|Dear old Chirine, as a 1st Level D&D PC|
I'd been invited to come and play in a D&D campaign at the FLGS, and I had my first session yesterday. Several players were astonished to hear that this was my very first real game of D&D, and I had to point out that the previous GMs I'd had (Dave, Phil, and Gary) were not much into rules mechanics but rather into setting and story; as a result, I'd never really played the game 'by the book'.
The GM came up with a very good replication of Chirine as he was in early 1976; the character sheet is above. We were in Blackmoor castle's dungeon, starting on level two and moving up to level one. This was the modern d20 version of Blackmoor, not the FFG early version. The players were the usual diverse bunch, with a very useful variety of classes and skills, and they worked well together; very solid playing, very solid approach, and while I did offer some tactical advice from time to time, they really did a great job and provided this newbie with a wonderful time.
I did find a couple of things disconcerting, though. This was D&D 5.0, and I was amazed at all the numbers and number-crunching that had to be done in order to do the simplest actions. I was also amazed, after reading the rules books, at just how much 'gaming lore' had to be spelled out for people - but then, if you're selling a game to people with no knowledge of what the game is and how it works, then you have to have this kind of thing.
I also read through the two d20 Blackmoor books, and I have to say that while they are great books and a good grounding in Blackmoor, I had problems with them. I played with Dave when Blackmoor was in an earlier incarnation, and the d20 version is later and - frankly - doesn't seem to have much Dave Arneson in it. Lots of things, like Gertie the Great Golden Dragon on her island in the bay, are gone; Blackmoor is now a Very Serious Place, where Serious Gamers play Serious Games. The whimsy that marked Dave's games isn't there, and I felt very out of place and out of time.
What made this game, however, were the players and the GM. Great fun, lots of laughs, and I had a great time. (Which, I think, is what the game is all about.) My heartfelt thanks to all of them for a wonderful time!