Chasing the story

Diving into the world of Dungeons and Dragons

It might sound odd but Dungeons and Dragons was once considered a corrupter of youth, up there with Hairy Potter and violent video games. The news media filled minutes by exploring the supposed threat and some went with it, believing the game was in-fact bad for children.

Contrast that with modern-day were characters on the show Stranger Things gain their creative thrills from the RPG’s ever weaving plot. Locally people flock to comic book stores like Paradox downtown to partake. The Company that owns the rights to the game had its biggest year ever in 2017 according to an article on Syfy wire’s website.

Despite the success, DnD is not main-stream by any means. Monopoly is pretty much the closet thing most people will get to role-playing. In many respects the game is still considered “nerdy” with all the characteristics of the glasses-wearing gang. 

The interweaving game-play mostly revolves around mystical characters in their search for adventure. There is no pop culture, it is a full exile from civilization, a thing people do to escape into their own mystical realm. It’s nowhere near live-action role play, but it could be considered a gateway drug.

The other aspect of the game that could be considered geeky is the outright enthusiasm one has to show towards the game in order to fulfill the persons roll. You have to commit, know your character, their abilities and where you are in order to play correctly.

It is pure fandom. Most of the time you are not using one specific story or series but your own interpretation of storytelling and character development. Fighting is just one half of the story, most of the game is molded around the mundane or plot development.

I have only partaken once and the game could be considered head spinning. Everyone has a grasp of the spells, characters and the famous dice. In its most basic iteration the game revolves around a Dungeon Master who creates a world and fills it with pitfalls that the characters have to deal with.

I could see that the players are at the mercy of the DM (as they call them). He is telling the story and the characters are just playing along. A new participant will get the feeling that there is, in fact, some sort of method to the madness but I was never sure.

The game might seem like just that, a game but I saw more during my endeavor. Playing in any capacity helps flex the part of the player’s mind that is usually only used when writing fiction. You have to keep your fellow players interested while staying in character and not messing up the storyline. The simple roll play framework leaves plenty of room for the imaginations of curious and, yes maybe nerdy, participants.

The format is ripe for the modern age with online and computerized versions becoming ever popular. The format also lends itself well to a very hip type of entertainment: podcasting. The Game is the center focus of popular podcasts like Critical Role and Harmon Quest.

Critical Roll actually became part of Dungeons and Dragons official lore and multiverse recently. Featuring voice actors who bring the game to life, the podcast is really enjoyable even if the listener is not a D and D play

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