I am a new but passionate advocate for Dungeons and Dragons. I can’t recall where I first heard of D&D but because of the circles I travel in, it existed around me. I probably first encountered it in films like ET. Being a player of fantasy RPGs like the Elder Scrolls, you’d think that I would have been all up in D&D since I was fifteen or something, but no. So, first I’ll explain how I got interested in D&D and why the game isn’t necessarily what you think it is if you’re not all that familiar with it.
My introduction to D&D as a complete thing was probably this video by OutsideXbox. There are some great videos out there that convey what is interesting about the game in its modern configuration and I think this is one of them. Two ideas spring into my mind when I think of D&D. Those being Tolkien fantasy and medieval knights in shining armour. The game may have once been that but now the game has a lot of rope and goes in many directions. When reading the core player options in the Player’s Handbook for the first time, I was intrigued by the final race included in the core races: Tieflings.
Tieflings are half-demon humanoids who exist in the world of D&D. As you delve deeper into the game you realise that while the game may have been born from Tolkienian roots, it has since evolved to encompass a world of strange and unusual creatures. For example, there exists a race similar to Tieflings but instead of being half-demons, they are half divine. Other races that exist include Goliaths (half-giant), Genasi (half-elementals), and one of my favourite races, Half-Elf. These myriad character options exist alongside a whole myriad of class options. However, before I delve into those, I should step back a touch and explain why you’re given all these options.
In D&D, the way the game works is that most of the players play a single character. Together a group of these player characters form an adventuring party. The DM/GM (Dungeon Master or Game Master) creates the world and scenarios that the party plays through. The benefit of this system is that anything is possible within the framework of the game. At this point in time, no game system can react the way that a human can. I’ve sometimes described D&D as an improv theatre RPG but good. The DM reacts to the player decisions which are filtered through the character that the player has created.
So why should you play this game? Well, D&D and other pen-and-paper roleplaying games offer a system where anything is possible if couched in the right way. For example, I’m running a game where my characters recently uncovered a legitimately magic mushroom called Yurgensbloom that glows blue and creates hallucinatory effects. Some of them were interested in starting a drug trade with this mushroom to which I responded ‘Sure, you just need more of the stuff and the right knowledge on how to create it.’. In fact they talked down a minor villain by convincing him to get in on the ground floor of their drug and supply chain. Now take a game series like the Elder Scrolls. You could roleplay a Skooma merchant in those games but the games will remain fairly static in their depiction of this. However, the world around my players can react to their choices. This is a unique prospect and why I think that if this concept mildly interests you, you should give it a shot.
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