Much More Fun Than You Might Think

So, you might have picked up that I’ve been on something of a fantasy kick lately. One thing that I’ve considered doing off and on for several years now (Okay, ever since I got out grad. school – whatever) was picking up role-playing games again. I played them a lot as a kid and loved every minute of it. They appealed to me on so many levels: tons of maps, loads of math & tables, and open ended stories.

I ended up find a group on MeetUp.org who run some 4 hour games, once a month; most of which were aimed at beginners and people getting back into the game. This sounded like a perfect fit. Saturday evening, I broke out an old Player’s Handbook and created1 a pretty basic character for myself. I was never very good at coming up with fantasy character names (I once named a rogue character Robin Stealer. Subtle, no?), but I know of a group that is great at it: Ikea. So, I named my first level, dwarf fighter after a very tasteful and modern coffee table (Ramvik, if you’re curious).

Sunday, we all drove down to Murfreesboro to the comic and games shop. I got a seat at the D&D table while Angela and Ainsley looked around briefly at some comics. They then took off to tool around the mall while my game got underway.

Now, I suppose on some level, the seven people around the table fit exactly the description of D&D players you likely have in mind right now: white males sitting indoors on a perfectly nice sunny day. However, despite that general stereotype, these were a fairly diverse lot: a grad. student, a downtown lawyer, a high school math teacher, a father and his son – who had recently gotten his dad back into gaming, and the father of a 1 1/2 year old (who seemed happy to get out of the house and play a game with adults). What’s more, they were all outgoing and fun personalities. While the game ran a bit long (even at five hours, we didn’t quite finish); a good bit of the time was spent joking around. Instead of dice and pencils, we could have just as easily had poker cards and chips in our hands.

Other than the fact that I ended up losing my voice by the end of it (as much from all the laughing as anything else), I had a really great time. So much so, I plan to make it a monthly event. Angela said she might even join in for a game in the future (by the way, there are females in the MeetUp group, just none happened to be playing this past weekend).

Oh, and the game itself? It was a fairly tough module, actually. Fortunately, we had a decent mix of a 7th level barbarian, a 3rd level cleric, a 3rd level rogue, a 1st level ranger, and two 1st level fighters (including my Swedish furniture namesake). I ended up dying at the end, but the DM allowed for the NPC cleric whom we were helping to resurrect my character out of gratitude after the fact. I think the DM felt bad since my character died on my first game and that I might not have enjoyed it. Quite to the contrary, I had had a great time and I was actually kind of glad that it wasn’t a cakewalk. I got to feel like I was working on a team trying to figure out a mystery.

As I said, I can’t wait until next time.

  1. I would have formerly said "rolled" instead of created, but there’s no rolling involved in character creation anymore – at least not in the method employed by this group. []