March 31, 2020

IRT: Circa 1977: UT Students Rescued From Steam Tunnels Underneath Campus. Dungeons and Dragons is Mentioned.

or should i have said Dungeons and Dragons is blamed. Years later it would be blamed for everything.

What is Dungeons and Dragons and why did it trap those poor students in the steam tunnels?   I had to know more about this "Dungeons and Dragons" thing because it sounded like fun.

I managed to find a game and book catalog . I would have just googled it but the internet didn't FUCKING exist back then.  Well , yeah DARPA but don't get me started on those  fuckers.

I had read The Lord of Rings trilogy and I was an lonely,  awkward,  teenager loser. I was primed for Dungeons and Dragons!  I ordered  the 2 "pamphlets" . Yeah , I played the ORIGINAL D&D . No pussy ass Advanced D&D  for me. Well, not for few months at least.  

There wasn't really much to read.  I wasn't sure if I understood it but I was ready to play!  There was just one small problem. I had NO friends.  I told you I was a loser.

I saw Fred at the mall. We had been friends previously. I watched Fred play Defender for a couple hours. He was very good at Defender. Fuck , he WAS Defender.  

As we were  leaving the mall I  asked Fred if he had ever heard of Dungeons and Dungeons and would  he be interested in playing it. He  glanced back at me and said "sure" in the most non-committal way possible.  I didn't really count on his participation. It would take more time before me and Fred would be hanging out.

I went to my younger brother's house. He had escaped  our asshole step-father and found refuge with my grandparents. Looking back, I should  have fucking gone with  him when he ran away.

We played the Caves of Chaos. Bugbears and shit. I still wasn't sure if I understood.

Now I must have had some friends because I ended up at Scott's apartment. I think I  had just started smoking pot and was experiencing a burst of  popularity since I seemed one of few people with a job and could actually afford pot.  Teenagers with weed are teenagers with friends  as I was soon to find out.

Scott approached The Caves of Chaos conundrum a bit differently than my brother. When confronted by a Bugbear,  Scott had others ideas besides conventional melee.  

Scott looked at me quizzically , tilted his head and asked "Can I lasso it?"

My jaw dropped because at that moment I understood Dungeons and Dragons and saw the endless possibilities.  
I replied to Scott, "yeah, yeah, i guess you can".

And that young man who brought D&D to Brownwood for the first time?  That young man's name was Albert Einstein.

The trumpets had been sounded and the dragons had been awakened.  I didn't know it at the time but because of D&D  I would meet  some of the  best people ever and some would become friends for life.