Content of the article: "My First Ever D&D Game (1988)"
Yup, you read that right. And I got into it a little later than most. I left high school in 1987.
So anyway, I made a bunch of friends at university, who invited me to play D&D with them. I knew nothing about it, except that there were weird dice involved, but hey, I'd been a fan of Choose Your Own Adventure books like forever, so why not.
I still play today.
Back then, it was first edition D&D. TSR Red Book. THAC0-based D&D before THAC0 was an official thing. That's how long ago it was. (For those who are wondering what THAC0 is, be amazed).
This, as players over a certain age will be aware, was back in the heady days before skill lists were a thing, in the days when only humans got to try out different classes (and those classes were Fighter, Cleric, Magic User and Thief. That was it). Dwarves were basically a dwarf fighter, halflings were basically a halfling rogue and elves were a kind of elven wizard.
(Also, 'good' and 'evil' had not made it into alignments as yet. You were Lawful, Neutral or Chaotic, and you liked it.)
Back then it was new and cool and interesting, and we had no idea what it would grow into.
So, I rolled up a halfling by the name of Loarn. He had a shortsword and a shortbow. Someone loaned me a d20 and a d4 and we were off.
The game opened in a random fantasy town, and the GM wasted no time in having the place attacked by a couple of hill giants. My character, full of heroic ideals, ran up and tried to hit one with his shortsword. At first level, his THAC0 was terrible, and I rolled badly, so I missed. He hit me back, succeeded, and left my character with about 1 hit point.
Someone suggested I use my bow instead, so I said I was doing that.
In the meantime, the higher level characters (2nd and 3rd, as I recall) were hammering on these giants, until they turned and ran. One of them took a shot at the hill giants as they retreated, and hit but did not drop it.
I said, "Can I shoot at them, too?"
The GM shrugged and said, "Sure."
So I shot at one hill giant. Hit for one point of damage. Which dropped it.
I said, "I shoot at the other one!"
The GM asked if anyone else was doing anything. They all said no, so I took my shot. And it. And likewise dropped that one.
Apparently, there was a house rule at the time that whoever got the killing blow got all the experience from the monster. And I'd just dropped two hill giants.
And that's how I levelled up in my very first encounter.
(They later changed that rule).
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