|The Iconic Moldvay Box Set|
I don't recall particularly being a fan of fantasy when I was young - at least not before I received a copy of the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings for Christmas while I was in 6th grade. The following year, Christmas of 1981, the same relative who had given me that Tolkien box set put yet another box under my tree, and it's contents cemented my love of fantasy for the rest of my life. There is something special about your first time, and I've commented before about how the artwork from this box is what I see in my head when I think "D&D".
My first fumbling attempts at playing the game began quickly, with me acting as DM while my best friend Tim tackled the Caves of Chaos. I can't really recall any details, but I remember that Tim and I, plus a few others, got involved with a gaming club that met weekly at our middle school library after school. My gaming continued from there, evolving through AD&D, then 2nd Edition as I played through high school and college. I took off a lot of time after that, not coming back to gaming until my kids were older and showed some interest.
Not surprisingly, I went back to that same basic set that I learned on to teach them the game. There's some variation now, as I meld the Rules Cyclopedia, the Mentzer box sets, Labyrinth Lord and other bits and bobs into my game, but for all that, it's still "Basic" D&D that I play - coming full circle. 30 years, and I'm right back where I started...