Oh how time flies. In 1974, when Dungeons & Dragons made its debut, I wasn’t quite yet interested in a game that didn’t have little pieces to move around the board. It wasn’t until five or six years later that I was officially introduced to the game. Most of my friends were part of the Drama group in high school. This role playing format, the creation of characters and improvising actions and story throughout the whole game appealed to them.
They invited me over for a game, and if memory serves, it was their first game too. We rolled up our characters. We had fighters, elves, thieves, magic users, clerics, and halflings (the D&D equivalent of Hobbits). I had no clue what I was doing. There were dice, and stats, and skills and abilities…and numbers.
The party needed a leader. I got the position by default when my character rolled the highest charisma score. Great, the blind leading the blind.
But you know what? I dove right in and loved it. Our weekly games soon became more than a game for me. Role playing started me writing down our adventures and blossomed into the dream of one day being a published fantasy author. I think the game inspired a lot of people in our generation in this manner.
I left the gaming behind after graduation, but not my love for writing. A few more years passed before I was re-introduced to gaming and this time it was the werewolves and vampires who stole my heart. The internet provided the means for the creative writing aspect as more and more Yahoo Groups opened up with people gaming in a play by post fashion; each person creating a character and adding their twists and turns with every post.
For the next 10 years I wrote EVERY DAY. Sometimes playing for hours. My writing improved by leaps and bounds, and so did my ability to craft a story.
In 2009, this love of creative writing brought Wendi and I together. We had the skills and the chops, we had the characters and the plot. All of it combined into the perfect storm and the Bonds of Blood & Spirit Saga was birthed into reality.
So, thank you Mr. Gygax and happy birthday, Dungeons & Dragons. Here’s to 40 more years of inspiring generations of creative minds.