The Fantasies of Dungeons and Dragons

Isaac Glad, Reporter

Everybody has their favorite games. There are the gamers, board people, card players, chess club, PC gamers. But there is one game that has been around longer than any of the rest.

“I’m a thief. I’ve been a thief for as long as I’ve been here. Never considered anything but my own trade—it was the only choice I found worthy of a person like me.”

In the halls of school or the casual chatter of meandering crowds, this comment would be very out of place, and likely a source of amusement, or even wariness if the speaker was serious. In the tabletop role-playing game called Dungeons and Dragons, such a statement would simply be part of a player’s backstory.

Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is a role-playing game that comes in many shapes and sizes and needs no board or playing pieces. It’s been around since 1973 and is still one of the most popular role-playing games out there. It is also very simple to instigate and play. The only thing you need to play it is imagination, time, dice, and friends. All of the players are part of a party, and that party goes around doing various quests.

Senior Joshua Beckstead who has played quite a bit of the game said, “it’s a great way to just have fun with your friends and be yourself–or be a new character. It’s a great way to open up because you get to be somebody else and make choices, and it’s just a great experience.”

The D&D adventures aren’t for one who is short on free evenings, though. The typical adventure can take anywhere from a week to a month. The adventure will be longer if the players spend a lot of time doing ridiculous acts for the general amusement of the group. Having bad luck with the dice can also do the same thing.

The most popular thing about D&D–next to the 20-sided die–is the Dungeon Master, or rather, the DM. The DM is the voice of fate, the divine being, the master of chance. The player who decides where the land takes the adventurers and what they encounter there. They plan the adventure from the little details like simple conversations between the players and non-player characters (NPCs), to the big things, like where they encounter the final boss battle. They decide how powerful the enemies are that you encounter, or whether that enticing chest holds a pile of gold or a very large bomb.

Beckstead also said “I prefer to play as the Dungeon Master where I can create this world, these characters and take people throughout a journey that hopefully, they’ll enjoy. And I think that’s one of the most fun things about this is not only am I enjoying myself, but the people who are playing with me are hopefully enjoying themselves.”

Senior Nathan Schild said, “It’s kind of like reading a book with no pictures. You have direct control over your character, but you don’t visibly see the results. Instead, they are described to you by someone who may or may not have a completely different opinion on the situation and your actions.”

Some find the most enjoyment in lightheartedly causing chaos in the DM’s plans, while others are more fond of the story and finding the various encounters that the DM has prepared for the party. Whatever the joy they may find in D&D, it’s safe to say the game isn’t getting any less remarkable or exciting as the years go by.