The Melee

I’ve been out of commission since Sunday (with brief, failed attempts to be productive, followed closely by vomiting) due to a bout of gastroenteritis. I meant to blog this on Monday, but anyway, here I am.

Last Friday night, I played my very first game of Dungeons and Dragons with some friends and it was pretty great. It was also pretty intense. There were a couple of moments in the beginning where I had trouble keeping a straight face while the Dungeon Master and the other players were getting into character. And while I never really took on the tone of others (I named my character Jeff, after this guy) it soon stopped being funny and started getting real.

Though I’m quite a nerd, I’ve never played tabletop role-playing games, and now that I have, I’m starting to wonder why DnD has such a bad reputation. Sure, it’s complicated and esoteric and even the people I know who play don’t actually talk about it…okay, so maybe I answered my own question.

But DnD is pretty easy to pick up, and it seems, depending on the person running the game, sympathetic to the newbies. It’s certainly no more complicated to understand than baseball or football. And really, it’s as fun a way to spend a few relaxed hours with friends, pizza, and diet orange soda as I can think of.

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3 responses to “The Melee

  1. But DnD is pretty easy to pick up, and it seems, depending on the person running the game, sympathetic to the newbies. It’s certainly no more complicated to understand than baseball or football.

    It really depends on the people. A lot of folks and groups aren’t necessarily n00b-friendly… and various versions of the rules, character sheets, etc. have been easier to learn than others.

    Tabletop gaming seems to be going through the same transition that video gaming recently did, in which the “hardcore only” element is slowly being replaced by the realization that accessibility and openness to new players and sets of players is a GOOD thing, and increases participation (and, for companies, revenue).

    • Yeah, fair enough. I think we had a particularly friendly DM who was excited that me and my other newbie friend even wanted to play. He made allowances for us in some cases, but was still pretty fair.

      And I hope you’re right about the transition — I’ve recently started video gaming a bit and it’s much more accessible than it was even 6-8 years ago.

      • There have been certain companies and marketing campaigns specifically designed to embiggen the tent of “gamers,” as it were — Nintendo in particular has been very, very busy with this for the past five years, and the advent of the Social Gaming era (Facebook, mobile device) has really made the playing of games a thing for all people.

        So with the barrier to entry dramatically lowered, some designers and publishers are wising up and making the curve more gentle, too. And suddenly someone who only knew Solitaire and FarmVille finds themselves raiding in WoW twice a week and loading up Mass Effect on the off days…

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