Dungeons & Dragons: Go on an Adventure!

keep-calm-go-on-an-adventure

I am an elven ranger. I am 115 years old. I am a sharp shooter with a bow and proficient with a rapier in close quarters. I enjoy long walks in the woods, a good song, and knocking in an orc’s skull. My name is Callen Aleathym, and I’m from…

Darn it. I always have a hard time with the back story. Well, back to the drawing board, or the character sheet as this case may be.

I’m working on a character for a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign my good buddy Jon Wright is running. What’s Dungeons & Dragons, you ask? Actually, I highly doubt you are, but just in case. Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) is a table-top role playing game. You make up characters in a medieval fantasy world with a bunch of friends, and then you pretend to be those characters undertaking a campaign of adventure and wonder. Playing with swords and sorcery from the safety of your dining-room table. Exploring dungeons and slaying dragons (hey, there’s the name!) without ever leaving the building.

Fantasy role playing games are a cathartic experience. It’s fun to pretend to be someone else. It’s even more fun if that person is a badass knight throwing down against vampiric dwarven mages. Add in your friends, and it’s a grand old time. Sure, you’ll likely die a lot or accidentally screw up the mission, but that’s where the fun happen.

As my DM Bob (the dungeon master – the person who builds the world the players operate in) tells us, the good story isn’t of the adventurer who escaped from the dragon, but who ALMOST escaped. Such is the case with various hilarious memories from our game: of my friend Matt being entranced by a wood nymph; of my friend Brooke befriending a unicorn we rescued, just for it to join our campaign and become a capable fighter in its own right; when my friend Jon (the same one starting his own game) coined the term “Flurry of Bros”, which became the banner call of our entire group, much to the dismay of our DM. Our DM has saint-like patience to not have smote us several times over.

2012-12-04 18.15.13

My dice collection

Plus, few things are exhilarating like having your life on the line, and the only deciding factor being a 20-sided die. 

Jon asked me a few weeks ago to join a game he’s planning, and I jumped at it. Going back to the beginning is harder than I thought though. My last new campaign, which was my second D&D campaign I ever played, was in the winter of 2010-2011 and lasted three sessions before scheduling conflicts claimed its life. My first campaign started in August 2009, and we’re still going strong to this day!

I haven’t created a new character in two years, so it’s a relearning experience. I haven’t had to worry about field rations or lanterns for 25 levels, back when I could still be killed by mortal means.

(I mean my character, of course.)

It’s fun though. In my regular ongoing campaign, I play a human paladin. While I started as a scruffy knight wanna-be with a cheap sword and flimsy armor, I’m now a holy warrior, on divine missions from two different gods, with my own lordship and castle!

(Again, I mean my character.)

I’m incredibly grateful my first campaign has lasted this long, with such good and imaginative friends. Our DM is a fantastic storyteller and continues to intrigue us with plot twists and new adventures.

With that said though, I’m usually the kind of guy who enjoys Pokemon games more at the beginning than the end, when the adventure is still fresh and everything is yet to be discovered.

This will be my first new game in two years. It will be the first ever for several players in the campaign. It will be Jon’s first real turn at the DM’s table. That sounds like the recipe for a great adventure.

Game time

Game time

I have my character sheet ready and my dice in my hand. Now we just need to set a date to game, and I still need a back story…


Do you play D&D or other role playing games?
Tell a memorable story from one of your games!
If you’re on Twitter, look for my #dnd comments on game nights!


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3 thoughts on “Dungeons & Dragons: Go on an Adventure!

  1. I used to play AD&D (is its still Advanced Dungeons & Dragons now or is it just D&D?) back in the mid-eighties, ran a campaign with some friends that was very Robert E Howard-oriented, as that was what I was reading at the time. Used his Hyborian Age as a ‘world’ to play in (with no reference to Conan or anything like that), but used that ‘world’ as a jumping-off point. It became very complex, I kept a log of events like a story-book and it spanned years ‘in-world’. I think that binder is in the loft now.

    I still see one of my friends from that time, and we often look back and talk about characters and events from it, as if they really happened. It was a lot of work at the time (I was the dungeon master and spent days and weeks plotting adventures/dungeons/tombs etc); in fact it just got too big. It also got very dark. By the time we called it a day, the heroes of the campaign were becoming anti-heroes, with questionable ethics and methods. You know that line about staring too long into the Abyss? Well, that’s how it seemed to be effecting the nominal ‘good-guys’ of the campaign. They were wiping-out villages of Picts and killing women and children, wild stuff like that. We were starting to wonder who the good-guys were. RPGs can be really good if you have people who will work at it, I had a good bunch of players. Yeah, it was something special.

    It rather burned us out from RPGs though. Man, that darkness got unrelenting towards the end. After all these years I sometimes think I’d love to try to play a RPG again but doubt I’d even understand the rulebook these days though!

    • Our main campaign has grown very big and often unwieldy, with several different character goals often in different directions. We can spend weeks and months on a mission that only half the party is really invested in. To combat this, we created spin-off campaigns or completely new campaigns with new characters.

      If you wish to still use the AD&D system, you can. Wizards of the Coast recently re-released the AD&D core books, and you can still find the supplemental material in used stores and online. We use 3.5, which isn’t a current system now either, but there’s still material out there. The biggest challenge I find as we get older is getting a party together that can commit to a regular night. If you want to put another game together, I wish you the best of luck. Party on, and enjoy the adventure!

  2. Pingback: The Stages of Travel | Teaching Running as a Second Language

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