Saturday, March 28, 2009
Dungeons and Dragons in the Presence of the Public
As I've mentioned before, I started playing Dungeons and Dragons a few months ago and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with the game. I have no problem talking about D&D in circles of like-minded individuals or even blogging about it if there is a story amidst the saving throws, but I've been handling my table-top gaming a lot like my masturbatory habits in that I'll admit to them, but I don't want anyone to see me in action.
Well, that all changed this past week. A member of our Friday night gaming sessions decided to start up his own campaign that met on Wednesday nights which I had wanted to attend for weeks but was unable due to Boulder Faith rehearsals. Well, with the show's run in the past, I was finally able to roll up a half-orc barbarian and join in the fun.
Before I continue I should probably fill you in on the composition of my D&D group: I'm 22 years old with an English degree from my local state university, and the entire Friday night group is made up of students from said university, the DM being an old friend of mine from high school. I don't mind being the lone alum in that group as the game is played on an artificially long table in the DM's apartment which isn't even on campus.
Well, it turns out that the Wednesday night group is comprised of mostly underclassmen (making me feel even older) with only two members of the Friday night group in attendance. So, I was the token old man in a group of people I didn't even know, but even beyond that, the group met in the middle of the university's student union.
As I walked into the union with the player's handbook and monster manual under my arm, I popped the collar of my leather jacket to cover my face and looked around to make sure no one recognized me. I tried to find the group with hopes that they'd be set up at a table in the corner so I could sit with my back to the student body and hope that I wasn't easily identified from behind.
My jaw nearly hit the floor when I saw the V table formation sitting atop a well lit stage that was smack-dab in the center of dining tables and walkways. I looked about in hopes of spotting a quick escape route only to see the throng of young adult humanity on all sides. I did my best to calm my nerves and step up onto the stage. From my new found lofty perch tables stretched as far as the eye could see with students cramming down the products of their various meal plans, none of whom paid the stage any mind.
Having come so far, I decided I might as well pop a squat and introduce myself to the group of seemingly fresh faces.
The moment the game is underway, all my previous inhibitions flew out the window. In fact, after I landed two confirmed critical hits on a hill giant and nearly earning the D&D equivalent of Left 4 Dead's "Man vs. Tank" achievement (at level 2) I actually stood up and whooped for all the union to see. My previous fear replaced with a kind of voyeuristic thrill.
I now realize just how foolish it is to be worried to let people see you for who you really are. Play your games for all to see. Just try not to suck.