When I first started it was in late 1977 - my Nan had returned from America with a Gift for me - a fairly plain brown with white labels boxed game called "Dungeons & Dragons" - I was just fifteen years old at the time. But my Nan (Maud, my Dads Mum) knew I was mad about such things - she actually thought it was some sort of board game. In actuality she hadn't picked it out, my Cousin in the US had.
I first games with a friend from School, Philip - I poured over that white box with its (lets face it) poorly produced booklets like they were some form of religious text.
The very next Day I was running my first Game for Philip and his Mum Rose - yes his Mum played, though to this day I still believe she didn't really understand what was going on.
As time went on, Philip and I drifted apart - he started hanging around with a bad crown and eventually died in a Car wreck caused by the driver he was with - but thats another story.
Even though I couldn't find another gaming partner, I kept reading and writing Dungeons eventually getting my interest re-kindled when I read an Advert in Starburst Magazine (anyone else remember that) for the Dungeons and Dragons Basic Set - the red Box Cover edition. HOWEVER when I finally found a copy and purchased it I actually purchased the Expert Set and the AD&D Players Handbook at the same time.
I read every inch of every, devouring it voraciously.
Time passed, and I was 19 going on twenty - and being a Keyboard Player and decent Singer I joined a Band. It was at that time I met my Friend Steve Allen and started Gaming Regularly with him and another chap name Chris.
Steve is the ONLY man in the entire history of my Gaming experience to roll 18 for every stat (I kid you not) - Londarth Drogos started his life as a Basic DnD Fighter. Then progressed to an AD&D Fighter, who eventually Dual Classed as a Paladin. Londarth was strong and tough and brave, and eventually reached 25th Level in AD&D 1st Ed. Steves health stopped him playing, and eventually he passed away into the DnD Realms due to Cancer of the Bowell. Its a shame Steve didn't have 18 Con because he had 18 'Heart'.
Chris, though still alive was another Horror Story - his Girlfriend - Val, was a Christian (I'll bet you can see where this is going already) and as a consequence he was FORCED to give up DnD and BURN all his Books! Val-Dec, his Half-Orc was missed around the table. But ya gotta do etc, etc . . .
Ironically enough, Chris and Val divorced some years later and Chris now Games again!
Anyway, back to the story - One day, when rehearsing in my Garage the band members say the Players Handbook, Dungeon Masters Guide, and Monster Manual in my Holdall that I carried my gaming stuff around in - after a chat and some reading (the rehearsal went out of the window) that was it - they were hooked.
Unfortunately this meant rehearsals went on way longer than they should Lol.
In my time I've made so many friends and acquaintances and met so many interesting people because of DnD (and the journey continues) it amazes me why DnD isn't bigger than it is.