This is a wonderful game if you've ever dreamed about being the hero (or the villain) in a story. Since I have been so busy working on my business I never had the time to look at the “intro to D&D” videos our neighbors (and game hosts) posted in our Facebook group, so my overall knowledge of the game was the very few scenes I’ve seen on The Big Bang Theory or The IT Crowd. So basically zero. (The IT Crowd is a British sitcom that you HAVE to see if you haven’t yet. It’s absolutely hilarious and on Netflix!)
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How it works
If you haven’t played, D&D is about storytelling. It's a tabletop role-playing game (RPG), where you and your friends journey together through quests, battles, and rescues with the dungeon master (DM) as the game organizer. He controls everything except the players’ actions, and lets you know what you see and hear. Through your dice rolls he explains what effect your actions have on the events you are encountering, and also rolls the dice for the enemy in battles.
We played using a starter pack that came with a pre-designed adventure and character sheets, but you can also design your own characters and campaigns. This requires a lot of time and effort, though, so as a complete beginner I was pretty happy starting out with what we were given.
I have a very good imagination (especially two drinks in), so I really saw the dark cave we were in or the horse corpse my bf was chopping to pieces for the fun of it. (He made it weird really fast. It’s one of his many wonderful qualities. ;-) )
After an hour or so I started to really understand how everything works (on a very basic level at least, haha) and got more involved in the decision making. At one point I decided to carve out the heart of a newly killed goblin with a spoon. I was gonna use it to befriend a wolf, but sadly it attacked me and took me to the brink of death (twice) before I could try. Oh well.
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My favorite thing -- the freedom
I really like how much freedom you have. You want to go talk to that shop owner? Go ahead. He might not want to talk to you, based on how high of a score you get on your charisma roll, but you can try. You want to go explore that trail? No one’s stopping you, but be prepared to encounter a band of blood-thirsty orcs. We did a lot of out-of-script talking, most of us being pretty inexperienced, but I really look forward to playing more in character at future sessions.
My favorite part of the night was when we had just defeated a group of goblins in the cave, and instead of moving on to try and find the person we were searching for, the thief decided to search for valuable things to steal. His roll was in his favor, and he got the dwarf (being naturally knowledgeable in rocks) to start evaluating the minerals in the cave. Suddenly, seconds after a battle, she is standing there licking the wall, determining if it’s something valuable. (It wasn’t. It was limestone.) #justdwarfthings
So, you never know where you will end up. It really depends on the people you’re playing with! (I would say the weirder, the better.)
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The sad ending
The end took a very defeating turn, where more than half of us ended up lying on the floor slowly bleeding out and the other half fleeing for their lives. The playlist we had on was fittingly on a very “we are dying and there’s nothing we can do” theme right then.
You know in The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey when they are completely outnumbered by wolves and orcs?
That was pretty much it, apart from the eagles coming to save us. It was sad.
So, even though two of us got away, I don’t see it as very likely that they can save the rest of us from the cave. There are possibilities, but it seems more probable that we will end up as stew meat for the creature and his wolf. Maybe we will create new characters and join the survivors, or start completely over. Either way, I am completely satisfied with my first D&D experience and can’t wait for the next time!
Photo by Alex Chambers
D&D has always been seen as an extremely nerdy game, but it is hands down one of the best ones I’ve played (and we have over eighty different board games in our house). We laughed a lot and got to spend our Saturday night on a great adventure without going farther than our neighborhood. Which, as you know, I’m a big fan of!
We decided to play every two or three weeks, but honestly I would do it again tomorrow. All in all, any game that you play for over five hours (and can’t wait to play again!) is a big winner in my book! It being such an interactive game I quickly got acquainted with the one couple I’d never met before, even if I know more about their instincts in battle than what they do in real life. But, really, isn’t this a better insight in their personalities? ;-)
Update: We have now played for four months, and it's still so much fun! The amount of laughs we've had are uncountable and the new girl is now going blues dancing with me every Monday!
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