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. []