Besides playing video games, one of my other favorite hobbies is playing “Dungeons and Dragons”. D&D is an iconic staple in geek culture, used mostly in movies and TV shows to demonstrate nerdiness. D&D is a game that anyone can play and is a great way to improve on improvisation skills, conflict resolution, creativity and skill growth. It’s also a game that rewards divergent thinking. The best part of “Dungeons and Dragons” for me is the opportunity to spend time with friends creating and building a unique story together. Fighting dragons and casting spells is just a bonus.
The past two weeks I have taken the place as DM or Dungeon Master of our group. The Dungeon Master is the narrator and referee of the game. The DM describes and explains the environment players are in, controls NPCs (non-player characters) and enemies, and directs players on their options. It is then up to the players to decide what they would like to accomplish. David Ewalt states in his book “Of Dice and Men: The Story of Dungeons & Dragons and the People Who Play It..” that:
“In any game of Dungeons & Dragons, the Dungeon Master serves as author, director, and referee. A good DM must be creative, designing a world from scratch and spinning it into narrative. But they must also possess an ordered, logical mind, capable of recalling and understanding hundreds of pages’ worth of rules.”
My experience being a Dungeon Master for two sessions of playing has been very exciting. I wanted to play a game that was in theme with Halloween being that week so I ran my players through a module called “Death House.” Modules in D&D are pre-made campaigns that DMs can use. “Death House” is a story of adventures finding two children in need of help to find their baby brother and destroy the monster in the basement. As adventures investigate the house they find harrowing clues about dark events that took place in this house. They also encountered many ghosts and ghouls while making their way through the adventure.
While I ran this campaign, I did make a few mistakes, but since I was the one controlling the narrative I embraced my mistakes and did my best to accommodate players without letting them know. After the sessions was over I was very tired but I was very satisfied with how it turned out. Being a DM requires constant attention and a lot of talking. Even though it has been a bit of a taxing position I want to continue telling stories and bringing creativity to the table. With time, I feel like I will improve and it will get easier as I get more comfortable with the role.
“Dungeons and Dragons” is a game I recommend everyone try to play. It seems nerdy and complicated but once you give it a chance it is tons of fun. D&D is basically a RPG video game combined with improvisation acting. And math. Lots and lots of math.If you are interested in watching a game of “Dungeons and Dragons” in motion I highly recommend checking out a YouTube/Twitch series called “Critical Role.”