Dungeons & Dragons #5

So, I was really into Dungeons & Dragons around 1981.  I had all the fancy dice, all the books (Monster Manual, Fiend Folio, DM's Guide, Player's Handbook, Deities and Demigods) and a stack of modules.  I had a few friends in the neighborhood that like to play, and we had a blast.

Then, literally overnight, I abandoned it like yesterday's news.  I don't know what it was (hormones?), but a part of me was gone.  The part of me that could just step into these imaginary worlds without that repressive self-consciousness went bye-bye. "Poof!"

I guess it got a bad rap because girls would have anything to do with it.  The cool "nerd girl" is a modern phenomenon; there was no such thing in '81.  Now gorgeous women dress like Zatanna at conventions and openly profess their love for Star Wars, comic book heroes, and any number of subjects once the exclusive domain of males.  You can claim otherwise all you want, but I was there.   Über cool nerd girls did not exist.

Unlike video games, D&D is a social exercise.  You have to interact with a group of folks in a confined setting for hours on end.  It not only strengthens your imagination, it really does teach some communication and team-work skills. I don't think the same can be said about video games.

As a final note, because I know I'll get asked - these ads all come from old issues of OMNI Magazine.  I haven't the slightest clue why the text is sometimes not in English.  I promise you: all these ads came from English language magazines.  Go figure.


  1. I heard a comedian comment that Fantasy Football was designed for the guys who made fun of the guys who played Dungeons and Dragons.

  2. I'm 37 and still play. Funny enough my group is two adults and our kids, three of which are girls.

  3. Awesome ads!
    But I thought you had made them.

    And actually checking the books you listed you played Advanced Dungeons & Dragons which is not quite the same system as the regular one as all us nerds know. *nitpicking off*

  4. Now the game is in a 4th edition with a 5th on the way. The current incarnation is barely recognisable from the game you played and loved back in 1980 and, alas, has taken its inspiration from the online bash-em-up swords and sorcery games instead of being a social game of puzzle solving, questing and fighting things. You're not missing much by not following D&D anymore unless you want to go retro and give your classic game a run out. Can I play a fighter?

  5. I was into painting the little figures when I was a teen.And, like you said, just one day I put them in a shoe box and put them away "for a rainy day".They are still with me,after over 25 years and 3 moving days,I just came across them while taking Halloween decorations down from the attic.I'm going to set my sights on the first snow day I can get and set up shop.I hope my vision isn't too bad to do them.We'll see.

  6. I stopped playing sometime in the 1990s, but the '80s was the heyday for me, with 27 hour sessions, figures and whatnot. I worked in a comic book store that sold role playing stuff when the new edition of D&D using just a d20 came out. People loved it. I looked through the material and could see that it was missing something ... mainly intelligence. I still have good memories ... but that is it.

  7. Jeff SockwellSeptember 16, 2013

    I started playing in 1981 and play to this day. In fact I have many game systems and a large game room to keep it all in. I do NOT play 4th edition, Hasbro's attempt to make D&D into a World of Warcraft RPG. The company I keep includes people who worked for TSR as far back as 1974 and I doubt they would forgive me anyway.

    I was selected to playtest 5th edition (D&D Next), but it's not looking good. There are other good systems out there anyway and I can always run an older edition if I want to.