldur's Gate games. I couldn't afford any source books, so what I lacked in money I made up for with time and imagination.

In fact the only reason I set the game in the frozen rim (my world was Ring Shaped) of my completely made up campaign setting was because I had a Dungeon Magazine adventure set in an insane asylum near the North Pole, but it was for 3rd level characters and I so I needed to make up enough content to at least get my players to that level.


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11, MERP at school. I was a wood elf assassin who favoured the spear.

Got my nose frozen off by a frost bolt.


DungeonmasterCal wrote:

I, for one, hated THAC0.

I liked THAC0. Of course, I never found it all that hard to figure out or use.

20 THAC0 means you need a 20 to hit AC 0.

You subtract enemy AC from whatever your THAC0 was...

So, if an enemy has a 7 AC....

20 - 7 = 13.

Easy, peasy.

of course, some people probably had problems with the negatives

AC = -2

20 - (-2) = 22?

No...just 20.

But overall, I find it far easier than today's stuff with half a dozen modifiers to combat and figuring out whether someone got an Attack of Opportunity\Opportunity Attack or not.

Grand Lodge

Pathfinder Adventure, Rulebook Subscriber; Pathfinder Battles Case Subscriber

On the plus side, I at least understood your explanation GWL. Why no higher than 20? The point was to hit 0, but you can't roll higher than 20 because that's the die used? Is that it?

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