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In the end of January, Dungeons & Dragons had its fortieth anniversary. This seminal RPG has become the basis for much of what we think of as tabletop RPGs, and many of the tropes and cliches associated with them come from Dungeons & Dragons. I was originally introduced to D&D when I spent a year abroad, and have loved gaming ever since. Currently in its (much criticized) fourth version, Wizards of the Coast are working on the fifth edition of D&D.
The various editions of D&D have had a profound effect on my life, and really helped me out when I was not as much of a social person as I am now. While most campaigns I have played have been basic dungeon-crawl hack-and-slash fun, they have all had one thing in common; they have provided me with a safe place to explore different sides of my personality. Also significant have been the many friends and acquaintances I have made through gaming.
RPGs are a great way to let off steam, and to spend time creating a story together. While the time afforded to old school RPGs have lessened, their impact remains, and for that I am grateful.