As a 12 year old I had bought a number of AD&D books from their display on a rotunda at the back of my small local bookstore. I started with the Dungeon Master’s Guide, as the Player’s Handbook was out of stock that week.

So my introduction was Jeff Easley’s amazing swirling elemental wizardry holding forth against a viscous red dragon. Opening the book I read through all of the incredible magical treasures before I got a glance of the rules and spells the following Saturday.

Jess Easley’s Covers to 1989’s AD&D Core rulebooks

Gather Your Party?

Platforms, such as Roll20, make it fairly easy to get a group of players together. Back before Web 1.0 it was a lot more difficult. Small town U.K. did not give much chance for gaming meet-ups, for 12 year olds at least. I played in a couple of short-lived games though, starting with the original DnD.

On the Origin of PCs

It wasn’t until the immortal Baldur’s Gate that I gathered my party and ventured forth. Twenty years or so later, my kids are now playing the same game on their Switches.

My wife, our kids and I used to play Dungeons and Dragons 5e. It’s a good game for introducing people to table top role play due to its simplicity. I was certainly very glad, when I picked up the core 5e rule books, to see a return to the 3/3.5 flavour.

A few of our DND 5e adventure books

Having played through several 5e campaigns and several standalone adventures we have worn through that simplicity, which happened to coincide with the Pathfinder Playtest and the subsequent Pathfinder 2e’s release.

Bridge Over Troubled Waters

With the first Pathfinder 2e stand-alone adventure complete and the titular village of Plaguestone saved, our party of a paladin of Iomedae, a wild shaping elfling and a burning leopard (and the leopard’s pet cinder rat) are settling down in the nearby hills and valleys.

The Fall of Plaguestone

We may return to these much enjoyed characters in the future, but decided to create a new party for the Age of Ashes campaign.

Age of Ashes Adventure Path

2021 Update: A Journey of a Thousand Miles

We played through the first couple of books of Age of Ashes but found the game mechanics of PF2e were getting in the way of the game. The 3 action turn seems sensible but it pushes each turn to be very similar to the last.

Skill checks were made easier by their mechanics being made available online by people working for free. Each check still took time though and had an artificial rigidity to them.

We returned to 5e with the Icewind Dale adventure and at the same time started some old school DnD one shots to teach the kids a more gritty style of play.

Enjoying many versions of DnD, I also post up clips and reviews on YouTube. I’m over 2 million views in the first few months, which is fun.

I’m also on Twitter @CambionBlack.

It would be great to hear about your thoughts on introductions to table top roleplay and your own DND journeys?



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