I don’t know if anyone can call themselves a deep down, true blue nerd if they haven’t tried Dungeons & Dragons. It doesn’t necessarily have to be your thing, but I can’t imagine being part of the geek community and never wondering what it would be like to play. It’s such an integral part of so many of the geeky joys we have today – board games, video games, fantasy books and films… Once you’ve played, it’s difficult to conceive of all these things existing in the same way without D&D.
Fantasy was my first geek love. Though now I enjoy reading everything from scifi to game lore to comics (and “normal” books besides), fantasy fiction grabbed me before anything else ever really had a chance. I remember devouring Mercedes Lackey and Anne McCaffrey books long before I even had a concept of all the different genres of fiction (I assure you I’ve moved on to some better fantasy). So obviously when I learned about Dungeons & Dragons, I was intrigued. A way to place yourself inside the fantasy world? What could be better?
Unfortunately, the first time I ever really got to try D&D, it was as a 13-year-old idiot. My best middle school friend’s older brother magnanimously allowed us to play with him and his D&D buddy, and I showed him why he really shouldn’t have bothered. Put on the spot with older kids I didn’t know, nerves overtook me and I acted out in the only way I knew how – by trying to be funny. Of course, as I was 13 and an idiot, this strategy flamed out spectacularly. I didn’t play again for 15 years.
About a year and a half ago now, one of my high school friends discussed his desire to start a game. I had been searching around Meetup groups to try and learn how to play (with no success, as most people weren’t overly keen to school a newbie), and my husband was intrigued as well. Somehow, we cobbled together a few more friends and started to play.
And here we are – a year and a half later, and we’re all addicted. Or, at least, my husband and I are addicted. After a brief tutorial campaign, we created original characters, and have been journeying through our DM’s brilliantly created custom campaigns ever since. Our bookshelves now sport multiple D&D books and nearly 200 dice, to say nothing of spell cards, figurines, and notebooks full of our adventures. Every Sunday we play, and get to escape from the mundane for a few hours into a world of magic.
Or, at least, we used to play every Sunday. Lately life has been severely getting in the way. A spate of illnesses took down our crew one by one as 2015 closed and 2016 began. I attended a function today that monopolized my afternoon. And in February, weddings and conventions knock out at least two of our special Sundays. What’s a girl to do? I miss my little gnome druid and her hedgehog companion, Mr. Prickles. I miss fighting dragons. I miss that sweet, sweet loot. I miss it all!
Honestly, I am suffering here. There’s just something special about getting a D&D group that really works together. I’ve done a few games here and there since joining this group, and the chemistry just isn’t the same. There’s a real sense of trust we have – and a real sense that these adventures really have happened, and we really did get it done to make it through! Obviously I know that sounds ridiculous, but these people are my party, man! And I miss them.
Hopefully next Sunday the adventure can restart… otherwise I may be in real trouble.