If you had it to do all over again, would you do anything differently when you first started gaming?
My last couple posts got a little maudlin re: groups that no longer game together. However, in terms of starting out I’d change nothing. DnD has been such an incredibly influential element of my life, my interests, my personality. This treads dangerously on the 28th-day post’s territory, but basically I wouldn’t touch my early experience because I tend to subscribe to the Sound of Thunder philosophy of nostalgia: I’ll look back fondly or regretfully, but I wouldn’t actually change anything. I wouldn’t be the DM I am now if I wasn’t the somewhat capricious and spiteful one I was as a kid. I wouldn’t have had the growth I did in high school if I didn’t play with the crew(s) I played with.
I’m quite confident that I kept at least one kid out of jail, particularly because he got a ticket for shenanigans a couple months after I left for college. Much like SinSynn’s exceptional post about drug addiction, where mini-gaming plays a significant role in him coming back to himself, when we were in high school gaming was sufficiently satisfying that it kept most of us out of trouble. It certainly kept me away from partying and drinking because I’d rather be gaming; given that I was the one black guy in my high school, being at a party would have been a real easy way for me to get a call to my parents.
My writing improved because of all the PbP gaming I’ve done, and my creativity and bullshittery both owe themselves to that as well. Getting my wife into the game–and into the dice collecting that she took up as part of it–was the culmination of a life’s dream. I wouldn’t change a step in the process, but I try to be sure that I learn from old mistakes as I move forward as a player, a DM, and just a guy who proudly claims DnD as one of the foremost influences in his life.
I’m also a guy who wrote “nad” instead of and in that prior sentence three times.