I have a confession: I play Dungeons and Dragons. I have two characters – a human and a half-elf – and I even own my own dice.
What’s worse is, well, I like it. A lot.
And to answer a question one of my friends asked when she found out I started playing, Yes, D&D is very much still around.
Don’t get me wrong, I know what a big deal this confession is. If anyone would have asked me 30 years ago if I thought I’d ever have an interest in Dungeons and Dragons, I’d have laughed at them. Thirty years ago I was 16, completely self-absorbed, smoking cigarettes with my friends behind the buildings at high school football games. I listened to Motley Crue, Black Sabbath, AC/DC – and Air Supply, Andy Gibb, Duran Duran and Loverboy.
The only thing I played when I was 16 was backgammon or Scrabble with my dad, and even that was becoming a rarity at 16.
That’s not to say I didn’t do role-playing. Oh no, we all play different roles when we’re 16: we’re the badass with our friends, except our best friends, who know who we really are; we’re the rebel (I was the compliant rebel most of the time) with our parents; the good girl with our pastors; the A student with our teachers. I played a variety of roles back then, but never, NEVER did I play a half-elf fighting off hobgoblins and trolls.
To be honest, if anyone had asked me two years ago what I thought of D&D, I’m not sure I would have responded. Most likely I would have given them the, “Are you kidding me right now?” look and moved on, ignoring the question. I mean, really, who still plays Dungeons & Dragons?
Well, it turns out, my boyfriend does. And so do his kids, and their spouses/partners. And, now, so do I.
And it’s fun.
We’ve gotten together one night of almost every weekend the last three months, sat around a big table with our map and die-cast characters and worked on a mission of freeing a group of people who were captured and made into slaves in a giant castle filled with monsters.
I happily played with my first character, a human fighter named Murphy (hey, I was new, I was told to name my character and I gave the first Irish name that came to mind), for a while when I was first introduced to the game last fall, but I didn’t play much. This summer our games took on new life and became a weekly event. After a while, Mark, the boyfriend/Dungeon Master, asked if I wanted a new character, one with some magical powers.
This time I gave some more thought to my name. (Mostly because I was publicly ridiculed for having a character named Murphy. I believe I was told that “Murphy is not a D&D name.”) I searched Irish elf names and came up with Scoithniam, pronounced SKUH nyee uv, which means “shining, radiant blossom.” OK, still not much of name for strength and intimidation, but it’s cool.
I’ll admit it, I initially agreed to play so I could spend time with Mark and see what he found so intriguing about this game. The first night I felt a little self-conscious, but the more I play, the more I like it. We’re not dressing up and flailing real swords and maces and daggers – but we are in our minds, which makes it even more fun.