Addicted to novelty since 2001

Where’s My +3 Staff of Confession?

I spent much of my early adolescence playing Dungeons and Dragons. This made me a social pariah to everyone but my fellow players, but I didn’t mind. Until I turned 15 or so, and really discovered girls.

We were a motley crew, as you might imagine, four or five social outcasts spending all of Sunday rolling dice and moving carefully-painted lead figurines around a table. Among us were Albert, the introverted Chinese kid with heavy dandruff, Richard, the tiny British kid with hair like steel wool and Christian, who, despite being a Swedish teen model, remained tremendously uncool.

I credit D&D (and related games) with increasing my vocabulary, fostering my creativity and improving my public speaking. Additionally, it was a heck of a lot of fun. I still have the many-sided dice–they’re wonderful, strange objects–in a storage box somewhere.

I mention all this because the 30th anniversary of D&D has arrived. Though many players have moved on to computer RPGs, I gather that plenty of people still play with pencils, dice and their imaginations. Not surprisingly, the blogosphere is all pointing toward this NPR piece, where you can listen to ten minutes of a game in progress. We never went so far as to do the kooky voices, and since when do you roll for initiative on a d20?

7 Responses to “Where’s My +3 Staff of Confession?”

  1. donna

    “…since when do you roll for initiative on a d20?”

    As long as I’ve been playing, anyway. :)

    I need a new campaign. :/

  2. Shane

    Makes me want to go unpack my old yellow crystal dice and figure out how to play again…hmmm…

  3. Rick Gebhardt

    I never got into the whole D&D craze. Played a little bit with my brothers, but that was about it. What I was big into was Battletech, which was basically D&D with big ass robots and spaceships.

  4. Robert

    We always used a d6 for initiative. We also never bothered with figurines … too much fussing. Plus, there wasn’t enough room on the table because of all the beer cans.

    My group played well into college years … we never took it serious. It was just more of a reason to get together and drink, smoke pot and make up stories about the girls we didn’t really sleep with.

    When I started playing … there were only the three original rule books. No DM guide … No Monster Manual.

    I’m old.

  5. Paolo

    Ah D&D. Those were the days. Funny how I would correct people by saying “I don’t play D&D, I play AD&D—there’s a difference.”

    We used 10-sided die for initiative, by the way.

    I listened to a bit of the audio file and I have to say they need assistance. The “DM” is making it up as he goes and it shows. Also funny to hear how they’re playing the pre-pubescent role-play. See monster, monster attacks with typical monster voice, players counter attack, etc. Where’s the ingenuity? Where’s the plot twists, character development? Story? Meh. I’m being unfairly critical.

    When we played as teens we wanted to rival movie scripts. We had tapes filled with theme music, we did voices and wrote out entire story lines to avoid the “uh chameleon men…er…humanoids jump out at you. They are clad in uh… leather—yeah-yeah, leather.” I even sketched all of the people and creatures my party encountered.

    I loved role-playing so much I opened a gaming studio as my first business. We sold comics, gaming materials, trading cards and had three themed rooms where people came to role-play. We even had a 3 group/25 person role-play tournament to kick it all off. God that was a fun business to run!

    P.S. Vin Diesel role-plays. (

  6. Joan

    I wrote an oral report on D&D in gradeschool & went up in front of the whole school talking about elves and dwarves. Weeee. Nothing says “I’m a dork” better than being a total dork.

    I still game. It keeps me all humble and geeky. It’s certainly more social than sitting in front of the computer, also a good stretch for the brain sometimes –knowing genius people is good for that.

    I still want to be an elf.

  7. clamb

    Ahh, AD&D. Rules and the game has changed a lot since i started with first edition. After a good decade off i joined back up with some friends. One of the guys we game with enjoys writing and has written out our adventures. Quite good actually and in the style of a novel more than blow by blow.

    Gargoyle’s Rest

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