March 29, 2015

Dungeons & Dragons: Explaining My Origins

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Ick, it's been quite the week. Isn't that what I said last time? Now that it's the weekend...oh, wait. Still lots and lots of work to do. Not to worry, though - there's lots more to come in the near and only-slightly-distant future to the site that I can't wait to put out! Never you mind these doldrums. There is one game, though, that is sure to put me out of my spell of week-slap and sit me in a place where I can finally unwind - and that's D&D.

I've been reading a lot about others' gaming origins over the past week or two, so I thought I might explain mine. D&D is one of the major reasons why this blog got started (As in the January re-boot), and I'd like to share my own little journey.

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When I'm not playing games, blogging, or attending to life in general, I'm writing. I love writing fiction and poetry, and that's what I'll be up to if I ever have the chance. A few years ago, I joined the tidal wave of inspiration, support, and craziness that is National Novel Writing Month. I didn't really know what to expect from it, but when I joined a local writing circle, I was surprised to very quickly make a lot of friends, many of whom I keep in touch with today.

Any writer can agree that a circle of writers makes a very tightly-knit family within hours, and that's how it turned out with me. Within meetups, we were trading passages, editing, and throwing rubber ducks at each other at every opportunity - don't ask... So when my birthday came around in 2013, my circle remembered and all pitched in to surprise me! Because we convened at a food court, they bought a cake on the spot and borrowed cutlery from the staff as we all sat down with our laptops for what would have been a writing session. I looked up from my computer not only to see our sci-fi writer holding a knife - Oh, no... - but a massive cake on the table!

Needless to say, I was surprised pretty much out of my mind. I put my laptop away and helped cut the cake, passing it out to everyone attending. A few gift bags were placed before me, and I relished in what my friends came up with, from more rubber ducks, to journals, to story-telling games...and then something peculiar that smelled like book glue, a box of dice left on top of the wrapping paper.

"We got these when they first came out," my friend explained, her husband smiling as he unpacked the dice, putting them into a small drawstring bag. "We know you're into roleplaying and fantasy novels, so we thought that these would be a good place for you to start." I unwrapped what happened to be the very first part of my adventure: AD&D books - a monster manual, a player's handbook, and even a Dungeon Master's guide. Little did I know, these would lead to something...profound.

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"Hey, check out these books!"

Skip forward a few months. I'd already read through all the complex tables and things too many times, and I had memorized every facet of the stain on page 200-something. The little silver d20 fit perfectly in my hand, and I put it on the table as I took the books off of my shelf. I opened them and gestured for my friend, Rox (mentioned once or twice here), to take a look. We spent...maybe three hours flipping. I also had 4e books at that point, and we passed those around. We had more interest in the AD&D books, though.

The next week, Rox and I went to a store in the city to give D&D a try. Looking back on it, our first attempts were a little weird and unconventional - probably not the way I'd suggest a newer player to go - but it was enough to get us more into the feel of the game. I then opted into a more local table that was mere minutes from Rox's place for my next sessions. Needless to say, I was even more in love with the game than before. There were so many ways for my character - Thevyre (version 1) at the time - to express herself, and I was also in company of a terrific table. I think it was from there that my journey really began.

I extended the love to as many people as I could touch. Already mentioned are people like Rox, Glow, Stormy, and Sparky, many of which have started to play, and then people like Lemoni and Phil who are working to start tables. And then in the table, I cultivated friendships and now get to feel very comfortable when I constantly can't add or remember the rules of a spell.

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For the longest time before I started playing D&D, I only exposed myself to a few games. However, as time spent with my tablemates went on, I was exposed to so much more gaming material. I finally got my Steam account shortly after attending PAX with my table last year, and I quickly made the decision to open my blog up to more content.

But, for every new game I open up or hour I spend voice-acting and commentating to a wall, there will be no other experience for me like D&D, not only for how much fun it is, but for its significance in my journey to get to where I am today - and what a journey I've had, both here and in the mindsets of my characters.

Are you a D&D player? Think I can convince you to get started? Have any questions? Leave me a comment below. If you liked what you read, then let me know by sharing this post on social media!

2 comments:

  1. Sounds fun and very connecting. No wonder you love it so much. I have never played it and have only seen it portrayed in film so it is so neat to hear what it is really like. Thank you for sharing your world with us. I so love your writing style. I always feel like I have been sitting across a table from you sipping yummy tea and listening to you share your heart. Like friends always do.
    Never stop. :D

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    1. Thanks, Chrissy! You always make my day with your comments.

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