Life | Gaming | Creativity

My First Dungeons and Dragons Tournament

How I introduced the original D&D game to Pocatello, Idaho

Karen Brenchley
6 min readJun 5, 2023


The rulebook for Dungeons and Dragons (Wizards of the Coast)

I come by it honestly. Yes, I was a girl, but I found math and programming computers much more interesting than the possibility of being a teacher or a secretary. I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings trilogy in the fourth grade.

So it was just by chance that I picked up a catalog from one of the big department stores that are now out of business, sent by mistake I’m sure, because Pocatello, Idaho wasn’t the sort of place to wear New York clothes. But I was bored.

As I flipped through the catalog (this must have been around 1978), flipping quickly past all the evening gowns and other dresses, I came across something amazing.

This changed my (social) life forever

There was a picture of a box, decorated with a wizard holding a glowing wand next to an armored knight holding a drawn bow, standing ready to fight in front of a giant winged dragon sitting on a pile of gold coins.

Across the top were the words “DUNGEONS & DRAGONS”. I was hooked. I sent for it immediately (after I gave my mother some of my savings and she wrote a check).



Karen Brenchley

Product manager for machine learning and data science, aikido nidan, published fiction writer, MS survivor