I was introduced to D&D at age 9. Back then, I thought a “two-handed sword” was two seperate weapons, I did not know dice were involved in the game, and I did not realize we were playing characters from Dragonlance. (By the way, someone smack the person who came up with THAC0 instead of simple addition.) I cannot remember how the topic of playing D&D at recess even came about. Through the years and many edition of the game, I have learned a great deal more about D&D and gaming in general. But the one thing where gamers are the worst is their arrogance about how long they have played, what system(s) they started with, and whatever gaming “cred” they believe they have. If there is any barrier to entry for playing games (especially D&D) is the attitude of seasoned gamers.
Next Sunday, I am hosting a new game with several D&D newcomers who are interested in getting into the game. It is a really great responsibility to introduce people to a pastime and passion shared by so many. It is also up to the old timers not to screw it up. People do not play D&D to hear your war stories, they are there to make their own. I think it will be wonderful to take people through some of the gaming tropes that I know well, but they are experiencing for the first time. Even the rumors in the tavern are new.
Now to do decide on an existing setting or use something homebrew…
But… what do I know…?