The first time I ever played an RPG, it was solo. It was basically me playing around with some random rules for D&D that I found on the internet (little did I know that it was the SRD) and fiddled around with a story. It wasn’t major, but rather a simple story about an elf archer defending the woods.
How I got into D&D, however, is a completely different story in of itself. There were at least three major moments that I can clearly remember being core to me discovering D&D and thus creating an interest for RPGs.
The first moment was a field trip to an art museum in Toronto. Part of the trip involved us having to paint a monster. We were given books for inspiration: books about monsters and what they look like. I remember one in particular: a large harpy-like monster that carried a person off by her claws. The title was something that stuck in my head: The Monster Manual. To me, I thought it was some kind of encyclopedia for various monsters. I mean, it is, but just an encyclopedia and not also including stat blocks. Unfortunately, my memory is fuzzy as to the other pages of the Manual, but I can pick out the harpy.
The next moment was when my dad took me to see Dungeons and Dragons. Yes, the movie where a blue-lipped man murders some dude named Snails. I don’t remember a lot out of the movie outside of that and a huge dragon war. Also, that moment at the end where the protagonist makes a tombstone for Snails. Before you ask, no, I wasn’t crying tears for Snails, but the fact that those were the two moments that stuck in my head means I felt something.
The final moment that pivoted me into playing D&D was a trip to Hamilton, where, at a nearby toy store, my eyes came across a miniature starter set. More importantly, it said Dungeons and Dragons on the thing. Having a fondness for the movie, I got it and, while I never played the game, I fiddled around with the characters and pretended to have these awesome adventures.
I noticed the website and so I hit that up, to which I was finally sold on D&D with a demo game. It was basically a flash tutorial on the base idea of how to play D&D, but what told me of its potential was how I could practically do whatever I want. Now, this was before I realized that what they mean to say was that “so long as the GM allows it, you can do it”. And thus, I was promptly interested in playing an RPG.
Problem was, I had no idea how to go about it. This was before the days of Mythic and I was too young at the time to consider creating my own system, and so I was filled with the idea of playing an RPG, and the best was in this case? My mind was already wired to play RPGs solo. I had no idea that RPGs was meant to be played with other people and even if I did, who would play it? I lived in a simple town where there was no easy access to RPGs, not even a FLGS. Not only that, but the 90’s would give rise to a whole new kind of RPG: Vampire. But I didn’t want to be a vampire. I want to be Redgar, the Human Fighter, going on adventures with his sidekick Aramil.
Though, there was another role I wanted to play instead of a fighter… I wanted to play a superhero.
At that same time, I discovered the original Marvel Superhero RPG, the one that uses FASERIP. I was a big fan of superheroes, particularly the Power Rangers. Though I never fully played around with the system, just read the many, many books that were offered out. These included different rulebooks, a huge variety of modules, and even some splatbooks. One book in particular was the Campaign Set, which detailed the city of New York, albeit through the lens of the pre-Dark Age Marvel Universe. I’d read them cover to cover and that would be enough to satisfy me, though with the lingering thought of me wanting to play the game at some point.
The only actual time I’ve played the game was during a one-shot where it pitted the Avengers against the Justice League, then later on, the Suicide Squad against the Sinister Six. Perhaps one day, I’ll play through a Module solo and see how that goes.
Another superhero RPG I wanted to play was Capes, and I fulfilled that. I’ve also fulfilled the desire to play Snakes on a Plane the RPG, as well as Legend to an extent. There were many other RPGs I wanted to play as time went on, and now that I have Solo RPG Voyages, I can do just that…
However, there were a few RPGs that I have played solo, yet never detailed their stories here. So, tune in next time as I go through the stories of my games before SRV.