Dungeons and Dragons – huh?!

This is an introductory post to my Campaign Diary series, which covers the adventures my friends and I experience when we play Dungeons and Dragons. You can see the first post here!

Wizards of the Coast

Dungeons and Dragons? Isn’t that the devil worshipping thing from the ’80s?

In a word? No.

In a paragraph? Nope. When Dungeons and Dragons, D&D or DnD for short, first came to popularity it did indeed cause some concern amongst some uber Christian Americans. This caused the ‘Satanic Panic’ as some people were worried that their children were getting involved in satanic worship, as the game mentions magic, wizards, spells and many gods throughout. However this is all just a major panic over nothing. The New York Times did a great Retro Report on it that you can watch on YouTube.

Okay if there’s no devil worshipping in it, then what is it?

In Brief: A tabletop RPG.

In brief but not that brief as the last bit: It’s a Role Playing Game or RPG for short. An RPG is a game in which players assume the roles of characters in a fictional setting. Tabletop means that you play with a pencil, paper, dice and sometimes maps.

The game is quite simple really, with the players and DM only making it as complex as they want. The entire game runs in a very simple cycle.

See? It’s that easy. Now as for why you’d want to pla-

Hang on just one minute. What’s that “DM” thing you’ve written in there.

Sorry sorry, I’m getting ahead of myself as I’m just too excited. The DM is short for Dungeon Master. The DM is another player who acts as the rules judge, the narrator, the actor of any and all characters the players meet, and the designer of the game. The DM has a lot of work to do for the game, but generally does it because they are caring, generous folk who are determined that their friends have the best possible time each time they play, usually to the detriment of their own free time and-

You’re the DM for your group aren’t you?

Yeah. Was it that obvious?

It was the “Caring, generous folk” kinda gave it away yeah.

Sorry.

Okay, so give me the basics.

A campaign is a story that the DM and the players weave together. The group meets weekly or monthly or whenever everyone is available and simply pick up the story where they last left off.

Each time they play, called a ‘session’, can last as long as the players want. But to be honest, my group averages out at around 3 to 4 hours, which seems to be the norm.

But why talk about D&D on a website about the Magic of a Story?

Because, in a weird way, D&D gives you one of the most realistic stories you can get. Sure all the players might be elfs or dwarves, or gnomes, and yes they invariably have magic cloaks and wands and spells, but they are played by real people.

As the DM I don’t plan or write the story, I plan and structure the world the players are in. What happens each session is purely down to the players, who are all striving to act in character. The characters motivations, actions, reactions and decisions are the most genuine and rooted in reality as a story can get because they are the real reactions of the actual players.

Okay that sounds interesting… So what happens each night?!

I’m glad you asked…

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