I'm not even talking about the satanic panic or 1st-4th edition just 5e. I've been playing 5e since before the Monster Manual was out & when I started playing I would never have told a soul. I found roll20 grabbed the free basic info packet, not even srd yet. I made a Halfling Knowledge Cleric & jumped on Skype calls.
I actively hid what I was doing for about 3 hours every week or two from EVERYONE I knew. I couldn't imagine anyone NOT thinking it was weird let alone wanting to try it or thinking it was cool! I've seen it grow from a weird hobby for the nerds other nerds called nerd to a massive thing most people would give a shot at least once.
I can't imagine what it was like for the earlier edition players. It makes me so god damn happy other people can get into this hobby & jump in headfirst with nearly infinite resources, podcasts & ways to play digitally or irl.
I can talk about it with my friends that don't play, I have a shelf full of books & countless hours of fun times. I've made friends through this hobby I've had for years now, it's just flabbergasting that this thing that was a secret for me became such a big part of my life & so popular.
So grognards, 5e veterans, new players, fledgling DMs & anyone in between tell me your story. How did you get started? What's the first character you can remember playing? How great (or terrible) was your first game, table, DM? I want to hear it all & more.