It took no time for me to fall in love with roleplaying games. Dungeons and Dragons was my first foray into this mysterious world; even controversial at times. It had been unfairly criticized by some as being related to demon worship. I’m here to tell you now, if anything, its quite possibly the opposite.
The premise of the game is like a reading a book. Its a book that has yet to be written though. Each person assumes control of a character. This is the player and player character or PC for the experienced. We tell the story of these characters together as a group. It is most often an epic tale of good versus evil. The PCs are heroic beings trudging through dungeons eradicating evil with devastating spells and a whirlwind of blades… and other medieval weaponry.
The scene typically looks like this a group of teenagers huddled around a table, smelling strongly of body odor. Each person bobbling a number of dice in his or her hands. Each anxiously awaiting their respective turn and thus their attempt to slay some horrible hideous monster. The player jumps out off the chair and announces his character’s action.
“I swing my sword at the orc guard!”
Dice are rolled and based on the calculated numbers, the Dungeonmaster determines the outcome. The Dungeonmaster is equivalent to the narrator as it relates to the aforementioned book analogy. The DM controls the environment and the enemies of the game. This is an important and challenging role. The DM controls many different characters in the game. The shopkeeper, the orc guard, the main boss; even the weather and tricks and traps. The Dungeonmaster’s character is the world in which the PCs interact.
There are immense tomes full of rules. They have lists of who and what you can be and the rules that make it work. The books have details about the actions you can perform in the game. and how those actions affect the outcome of the story. There are so many rules it can take a decade to finally get them down. And yet, despite this, creativity and imagination are of the utmost importance. The story that is born of it is so memorable. Ive always thought about documenting. It could even sell with some creative influence. It is so easy to get caught up in the game and the ensuing story it is hard to keep track of it all. I think the only way to go about it would be to record the event.
In the 2 decades I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons, I have never been inclined to worship demons. In fact I am a practicing Mormon. Which is quite the opposite (despite what you may have heard.) We don’t draw pentagrams and there are no animal sacrifices. And there is no conspiring to do evil… unless perhaps in a fantasy world. A fantasy world interacted with a collaboration of minds and pencils and dice. It has always been more about camaraderie and the feeling of belonging. What possibly could be more inclusive, safe and pure than collaborative storytelling. I would implore you to be open minded to trying it at least a few times. It is a complex game and it will seem daunting at first but it has been a blessing and a joy in my life.