It was way back in 1989 when I first took a shot at playing Dungeons and Dragons. More specifically, it was AD&D 2nd Edition. Nerds adore specificity, you know. Anyway, the first game master was my high school chum and college roommate, Bernie. It was my first time trying D&D, so we enlisted the help of one of our other buddies, Steve, who we had both known in high school, and now was going to the same college as us. Steve wanted to play a cleric, and I opted to play a warrior, because it looked the easiest to figure out. We dived right in, flailed about madly, and had a terrific time. I can’t even remember all of the times that I got Steve’s cleric killed. Every game it seemed I had to drag his corpse back to the temple to have him resurrected. Sometimes more than once in a game, most memorably when pixies were pushing flowers up his nostrils. You just don’t get that kind of interaction with computer games.
In what was undoubtedly my most magnificent achievement, I once rode a large round shield like a sled down a massive flight of stone stairs, and at the bottom, slammed into Steve’s cleric with enough force to, you guessed it, kill him outright. We laughed and laughed, and I dragged his body back to the temple. On another adventure, we were up against giants of some sort. Possibly frost giants. Whichever, they were big, angry, and way out of our league. For some asinine reason, I built a makeshift hang-glider, and launched myself, waving my favorite sword like a maniac, and succeeded in killing several giants, and myself, as well as creating a sizeable avalanche as the whole mess rolled down the mountainside. Well planned attack? Not hardly. But fun. If nothing else, it served as a great cautionary tale against adventuring with a Chaotic Neutral swamp orc warrior that knows a hundred ways to scream “CHARGE!” and doesn’t understand any attempt at explaining “restraint.”
First times are rarely pleasant, but they are always memorable. True with gaming, and true with preparing a holiday feast. Might be true of other stuff, but I write nerd fiction, and have no idea what that stuff might be.