As I enter into the vintage-blend years, I occasionally wonder, what new experiences life will bring. Shall I ever visit China – the answer to that is yes. Shall I ever go bungee jumping – a resounding no to that question. Will I ever play the role-playing game Dungeons and Dragons?
If you’d asked me last month, then this wouldn’t have been on my radar. I know of the game of course, and when I was a teenager, some of my friend used to play it. I never really grasped the concept. So it uses dice, but it’s not really a board game? So it’s a role playing game? So how do you know when it’s over, if it is open ended, with out any sort of closed narrative?
I always graciously declined, if asked to make up numbers. Not my cup of tea, thank you very much.
Well a month ago I met a friend from the olden days, not having seen her in ages. She was always an avid fan of this game. She told me that she was currently the Dungeon Master (the game organizer, in charge of creating the details of a given game, while driving it along) of a game, and would I be interested in dropping by to see if it was of interest.
If the truth be told, it didn’t sound very gripping. I like a good story, but this idea struck me as a bit science fictiony – a genre that I know attracts devotion – but one which has never attracted me. Nevertheless I agreed. I needed to disperse with my teenage-angst prejudices. Perhaps I’d been missing out on one of life’s great adventures? Wouldn’t I be meeting some new people? And wasn’t it being held in ‘The Clockwork Door’ in Temple Bar? A place I was very curious to see.
It’s a creative space to work, study, read, play board games. Bang in the middle of the city centre, it has unlimited tea, coffee, and biscuits. You rent the use of the space by the hour on a drop in basis. It all sounded very Amsterdam. My interest was piqued.
The space was as I imagined it. Well laid out, clean and comfortable. Dutch. As well as a video games room, a study room and a ‘cosy room’, the main room has plenty of tables, chairs, books and board-games.
I arrived after the Dungeons and Dragons session had started in the main room. The incarnation of the game this group was playing was called ‘The curse of Strahd’ – it’s a vampire hunting game in the mythical land of Borovia. I had to choose a character. I selected a human named Bartholomeo. That’s where my involvement ended.
Not from a lack of enthusiasm – I just thought I should observe the mechanics of how the whole thing operated. The other players and the Dungeon Master had clearly been playing for a long time,.as they knew what dices to roll. And what said dice rolls actually mean.
I drank a lot of tea.
I am not sure if the whole Dungeons and Dragons world is for me. But I will not rush to judgement. I will attend another few sessions. To see if the penny drops.
To the future. And beyond.