The party made their way slowly down the corridor. Leading was Raftor the Brave, followed closely by Roder the dwarf. Bringing up the rear were the wizard Pyhus and Felonius, the group’s thief. They came to a door, which marked the end of the corridor. Raftor tried the door; it was locked. Felonius got out his tools and went to work on the door, while Roder and Pyhus kept a look out. Signalling that the door was now unlocked, Felonius nodded. Raftor kicked down the door and burst into the room with sword at the ready, the others closely following.
From the light given off by the wizard’s magic lantern, Raftor made out the shapes of five goblins with daggers at the ready, attacking.
Suddenly, a booming voice said “Roll for initiative!” and two giant dice came tumbling down squashing Felonius and two goblins. The party of adventurers had gained initiative, and Raftor attacked first. A huge twenty-sided die came crashing down in the corner flattening the remaining goblins. As the remainder of the party gathered around the crumpled body of the fallen thief, two giant hands descended, and grabbed the huge dice. The booming voice spoke out once more: “That’s enough for this session. See you all on Wednesday.”
— from Toxic Custard 14, October 1990.
I played D&D a bit in high school. A few of us did the occasional lunchtime and weekend session in years 7/8, and I had a go of Advanced D&D in the following years. At one point I had all the (basic) D&D rule books, a bunch of player character sheets, a stack of graph paper, and a full set of those funny dice. I had a go a designing my own scenarios, but they were never as successful as the professional ones. Child And Adult in Elsternwick sold all the gear.
For a while there in the mid-80s, D&D was quite popular. There was a cartoon adaption on morning TV, and a magazine called Dragon. At one point I encountered a Fundamentalist Christian brochure claiming it was all about devil worship.
It was D&D that got me into computer games like Ultima — which I played a LOT, leading at one stage — with friends Conrad and Konrad — to attempting to write a clone of it on the BBC Micro.
When I first watched Fellowship of the Ring, I was struck by how similar that was to a D&D game. Which I guess just shows how much D&D was influenced by Tolkien.
Unlike some things from my youth (such as classic video games), I’ve got no real urge to revisit D&D, but it does bring back some happy memories. And it leaves me wondering what I did with all that D&D stuff I used to have.
PS. The character names in the piece above were nicked from D&D characters my friends and I had.