Dungeons & Dragons – An Inspiration

~Dungeons & Dragons~

I remember as a young boy, my brother and I went into a Hobbies Shop, and it had all sorts of Dungeons & Dragons Cast Iron Mini’s (Figures). Glass cases full of them. And as we got closer to the back of the store, we could hear voices coming from a back room. As we (or maybe just me) inched our way back towards the back of the store, the back room became visible…. In it, there was a longggg table, with several 20 to 30 year old men sitting at it. Layed across this table was a huge map, which had graph paper like squares on it. And atop it, ten to twenty, to thirty or more of Dungeons & Dragons cast iron mini’s, all custom painted. In addition, sprawled here and there were the the glorious Dungeons and Dragons Dice. That was it, I was hooked.

From that day forward, I wanted a room like that, a table like, a map like that, dice like that, and people like that to play with…

Sadly, that would not be the case. As I was very shy when I was young, and many of the people who indeed played Dungeons & Dragons were, well, they didn’t like me. In fact, I’m not even sure they liked one another? As in my experience, most, or at least a lot, of Dungeons & Dragons players seemed more interested in arguing about Rules, then actually playing. This would have drove me mad, should I have been there.

And so, I went through my Junior High Years, and High School Years hearing remote mentionings of people playing, but never actually got a chance to play… At least not yet.

When I was 17, my brother got a girlfriend, and the three of us started to hang out a lot. It was at that point that I finally decided if I was ever going to play Dungeons and Dragons I’d have to learn it, and run it myself.

Now I would have loved to play Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, but being that I wasn’t much of a reader, I instead started with Basic Dungeon & Dragons. Basically, it had the same Core Rules, but a whole lot less rules over all. And so I read it through, and we Created Characters, which was one of the coolest things I had ever done. Talk about fun.

I believe initially I started with the Maps and NPC’s (Non Player Characters) they provided, and we were off. What a blast we’d have, sitting around eating Doritos, and drinking Pepsi. Quickly we moved onto Expert Dungeons & Dragons.

We were flying right along, as I remember my brother’s first character, a Dwarf, was killed by a brick whilst looking up a fireplace. Yes, you don’t start with much health at Level One, so be you ware.

At this point I had gotten fluent enough at running and playing games to start to bring in/incorporate Advanced Dungeons & Dragons into the mix.

This improved the game play ten fold. Partly because of the A D & D (Advanced Dungeons & Dragons) Monster Manuals, which were packed with all sorts of different Beasties, as well as Custom Monster Charts which would be used for specific areas.

The three of us played for a good 3 or 4 years, and also brought in a 4th person, my brother’s best friend. Talk about ferociously involved, this guy loved it… Though he did like to “Practice Roll”, and when he’d get a good roll, he’d act like that was his attack. lol. Oh well, I didn’t let him get a way with it… For I was the Dungeon Master.

Beyond the glorious Game Play experienced, as Dungeon Master, I was given the opportunity not only to create a multitude of lands, and maps and storyline’s. But I also created an enormous amount of characters, in which I would then portray during play.

As it turns out, this was an extremely beneficial experience in regards to ending up being a Writer. One that I’m sure I draw upon when Writing, and/or Creating Stories or Character’s. Dialog is probably my biggest strength when it comes to Writing, at least in my opinion.

At some point life intervened, and we no longer played Dungeons & Dragons, and it was missed. As at the end it had escalated from Doritos and Pepsi, to full blown Rib Dinners, in the spirit of playing.

It wasn’t until maybe 9 or 10 years later that I actually picked it up again. I had gotten into a Production of Hamlet (Theater, that’s a story for another time), and as it turned out, several of the Actor’s used to play Dungeons & Dragons. When they found I used to run games, they started to prod me towards running one for them. I suppose it was always harder to find a Dungeon Master, than it was a Player. And so I started running them again, and it was like old times, but even better.

Better in a sense that all of the players had jobs, so the food jumped up to KFC, and/or Chinese Food.

It was great, the main guy that prodded me to run a game would pick up KFC, or Chinese or the like on the way to my Apartment, and we’d all pay him when he got there. What we’d do is all sit at the Dinner Table and talk about our Real Life, work, Theater, whatever… And Feast Away.

But come game time, no one was allowed to speak of the “Outside World”. It added an all new enjoyable element to it.

Bottom Line, Dungeons & Dragons was, and is great. In fact, even now, I’m ready and willing  to run a Whole New Campaign…

Want In?*


*Special thank goes out to Gary Gygax, Creator of Advanced Dungeons & Dragson

Gary is no longer with us, Here’s to you Gary



More Editorials by DarkJade

6 Responses to “Dungeons & Dragons – An Inspiration”

  1. I never really got into D&D, although some of my friends used to play it… I’ve always been (shamefully) more of a RuneScape girl, ha ha!

    Oh, and for the record, Hamlet is awesome. 😀

    • I never tried RuneScape… Hamlet is by far my favorite of Shakespeare’s Plays… It was one of the best experiences of my life, even though my part wasn’t all that huge (I played Barnardo, one of the Soldiers that told Hamlet about the Ghost)… I fell in love with Theater when I was in my late teens, early twenties, when my brother coerced me into joining a Community Theater Group with him… Well, it only felt coerced as I was extremely shy… Something I’ll never regret doing though… We went on to do “Merchant of Venice”, “Merry Wives of Windsor” and “Midsummer Nights Dream” with that group… Shakespeare was during the Summers, in the Spring we did “Alice in the Wonder Garden”, a blending of “Through the Looking Glass” and “Alice in Wonderland”, I was the Caterpillar, lol… And a Play the Director Wrote called “Prospero’s Promise”, based on the group of Players in the Play inside a Play in “Midsummer Nights Dream” (I was Moonshine, lol)

      Like D & D, I also dropped Theater for some 10 years, and when I was 28 or 29 I tried out for a role in Hamlet, and got in. Though I’ve never been interested in pursuing Acting as a Career, I absolutely fell in love with Theater, primarily the Atmosphere that accompanies it, as well as the Comradeship that occurs between everyone involved. I did get to do an awesome Sword Fighting Scene at the end of Hamlet, there were like 8 of us fighting, quite Epic.

      Yes it was a good time, when people asked what I had done on the Weekend, I enjoyed saying “Not much, mostly just some Sword Fighting on the Rooftops of Industrial Buildings in L.A.”, as our Director lived in an Industrial Complex that had been turned into Apartments, and we practiced our Sword Fighting on the Roofs, lol

      But I digress… Thanks for the Comment Anna


  2. Never really played those type of games before, but always heard lots of boys around me talking about it. It’s always amazing how people can immediately bond over something like a game.

    • Yeah, in the 50’s, not that I was around then, but Board Games used to be a major way that Families Connected… That and Family Dinners… Things have changed, obviously with the Internet and Video Games, now it takes Blogs to Connect, lol


      • twisted4lifeinaz Says:

        You’re right about that. So much taken for granted.

        • Sadly, people don’t really realize what they’re missing, Playing Board Games, D & D Etc, was an awesome way to connect with people, and build true friendships… I loved Monopoly and Risk, lol

          Thanks for the Comment Twist


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