Monday, January 5, 2009

Dungeons and Dragons

I've been a huge fan of Western RPGs ever since my first session of Morrowind despite the fact that I had to buy a new monitor because of the streaks I left on my old one from that fateful day. Between my love of interactive storytelling, my overactive imagination and all my failed attempts at tabletop gaming in my youth it's really surprising that I've never truly been introduced to D&D before.

Well, last night I got to play my first few turns in a rather unorthodox D&D campaign. A friend of mine is hosting a campaign with his younger brother and a couple of kids from his neighborhood. I guess their regulars didn't come out last night so I was called to sit in on the game. I arrived late into the evening because I thought it important to watch my beloved Minnesota Vikings get dismantled by the Phillidelphia Eagles which took longer than I had hoped. In the end, I only played a couple of turns, but those couple of turns really opened up my eyes.

When I say this game was unorthodox, that's an understatement. Instead of swords, sorcery, and the aforementioned dungeons and dragons, this campaign was designed around the American south west after the zombie apocolypse. So instead of dungeon crawling or hiking through enchanted forests, we were clearing zombies out of a drug lord's mansion in southern California.

In most game worlds, rules are the key to maintain order, but D&D is run purely by the imagination. This is a concept that everyone knows, but it doesn't really dawn on you until you have this interaction:

DM: "It's your turn."

Me: "What can I do?"

DM: "Well, what do you want to do?"

Me: "I want to kick that zombie in the face."

DM: "Roll to hit."

I think I could grow to like this game.

Another thing that I just need to throw out there: Why is it that D&D players are believed to have no friends when the game is designed to be played in groups? Just a thought.

-That Guy

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