In our current age of internet shopping where gaming material is just a click away, it’s easy to forget things were not always so. In Fort McMurray, where I lived, gaming material was not available anywhere until about two years after I started playing. And then it was whatever the local Cole’s Books felt like bringing in. The local library brought in The Dragon, so that helped scratch my hobby itch. I received the Dungeons & Dragons box set for Christmas the year I started playing only because my Mother mailed away for it. Yes, in 1980 we were savages.
No, in those first formative years, if I wanted to buy a gaming book I had to travel. And that meant hoping we’d get close to a book store when the family went to Edmonton, the nearest large city, about 500 km to the south. It was in one such store in the newly opened West Edmonton Mall that I found a copy of G1-2-3: Against the Giants. That shrink-wrapped little beauty immediately grabbed my attention, and I gladly parted with $12 of my hard-won allowance to take it home with me.
Thus began the season of slaughter. Of course I had no idea what Advanced Dungeons & Dragons was at the time. We just figured that if the module was for characters Level 8-12, we could balance that out by using three 3rd-4th level characters each. That would work, right? The Steading of the Hill Giant Chieftain was littered with our miscalculations.
But hours upon hours of fun ensued. And on later trips to West Edmonton Mall I would find the AD&D Dungeon Master’s Guide and Monster Manual, which expanded my gaming mind and our mayhem potential exponentially.
What was your first RPG purchase?