The first game of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D for short) I ever played was at a friend’s birthday party and it was amazing! At the age of 12 there was enough energy, imagination and directed confusion that whatever was going on was destined to be fun! So I never heard of D&D before and the short version went like this: “Hey guys, we’re going to play a different game tonight, this one doesn’t have a board like Monopoly or Life.” We were all to pick out what we wanted to play; mighty warrior, cagey thief, stalwart dwarf, magical elf, protective cleric or a mystical mage. Character sheets were handed out and equipment selected. We all had an interest in fantasy movies like Dragonslayer and Star Wars, books like Lord of the Rings and Tolkien’s other works, Michael Moorcock’s Elric series and others, so we knew what to bring to drive our enemies before us and crush them!
This was a game using the Basic D&D rules, pretty simple, ages 10+ or so, and since our birthday boy was an old hat at the game he guided us through the beginnings of the adventure “B4: The Lost City”. This little beauty had the party of adventurers trekking through the desert looking for shelter during an increasingly strong sandstorm which, luckily, uncovers the remains of a city swallowed by the dunes. Remember this was the first go at it for most of us and the game master had a knack for description and action so we were all immersed in this game, pitting us intrepid explorers against a cult that worshiped an evil demigod incarnate deep below the sand. Several factions in the city were there, the moving parts in the puzzle that made up the scenario. Some could be friends, some could be enemies; depending on how we interacted with them. We played through the game with some lucky rolls of the dice here and there, carefully planning our assault on the evil demigod and the temple it was barricaded in. We snuck in and made our way through the upper level of the temple and proceeded to avoid or subdue any guards met along the way down into the sub-level where we were sure to find our quarry. A rough-hewn stone passage opened up into a cavern where our final encounter lair…a wet grotto of poorly lit and stinking filth in which we were the intruders and had roused an angry and hungry beast. Combat engaged and was going poorly for our little band, a few minutes into it and we were already at half strength, having lost our best fighter to the tentacle attack of our foe, most of our offense pelting harmlessly off the creature’s hide, a monstrous beast with a mass of arms like an octopus and upper torso of a man with a single horn protruding from its forehead. Inspired by words from beyond, our mage targeted a large stalactite above the monster and sent his last spell into it knocking the large chunk of stone loose from the ceiling and crashing down into the skull of our opponent, killing it and ending the adventure on a high note. Players all celebrated and considered this a big win mostly because we all had such a fun time but also having taken out the big bad guy in magnificent fashion. We soon began playing D&D on a more regular basis and had many more adventures and tales to tell.
So, having had so much fun as a kid, I wanted to pass that on to my own brood and in the early 2003 I introduced my boys to D&D 3rd edition via a couple scenarios out of Dungeon Magazine. Dungeon was a magazine that was full of adventures and articles focused on the game mastering side of D&D, information on game worlds, cities, adventure locations and items and non-player characters to include in your games to give them a life of their own and a sense of having some depth. Now, at the time, that magazine was being produced by Paizo who was sort of a publishing arm for Wizards of the Coast and was making both Dungeon magazine and Dragon magazine. Wizards of the Coast had released an Open Gaming License for the current version of D&D (3.0) which let other publishers put out compatible game products, presumably to grow the market and diversity of offerings for D&D target audience. This allowed Paizo to branch out and publish their own brand of D&D known as Pathfinder. Pathfinder is a successful game in its own right and a lot of folks liked its more traditional take on a fantasy based RPG so that when Wizards released its 4th Edition of D&D and took the game in a different direction a lot of the gamers took their voting dollars over to Pathfinder and it actually outsold D&D 4th edition from the 2nd quarter of 2011 through fall of 2013. Now this was the David vs. Goliath of the RPG world since D&D had been the best -selling game since 1974. Being more fanboy than practical gamer I got both Pathfinder and the 4th Edition D&D when they launched and the kids and I enjoyed a few games of 4th and even went over to the Origins game fair in Columbus, Ohio for a long weekend of gaming, gaming panels and exhibit halls where you could play test upcoming games and often find old games at good prices. All in all a great time. That was the last time we all played together on a tabletop RPG, now its Xbox Live and games of Destiny or Battlefield and there’s not much chit chat going on unless it involves locating an enemy sniper or where to take cover. So gather some friends, play a board game, some cards or have a tall tale telling contest, just enjoy some company and create some lasting bonds through games and fun!
 Pathfinder was the top-selling role-playing game in the second quarter of 2011,  autumn 2012,  spring 2013,and autumn 2013. It replaced Dungeons & Dragons, which had been the best-selling game since 1974.