Day 5: Dungeons and Dragons

I'm still kind of mad about Prince. I don't have much more to say than: I wish we had another 30 years, minimum. I'm thinking like mid-90s, it might have felt okay. Maybe. But this is nonsense.

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In other news, it's late, and I'm tired. I'm tired because I spent ALL DAY gaming. I don't know when I became the person that felt a-okay about starting the day with building a couple D&D characters, then reviewing Todd's new board game prototype, then playing Magic, then playing D&D, then playing Bohnanza as a dessert, but at some point I did, and here we are, and I'm probably going to write a lot about a half-orc right now. Ready or not.

So, Dungeons and Dragons.

I did not play this game as an adolescent in my parents' basement. For one thing, my parents did not have a basement. For another, I had no idea it was really a thing except that it showed up occasionally in novels from the 80s.

I stand here before you, a Dungeons and Dragons player at age 32. I am nerdy enough that I felt like I should go to the source. The original nerdtown. D&D.

Things I did not expect:

It's so awkward...
I feel constantly caught between if I should be asking a question in character or not.

...but that's mostly on me.
Seriously, just ask it in character. Just be weird and go there and pretend to be an unfriendly but good-hearted half-orc. It is literally why you are doing this.

You have to invent a lot of things on the spot.
I sort of thought it would be more like board gaming, but you can literally do whatever you want. And the freedom is kind of paralyzing.

I almost wish we would just larp already so I could walk around and wear a costume.

I just actually wrote that above sentence.

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I don't really know what a Great Roleplayer does, but I'm certain it's not what I do. What I do is stare mutely at my companions (after all, I'm a half-orc with some serious abandonment issues). I occasionally break out into violence for no good reason. I totally dig our halfling companion. And I pray at the wrong shrine.

I also don't have strong enough or urgent enough goals and motivations. It's the same problem I have when writing fiction, which is a sort of literary pretension that real people don't do crazy stupid things and so obvi my character should sit around moping. A) Real people DO do crazy stupid things and B) this is supposed to be exciting, try being someone other than yourself. This is literally why we are here.

Still--for all my struggles, it's super fun. It's uncomfortable in a good way and I have the sense that being good at D&D and being fun to talk to IRL are actually the same skill, so....productive as well as fun!

I am working on a grand unified theory of D&D + open-source + art as a means towards personal freedom, but it's almost 1 a.m. so you'll just have to wait.

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