Ride for initiative!
If you’ve ever played a game of Dungeons and Dragons, those words fill you with either excitement or cold dread. This means the fight has begun, no matter how prepared you are or not.
D&D, as it’s more commonly known, is a tabletop role-playing game set in fantasy worlds created by Dungeon Masters. With a character sheet, dice set, and character model, players embark on epic adventures to save the world or, more likely, get into drunken brawls at the local tavern.
This is something that has interested me for much of my life. Growing up, I loved reading fantasy novels, including simarilion and I dreamed, and still do, of becoming an author and sharing my own epic stories with the world.
Despite my natural predisposition, I never played a real D&D game until this spring. I did makeshift games in high school and did Lego D&D campaigns with my brothers, but it was more for quick fun.
In D&D, your fate is literally tied to a roll of the dice. You’ll spend an hour building your character by selecting their backstory, stats, weapons, and race, turning them into a powerful hero capable of killing goblins with a single blow. However, all of that won’t matter if you roll a natural one and accidentally cut off your mate’s arm.
That’s what nearly happened to my character Kal’Dor on my last “Nerd Night” at a friend’s house. A naïve and somewhat clumsy half-orc monk, Kal’dor is a pugilist who learns the ropes of adventure, much like I learn the rules of the game myself.
So when a Mimic, a monster disguised as a door, bit my arms during my last session, I was in trouble. As my companions rushed to my aid and attacked the door, I also managed to jam my foot before Bjorn Bjornson, a noble knight and servant of Helm, struck me with his sword and nearly killed me.
Despite the stereotype that D&D is a game for nerds and shut-ins, it’s so much more than that. It’s a game that lets reporters, firefighters, grocers, anyone really, become a graceful ranger, virtuous paladin or crazed barbarian and live out their fantasies.
In the meantime, I’ll roll the dice for better luck the next time my friends try to save my life.
100 mile house