Saturday, May 22, 2010

Where it All Began Pt. 3

The next contact I had with roleplaying was through a book called What is Dungeons and Dragons?* by John Butterfield and David Honigmann. I think my Great Aunt bought the book because it was the right size and had a dragon on the front with dice coming out of its eyes. The book was just a somewhat dubious attempt to corral some of the cash being made by legitimate publications, however, it did serve a very important purpose later on.

Shortly afterwards a different friend got the newly released red box set of Basic Dungeons and Dragons and while I had photocopies of what you might charitably refer to as "excepts" from the book I didn't have any of the polyhedral dice required to play, and coming from a small town, no way to get them.

Some time later my mother, for reasons I can't recall, took a plane trip to our closest big city and so, obviously, I gave her the task of getting a set of dice for me. Today doing such a thing would be easy, in 1984, however, it was quite a different proposition.

The first obstacle was that there was no such thing as the internet to track down a gaming store. This meant she had go place to place asking where one was and then, sniffing a potential sale, fielding questions about what she was looking for. Have you ever tried to describe a polyhedral dice to someone? The concept is simple enough but even today, these different shaped dice with their weird sides still fascinate people. The saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" definitely applies to them, fortunately I had that picture!

So, armed withWhat is Dungeons and Dragons my mother went off to get my dice, and whatever else she had planned to do. She didn't fail me. A few days later I had my first, what she called "dungeons dice". 25 years later I still have four of them, a love of roleplaying, and my Mother to thank for both.

* As I trawled the internet recently trying to find a better picture than the tiny thumbnail I had of the cover of What is Dungeons and Dragons I discovered a site called with a recent review of this book. Thanks to them I have that larger image as well as a copy of The Shrine of Kolchap I've been trying to replace for years.


  1. Good find. My search for 'shrine of Kolchap' on google lead me here first. The map of the shrine was the best bit of the book.

  2. This is an awesome post. Really very informative and creative contents. These concept is a good way to enhance the knowledge.
    nebosh igc courses in chennai

  3. Well with your permission let me grab your RSS feed to keep updated with forthcoming post. Thanks a million, and please keep up the gratifying work.
    nebosh course in chennai