We sat in the dining room as my sister’s then boyfriend described the cavern we entered. As we traversed through the dark, dank tunnel we found a well. One of our party members, a human fighter, looking within sees shiny trinkets near the bottom. Without thinking, he jumps in. Heavy plate armor and all. Sinking to the bottom, unable to swim back to the top, Jay (name changed because I only met him like twice in my youth) looks over at me in horror. “Help!”
The session didn’t really go well, nor did any subsequent sessions. We were a table of incompetent adventurers. The rules were convoluted for our inexperienced brains. We bickered with each other. Our thief/rogue hid under a bed during an entire encounter. The well-diving fighter that I pulled out of the well before he died, later tried to sell my sword back to me as well as barter for a healing potion while I was bleeding out. We didn’t play well.
I didn’t enjoy it.
My books for the game went on the shelf, where I only referenced them for fun. They had cool stuff in them, ok?! Like, monsters and stuff.
Decades later …
… I was happily skipping through the world of YouTube, when I came across a web-show called ‘Titansgrave‘. I was instantly intrigued by the show. I mean, it had Wil Wheaton in it. The guy was in Star Trek and Stand By Me and Toy Soldiers and Big Bang Theory. Had to be at least entertaining. It was a futuristic fantasy world of Mr. Wheaton’s design. The story telling was stellar. The characters were engaging.
I was hooked.
I needed more!
Searching the interwebs, I found more online shows where people played. I found other shows like Critical Role (NOTE: Adult language) that delved deep into a large and glorious storytelling. Nerd voice actors sitting around playing D&D like children. It was amusing and entertaining and dang it .. I wanted it!
It was amusing and entertaining and dang it .. I wanted it! The DM (Dungeon Master – he who hosts the game) Matt Mercer filled the world with so much lore, history, comical and dangerous character. It was hard not to enjoy every second.
It’s not the dice that make the game, but the stories and the characters.
Finding the people to play is half the adventure.
There didn’t seem to be a lot of people who wished to share in an adventure. The old mid-1980s sigma that Dungeons & Dragons was of the devil sill was alive and well. So instead of looking outside, I looked at my kids. They love stories. They love games. They put up with my shenanigans.
So I built the world. We talked about our characters. I decided to host our own game where they played as clerics, trying to save their hometown from an ancient evil.
Through this, we told stories and went on adventures in the safety of our own home. I’ll talk more about how this worked out well for our family in another post. But they, also, got hooked.
It’s been a tremendous time. We’ve built some amazing memories in our fictional world. We’ve talked about serious things, and really not so serious things.
Imagination. What a trip.