For me this took place nearly a quarter of a century ago, so please be patient if my recollections are a bit fuzzy at times! Myself and two others at the place we worked at the time were science fiction fans, and became friends because of this. One fateful day in late '75 (I think it was) one of them (whom I shall call Gary, because that's his name) invited Dave (the other one) and I over for a day of games playing on a Saturday. Being in our early to mid twenties we said sure, not realizing what we were about to let ourselves in for!
It seems that Gary had bought a couple of a new type of game at a hobby shop. They were called Role Playing Games. Never heard of them before then. They were a science fiction game (Traveler) and a fantasy game (the first version of D&D). We decided to try the fantasy game first, as the science fiction game had to be the more complicated, right?
So we rolled up our first characters. Dave played a Magic User and I played a Fighter. The first thing we ran into were half a dozen Goblins. Dave cast his Sleep spell and we had half a dozen sleeping Goblins. As we had never heard of Hack 'n Slash gaming we saw this as an opportunity to question these creatures and find out if there were more around, etc. Being reminded that the spell had a time limit and that rough handling would wake them up we slit four Goblin throats, tied one up (the first to be questioned) and I guarded the last.
This is where our first encounter with dumb rules came in. Being cautious I was lightly holding down the sleeping Goblin, with my sword at his throat, while Dave was interrogating the other. The next thing we knew the no longer sleeping Goblin was 20 feet away and running away at full speed. To make a long story short, a heated ... discussion ensued regarding the possibility of this happening, regardless of what the rules said. (Initiative, in this case.) Finally we called a break for pizza before friendships were spoiled because of a game. And it was decided that we would try the SF game next.
After chowing down Dave and I rolled up a couple of Traveler characters. (Those of you who are at all familiar with the original rules know what happened next.) After about 3/4 of an hour I was almost ready. Only one more roll to go. So I made the final roll to be discharged from the service and... My Character Was Killed! Another, much shorter, discussion was held regarding this rule. This lead to our discovery of House Rules. It was quickly decided that this had to be the stupidest rule anyone had ever written, and henceforth we would ignore it.
The rest of the adventure went much better, until the end of the scenario. We were on a milk-run with a Patron's ship when we stumbled across a derelict spacecraft. After fighting a monster and repairing the thing we now had our own starship! Well, we would have if there had been more of us. We couldn't abandon our Patron's ship. And even if we did we couldn't run the new one with only two of us. It was decided that this was a good place to stop and, hopefully get more people to play the next time these things were taken out of their respective boxes.
So there you have it. My first, and almost my last, encounter with Role Playing Games. What about yours? What was your first encounter with (face to face, electronic, etc.) RPGs? The Tronicia Times wants to know!