I’d like to take this Mother’s Day to thank my mother for always being supportive. We played a variety board and card games when I was young, and while we didn’t play any role-playing games, she always supported this hobby of mine.
I first encountered role-playing games when I was nine or ten and a friend (Hey D!) at an after school program introduced me to a home made game Space Pirates. This in turn led to AD&D and a host of other games as we grew up. This was in the early 90’s, so the D&D-leads-to-diablerie craze had subsided, but its effects were still lingering. One of the teachers, for instance, forbade D&D by name, but allowed other RPGs. I recall my friend and I once going to the library to covertly “study” Dungeons and Dragons.
My mother remembers the D&D scare of the 80’s, but it had mostly subsided by the time I started playing. More importantly, she was more curious about the game than afraid it’d corrupt me. In her words, “anything taken to an obsession isn’t healthy.” Furthermore, she enjoyed having my friends and I at the house playing together, and RPGs certainly frequently brought us together.
A few years ago my mother reminisced that I liked to play clerics. It tickled me pink that she’d remember something so specific. And yes, I do still have a soft spot for holy characters. She was always encouraging me to use my imagination, and that came out in various ways. I remember one day pining away for some game supplement, and she replied it’d be more rewarding to use my imagination and create my own world. Looking back, I’m sure this was at least partly to save money, but this encouragement to creativity stuck with me nonetheless.
My father was encouraging of my hobbies as well, and we often went to the game store together, but that’s a story for Father’s Day.