Approaching the end of a musty, stone hallway a thick, wooden door stands closed in front of you; blocking your path. Attempting to calm your nerves, you quietly press your ear against the door. Even through the thick oak you can hear multiple creatures talking in gruff, harsh voices. Though their words are in a language you do not understand, their tones and inflections are known to you, orcs. At least a dozen of the brutes.
Turning around you creep back to your group of friends. “Orcs,” you whisper, “at least a dozen.”
The squat, heavily armored dwarf fighter snorts at your caution. “Not even enough for me to break a sweat, whelp, lets have at it,” he exclaims drawing his sharp double handed axe.
However, before he can advance the human wizard, clothed in bright red robes, shakes her head. “A cautious adventurer is a long lived one, let us give these orcs something of a surprise,” the wizard says with a twinkle in her eye.
Sighing the dwarf shrugs his shoulders, “very well, but at least leave a few for me.” With that you creep back up to the door. Your ally the wizard is already deep in her incantation. The excitement of combat creeping upon you, you grab the door handle swinging it open. Moments afterwards a ball of flame shoots into the room, radiating an intense hear. It impacts upon something in the room, exploding in a orgy of destruction. The shrieks of the orcs are quickly silenced as the inferno consumes the monsters.
“Thought you were going to leave some for me,” the dwarf shouts, glaring at the wizard. The human shrugs, smiling, “My bad,” he exclaims.
Player 1 (Dwarf): Wait this is a fantasy adventure, people don’t say my bad!
Player 2 (Wizard): What ever, that’s 12 more kills to my tally.
Player 1 (Dwarf): You better hope you didn’t destroy the loot. I walk into the room, careful to stomp out any fires, please tell me some loot is safe.
Dungeon Master: (rolls dice) Yes. Though their armor is destroyed, their weapons and gold remains safe.
Player 1 (Dwarf): Woohoo! I begin to collect it…
Ever wonder what playing Dungeons and Dragons, better known as D&D, is like? Well this has been a brief example of a session between 3 players and a Dungeon Master.
D&D is a pen and paper Role Playing Game, much like Skyrim, Fallout, or Dragon Age. In game one person plays as the Dungeon Master, or DM, and creates the adventure, which a group of friend then play through as the heroes (or villains). Much like those aforementioned games, D&D is a game of choice. How will you navigate the dungeons? Will you help the town? Do you negotiate for more money? Do you even pursue this adventure, or look elsewhere for something else? Would you rather spend your time building a business or buying equipment?
Unlike video game RPGs, D&D is completely flexible. Players can do pretty much anything they desire, within the normal bounds of the physics of the world and their character’s power. In addition, unlike video game RPGs, you get to play with a group of your friends. Finally, D&D is a game that you the players dictate the flow of. Unlike video games, which have set parameters, D&D is set up to be tweaked freely taking into account what each player wants out of the game.
Does this sound interesting to you? Want to know how to get started? Or perhaps you already play and are looking for playing tips, either as a player or as a Dungeon Master? Look for future articles coming soon while I walk you through how to cheaply start D&D, quick and easy ways to learn the rules, and other help strategies!