Thursday, April 29, 2021

Confessions of a Dungeons & Dragons nerd

One of the classic nerd activities of the 80s (and beyond, really) was the role-playing game Dungeons & Dragons.

For a couple of years theresay 1982 and 1983my friends and I played us a whole bunch of D&D.

For the uninitiated, role-playing games are what you might call "games of the mind." The action doesn't necessarily take place in any physical sense, unless you were one of those people who bought little figurines and played out each adventure on a tabletop map.

Which we were not.

In the case of D&D, players control imaginary characters through different adventures in an attempt to kill monsters, gather treasure, and generally just gain experience and become more powerful. These characters have different jobs or roles, ranging from fighters and thieves to magic users and clerics. They can also be of different races (humans, elves, halfings, etc.), each of which has different natural abilities.

The action is controlled by a person known as the dungeon master. That was me. The DM's job is to describe the settings and situations, and roll various multi-sided dice to determine the outcome of the players' choices.

It is absolutely as geeky as it sounds, and we loved it.

We spent a lot of money on D&D paraphernalia, from hardbound books describing the intricacies of the D&D gaming environment and different modules (i.e., adventures) to accessories like a DM screen and various gaming templates and tools.

I don't know whatever happened to any of that stuff, as it never turned up when we cleaned out my mom's house. But in retrospect, given how much fun we had and how much the game fired our imaginations, I'm going to say it was a worthwhile investment.

It was not exactly a chick magnet of an activity, mind you, but I have no regrets.

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