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Roger Girtman, DM

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Me and my family

I first started gaming in the early 80s with the red '83 Mentzer Basic Rules boxed set. I don't remember if I was in kindergarten or first grade, but I was so young that I certainly had no clue what I was doing. Usually, a game session consisted of myself sitting in front of my character sheet with my mother pointing to a die saying, "roll that one." After a time, I caught on, and started playing my own character, instead of having my mom do it for me. That first character, a halfling named Roger Littleguy, still exists somewhere in an old house ravaged by Hurricane Katrina.

Time passed. I grew up. I kept gaming. I've played every edition of D&D ever published as well as dozens of other non-D&D and non-fantasy RPGs, but I keep coming back to my roots--that old red box.

The box doesn't exist anymore, and the Player's Manual doesn't have a back cover or the page in the middle with the graph paper printed on it, but everything else is still there. I have just about everything ever produced for classic D&D, the Known World, and Mystara in one form or another. I am missing a few odds and ends, but I'll get those soon enough.

Now, here I am, twenty-eight years old, married (and previously divorced--no, it had nothing to do with too much gaming) with children, an ordained minister (Wiccan, if you must know), enlisted into the US Air Force, and still, the one thing that remains constant throughout my life is a complete and utter addiction to Mystara and the D&D game. For me, it is a drug. While others get high or drunk, or go out hunting, or some other nonsense whenever they need a break, or just to wind down from that greatest of adventures we call real-life... I break out the dice. That is who I am. Gaming is my sanctuary, my solace.

No, I am not some whacked-out nut-job that cannot distinguish fantasy from reality. I have a job (I'm an enlisted service-member, remember?) and I do remember to eat, bathe regularly, brush my teeth, and even take my wife out to eat every now and then. I have friends outside of my gaming group, as well as other interests and hobbies. I'm quite politically active (a registered Libertarian) and religious (you can call me "Rev"). But once a week, if everything goes well, I don't have to worry about bills, or in-laws, or landladies, or supervisors, or Afghanistan, or anything except figuring out how many hit points can Bargle lose before he has to escape and foil the party's plan to capture him for the 1,000 gp bounty.

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