My introduction to D&D was at the very first meeting of the newly formed D&D club after school in highschool. There were about 30 or so of us, and someone had the bright idea that the best way to introduce all of us to D&D was for all of us to play one giant game together. So we all crowded around a table and the *ahem* “detail oriented” in our group tried to teach us the rules and get us to follow them. The thing that sticks out to me the most about that “game”, other than how chaotic it was, was while all 30 of us were “creeping” down a hallway (Monsters probably heard us 3 dungeons over…) and were told by the DM that there was “water in front of us blocking our path.” One of the guys in the group, Dan, immediately piped up and said that he was going to dive in. Head first. The water turned out to be a puddle only a few inches deep and Dan’s character died of a broken neck. That experience taught us the valuable lesson of “get as much information out of the DM as you can before acting” as well as giving us a story to laugh about all these years later.
That was the first and only time that we all tried to play one big game together, and I think that we lost at least a third of our group after that fiasco.
The next meeting, those of us who showed up again split off into 3-4 different games all along the “rule following” spectrum.
At one end was the game that my not-yet-even-boyfriend-at-the time-but-eventual-future-husband, Curtis, joined. They had official character sheets, including back stories, and used dice and pretty much followed all the rules.
And then there was my group. We were led by a natural born storyteller who happily let our characters be random hybrid creatures that mutated during the course of our game. We had a wombat as part of our party.
I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
That was the one time where our “DM” (as well as the rest of us) was like “Are you sure that’s what you want to be? Yes? Alright, you’re a wombat.”
At one point during our adventure I decided that I wanted the ability to fly, and so he gave me the ability to fly. He did take away that ability temporarily in the future to further the storyline though.
Our “D&D game” was more like a choose your own adventure thing where wackiness and imagination were rewarded. I don’t think that we ever once rolled any dice, and we certainly didn’t have any character sheets.
We did get yelled at by the “rule following” group a lot for laughing too loud though. 😀
So it may not have been an official game of D&D, (in fact, to this day I have still never played an actual D&D game…) but it was one of the highlights of my weeks during a rough highschool experience.