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.
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.
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!