|Doesn't the busty chick on the front mean that girls |
are most ESPECIALLY supposed to play?
At least that's how I'm interpreting it.
I did play a bit in my late teens. I jumped at the chance to join a game that some of my friends had going, figuring at that point I was already a lost cause as far as avoiding satanic influences was concerned. We had a few intense, uproarious adventures fueled by the copious amounts of legal and illegal substances being consumed during our Sunday night sessions (Sunday because that was the night the bars were closed, of course). But before I'd even really figured out what I was doing or why (from a gameplay POV, it took me many, many more years to figure out what I was doing from a life POV) the group fell apart.
Fast forward a lifetime or two, and I am a law abiding, mild mannered mother of two gorgeous and challenging almost 11yo boys, and we are looking for something to do as a family that will engage them socially, have nothing to do with a computer screen, maybe even exercise some educational muscles, and that is most importantly equally fun for every single member of the family. Tall order, non? But I remembered my old yen for D&D. Social component -check, you sit at a table engaged in cooperative play with a group. Educational component -double check, this is some seriously complicated sh*t and there is math, reading, story telling and major organizational skills required. We all love adventure/fantasy stories, and D&D is basically collaborating on your own adventure story with a group, so fun for the whole family -a big giant check.
Being the dungeon master has fallen to my lot. The DH used to play D&D as a properly nerdy, and obviously extremely malevolently influenced young man (seriously he played D&D and read comics! it's amazing he didn't grow up to habitually bite the heads off chickens!), but he does not have the time to do the prep work required to DM, and has forgotten almost everything he used to know about the game anyway. So I thumb my nose in the general direction of those Grade 5 boys, not only am I playing, but I am the one in charge! The DM is responsible for planning the encounters, choosing or creating NPC's (non player characters), designing the environments, and acting as a referee between The Rules and the players... basically creating a structure in which the characters act and make the story happen, and keeping the action flowing freely and fairly. It is a big job, and for someone who has never really even played D&D before, a steep learning curve. But me, huge project? scope for creativity? no possible practical or marketable value? adventure/fantasy/fun?
*my ears perk up like a retriever who hears his master at the door, my nostrils flare, my pupils dilate*
I am in.
So we've been playing and learning, and I've been spending most of my free time studying and preparing. We are enjoying it immensely! My boys who sometimes have trouble engaging with other people for more than a few minutes will sit at the table talking, brainstorming, collaborating and compromising for a couple of hours at a time. This is huge! We played almost every day on their winter break, and have now settled into a once a week Friday night game time (the poor overworked DM just can't keep up with more than that). You should hear the stories we are weaving! Right now we are searching for bronze discs with obscure Eladrin scripts on them, that may or may not act as keys or activators of some sort in this ancient stone circle that we stumbled upon in the dark and dangerous forest...and there is a girl, a mighty fighter named Morgana (no weak and wobbly princesses for us, thank you very much) who has gone missing as she led a group of dwarven monks on a quest to recover a powerful artifact from an evil wizard...what has become of her? Will we find her?
So there you have it. No winter blues as of yet, we are too busy slaying dragons and exploring ancient ruins to mind being stuck inside.