Playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in 1985

Today’s Photo of the Day veers away from from computers to concentrate on another of my favorite childhood hobbies, Roleplaying. The pic, taken by Jason Azze, shows Jason and his buddies sitting around a table playing one of the best games ever made, Advanced Dungeons & Dragons. I am fascinated by images like this, since it captures moments from my childhood so perfectly. What is different from my experience as a kid, is that we did not have a cool fondue pot in the background and the DM screens where ALWAYS firmly in place when we played.

AD&D Game 1985


Garry Vander Voort

Editor/Podcaster at Retroist
The Retroist is like a BBQ on a bun without the bones. You're only human daddy. Chomp!

Latest posts by Garry Vander Voort (see all)

Subscribe to the Retroist Newsletter

* indicates required

7 thoughts on “Playing Advanced Dungeons and Dragons in 1985

  1. Badwolf says:

    Jeez – how could they fit it on such a small table? When I played AD&D with Dave Kennedy, Roy Potter, and the gang (about 5 of us), we took up like a whole dining room table. We had books and maps and charts and tables. It was so much fun. I’d like to get into it again, but the game has changed so much, I’d probably suck at it. I also have no time.

  2. garsh says:

    See, this is why I was never drawn into D&D. Look at those dudes. They’ve got notebooks and stuff sprawled out on a table. There are no figurines, no colorful board unfolded with cool dungeon layouts… it looks like they’re telling jokes to procrastinate homework.

  3. Yeah I can see what you mean Garsh. It is not the type of game that just reaches across the room and grabs you. Perhaps its pursuing it despite its inaccessibility is why people are so passionate about it.

    When I first played I started out with a lot more maps and figurines, but as time went on those did not get pulled out as much.

  4. Payton says:

    Badwolf…You should try Pathfinder by Paizo. It’s the spiritual successor to D&D and was created by the same people who worked on D&D. It’s been called “D&D 3.75”.

    Part of what makes it so fun is the weekly Pathfinder Society.

    “In Pathfinder Society Organized Play, you play a member of the Pathfinder Society, seeking fortune and glory all over the face of Golarion. At the same time, your character works for one of the competing factions, all with their own motivations and secret agendas.

    Pathfinder Society Organized Play is a constantly evolving mega-campaign played by thousands of players and the adventures you experience are shared by players around the world. Play is organized into Seasons, throughout which the actions and achievements of you and your fellow Pathfinders create an ongoing storyline. Each season consists of at least 28 Pathfinder Society scenarios (short, 4-hour adventures) set in a variety of exotic locations across Golarion.”

  5. Drahken says:

    I was always enthralled by the idea of D&D, but was never able to find materials nor other players. It wsn’t until the late 90s that I even got my hands on the basic books (I found a set of original hardcover player manul, dungeon master, and monster manual at the thrift store for $9). To this day, I’ve never had an opportunity to do anything more than read through the books.

Leave a Reply