I had never really gotten passed my ill fated D&D adventure with my cousins. Even though I totally owned HeroQuest, and had some rpg computer games under my belt (Betrayal at Krondor, Eye of the Beholder) I still felt a void in my gaming life. I had not mastered D&D and therefore felt like a gaming fraud. My friend Louise felt a similar hole in her life, but I believe it was more a result of cutting her teeth on HeroQuest and wanting more. Louise had joined many of my family's modified HeroQuest games -a story for another time and was on the road to becoming a serious gamer. But what did two girls in the suburbs know about D&D, or where to find an active D&D gaming group for that matter? Not much.
Fortunately, we had a friend, who had friends who played D&D on the weekends. What luck right? Needless to say we were really excited about getting an invite to join the group one Saturday. Matt, our friend with the connections, helped us to create our characters and even gave us some beautiful pencil drawings of his interpretation of what our characters looked like. I wish I still knew where my character drawing was. I have a feeling that one of my siblings took it. Just like they took the handpainted figurines I rightful stole from my dad. Anyway, this time I picked a rogue character to play I figured as a rogue I would be able to take a hit. As it turns out the rogue class is the type of character I still prefer.
The day of the campaign arrived and Matt walked us to his friends house for the game. For the next couple of hours we played, talked and laughed. It was great. I didn't die once! But then again we had a pretty big party: 2 warriors, 1 rogue, 1 magic user and a priest. Everything was going great until I started noticing the the world around me -the real world that is. We were in a cold basement that had a foul stale smell. The DM got a nose bleed early in the game and had to play the rest of it with toilet paper up his nose. Then I noticed that one of the players was the really 'dark' guy from school, who reminded me of the unibomber, kinda creeped me out. In the end, even though we really did enjoyed the game, both Louise and I agreed that we were not going to do that again. It was too close to cliche for comfort.
I sometimes wish I hadn't been so shallow and continued to go. But even as I write this it occurs to me that the guys never actually invited us to play again either. Who knows, maybe they were put off by having girls play with them. Perhaps we were too n00bish. I'll never know for sure.
And another thing, why is the cliche of D&D gaming that of a group of social misfits gaming in the basement? Everyone else I know who has D&D gaming groups are well adjusted and play in the dinning room (better table space). Something to think about.