The first roleplaying game I played was D&D red box edition. My friend Aaron owned it and invited me over to play. It was the early 1980s and I was in elementary school. I do not remember much of the experience, emotions only, really. I had fun. It was a new experience. I had no idea what I was doing, I am sure. I played it two times, maybe three. The first two times were solo adventures with the dungeon master. The third was with a different dungeon master and my friend as another player. I did not care for that experience much. I think it had more to do with not wanting to share time with my friend with another kid I barely knew, than anything else.
From there, I discovered the Choose Your Own Adventure books. These led further down the rabbit hole for me. May father would eventually come home with a boxed set from Chaosium featuring their Basic Rules, a supers setting, a futuristic setting, and a fantasy setting. What I remember from this game was not liking the rules. The percentile system did not lend itself to a young boy wanting to play a tough fighter already experienced in the ways of war. We tried, my brother, father, and I, but it did not go very far.
To this day, my experiences with the art are what continue to inspire my fond memories. For the D&D game, it was the maps my friend created. While I would not go on to run the game myself, I would create hundreds of maps. Sadly, I never made it past drawing in 2D. Outside of geometric shapes, I never made it to 3D drawing.
From the CYOA novels, it was the covers. The colors, the movement, the characters facing danger. From Chaosium’s boxed set, I think I gained a wider worldview of the roleplaying game genre. I was raised to read and I read as often as not. The boxed set showed me roleplaying games related to novels, comics, and movie posters.
And that is where I started. Where did you start?