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I Heart D&D

Illustration for article titled I Heart DD


RPG’s have seen a resurgence of popularity recently. Shows like Stranger Things and celebrities coming forward with their love for the game have shown a light on role playing games and the latest edition has a huge following from both older gamers like myself to a new generation who are just being introduced to it. I love it all and am overjoyed to see it gain a wider audience. There are a ton of variations but they all encompass the same idea of people getting together and taking on roles of heroes, villains, or a combination of both. Rules are put forth to act as guidelines but every table is encouraged to alter or homebrew them to everyone’s personal liking. I can put a feather in my cap and know that I was fortunate to get in on the ground floor way back in the early 80’s but it makes me really happy to know that so many others are getting to experience the wonderfulness as well. The game itself has its’ charms and appeal but for me it was an escape that helped keep me alive. Growing up in a terribly abusive household I leaned on D&D and game books to give myself an out. Sometimes just being able to set things down and catch your breath can be a great gift. My love for this escape has never waned and it has been a part of me for over 3 decades now. Active tables have come and gone. I’ve played both with others or by myself in Baraboo and Madison WI, Portland OR, Vancouver BC, and now St. John’s NL and I’ve thought about it in every place inbetween that my journey has taken me. I’ve drawn rough dungeon maps while sitting next to my daughter as she drew unicorns and princesses. I’ve thought about the ethical concerns of killing orcs, the flight dynamics of frog crotch arrows, and if I wanted a particular cleric to be armed with a quarterstaff or mace and shield while walking my dog. I’ve debated online with strangers in foreign lands whether elves have souls and I’ve fallen asleep to thoughts of what actually is included in a set of thieves’ tools. These fantasy games have granted me a reprieve from the real world and have been a joy to be a part of and it’s not lost on me on how important that has all been. As I have aged so has the game. New editions come out, it is currently on it’s 5th or 9th depending on how you count them, and independent developers have created variations, but at its’ root it is all the same wonderful game. I am in the process of organizing a game for my young daughter and I hope that I can introduce it to her in a way that shows her how magical it all can be. I read posts on Facebook pages dedicated to these games from players wanting to know how to create gender neutral characters and it makes me smile. Something that started as a slight change from wargames has evolved into this alternate game that can do anything that the heart or mind can conjure up. I would have never guessed that my first session so many years ago would be but a start of such a loving relationship and would act as friend and counselor for the decades to come. I sure do appreciate it and through the magic of the internet I’ve been able to personally thank some of the game developers for their art and to explain to them how important it has all been to me. I’ve been told that life rarely gives you all that you want but if you look hard enough it will give you just enough to survive. D&D has helped me survive and has been more than just enough and for that I say thank you Dungeons & Dragons. I sure do love you.

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