Today your regularly scheduled article is coming a little late, there’s a lot of reasons for this but one in particular is that I have been spending a lot of time recently as a dungeon master. Yes, I know that sounds like the role of cult leader or a position in a medieval themed S&M group but it’s actually much more nefarious. A Dungeon Master is someone who creates and runs Dungeons and Dragons’ games, I like to think I’m a pretty good one but I prefer 4th edition so what do I know (a little joke for all the D&D players reading). The thing is, I am a Dungeon Master, a role that takes up a lot of my time and energy, but I am also a copywriter, a party animal and capable of following a hygiene routine on a daily basis. Furthermore, the group of people I play Dungeons and Dragons with is vast, in my eight person party there is a tax officer, a historian, a linguist, a geographer, a chemist, a musician, a cameraman for the BBC and a manager each with different reasons for playing. They all take the game seriously and they all have lives away from the D20’s.
Why Not Give It A Go?
I feel like Dungeons and Dragons, as well as other roleplaying games, have received a pretty bad rap in modern pop-culture, shows like the Big Bang Theory and even Futurama have categorised players as the lowest form of geek. There is a supposition that the players need to escape their own reality and so there lives must be somehow devoid of fun or importance. Nothing could be further from the truth. If you are able to take a couple of bits of card and plastic and turn it into an epic battle between the forces of good and evil, then just think what you are capable of in other aspects of your life. Dungeons and Dragons is a natural evolution of the classic ‘What if?’ or ‘Would you rather?’ games that most people play on a regular basis except it goes a stage further as askes you and your friends to consider scenario after scenario. This creates a safe theatre into which you are able to test your problem solving, your ethical understanding and even your communication abilities. The game encourages you to reconnect with that moment when you were a kid on the playground pretending to be a superhero or a great warrior and I feel that connection can only be positive.
Where To Start?
The first thing any Dungeons and Dragons player needs is friends who at least have a passing interest in things related to the game, whether it’s playing video games like Skyrim or watching films like Lord Of The Rings. Then you need to designate someone as a Dungeon Master, this should be the most creative player who is willing to put the time in to study the rule books. Then everyone needs to go away and give the Dungeon Master enough time to buy all the core rulebooks and study up. After that the players should attempt to buy Player’s Handbooks and create a character each. The Dungeon Master will then invite everyone to a location to put them to the test. This location can be a sweaty basement but there is no reason why it can’t be in the back of a Starbucks or the upstairs of a pub or even in a dining room with a few beers and some good music (which is normally my group’s preference). Then it’s time for the players to go on an adventure and for the Dungeon Master to start putting them through their paces, kill characters and even force players to turn on each other (always a moment of glee for any Dungeon Master). Dungeons and Dragons has created some of the best and most interesting moments between me and my friends, it’s strengthened relationships for me and lead to me becoming a more well-rounded person and for that I owe it a debt of gratitude. Go play Dungeons and Dragons.
…That was this week’s BearSleuth Opinion Piece!!! Check back tomorrow for a brand new Comic History 101!!!