I’m a part of a party. An adventuring group – if you will – that consists of the heir to a seat of power in Amn, a champion of Moradin, a fifth-facet priestess of Calarduran Smoothhands, a Halfling womanizer, and a useless sorcerer. That might mean nothing to you, but it sure means a lot to me.
Ever since I’ve started playing Dungeons & Dragons, I have grown on the concept of role-play. The idea that you could be whoever you want at the comfort of your bedside night-stand. And, to me, that was a wonder. The idea that I can play-test a character, become something different, someone different, made my childhood tilt its course and dip its feet into my adulthood.
Hey, I’m an aspiring writer. Anything that has to do with character creation and world-building draws me like the smell of tuna draws cats of all kind. Besides the stinky part of the tuna, of course, because D&D is far from stinky. It smells like promise of riches unfound in the depths of dungeons where stories lay untold by adventures that never quite made it out. The table-top game lets other people join in on a session of imagination; a session where the Dungeon Master and the Player Characters draw the world around them to create a live story. A story that gets the players invested so heavily that they itch to play and moan when the session ends. It becomes an addiction.
Recently, we vanquished goblinoid species in the midst of taking over a town – Nightstone – and made it our own. Now, there is an ethical question here: did we liberate the town if we took it as our own in the place of the goblins? Yes! There was no-one to oppose our claim, the Nandar Lady that ran the city died and lies in the Nandar Keep, atop a small crest surrounded by a moat. We left her body as to not anger the guards; guards who now pledge their allegiance to us, or more specifically me. The party doesn’t necessarily wish to delve in the political affairs of a town. Plunder is where it’s at, they say to me constantly. If not vocally, they say it with their body language as we get the latest schpeel about the town’s latest fares.
The most recent news, contrary to the leading word “Recently,” is that we ended up, after perilous travel through the Ardeep Forest, five years later in the City of Splendors: Waterdeep. We made our way through the gates, seeing creatures of various ethnicities and cultures roaming through, and ended up in the Copper Cup which relieved us of our sore backs and pained joints. For the first while, I, Hendryl Dannihyr, actually had a bath.
The whole concept captivated me: the lore, the currency and trade, the properties, ships, nothing was left to the imagination after I had thought about it for a bit. But as you think about the game, the well gets deeper. Who are the Greenwarders and why did they not kill me in the Ardeep Forest? What is that strange relic in my back pocket? Where did I get a dragon-talon? I’ve never seen one before? The questions flood the mind like a child floods the ear-drums of a new parent.
Know that I’m not writing about Dungeons & Dragons to sell you the product. I’m writing about Dungeons & Dragons to try to captivate you as well as to make you join our nerddom and reap the benefits of imaginative play. It makes the world a better place, you see, when you join a group of players and spend every (what used to be) lonely Sunday with five other friends. Imagination takes you out of your everyday bubble and places you in situations that would never happen to you. Have you ever thought about how you would deal with two angry Ogres in the middle of the street going through your bread-baskets? Stealing your honest living from beneath you? Would you get angry? Would you call the Guards? Would you rise up in rebellion against four meter monsters?
It gets your mind off the things that bother you. Its a non-medical way to get rid of depression, anxiety, and other mental illnesses that will change from permanent to temporary and then, to non-existent.