This is a little off the beaten path. I don’t really talk too much about the nerd stuff in my life except for Star Wars.
I can’t write fiction. I’m not good at using words to make
But what I am good at and what I love is telling stories. I love story telling. Little stories, epic stories of heroism or boldness, stories of character growth. But for the most part, I haven’t been really able to find a way to tell those stories.
So what changed? Learning to play Dungeons and Dragons.
Just in case you don’t know what it is, Dungeons & Dragons, a tabletop Role Playing Game that has been around since the mid 70s, D&D is experiencing a renaissance. With the advent of Twitch (gaming streams) and the switch of YouTube from viral type content to regular programming and how-to type videos, people who have never played can easily learn how to run and play. There are even shows on YouTube and Twitch like Critical Role that air a continuous game every week, now for over three years.
In addition, with the accessibility growing, the perception of D&D has drastically changed from something only for super-nerdy neckbeards who live in their mother’s basement, to something that can be for anyone. And for me, it was the storytelling that hooked me. First as a player, then as a Dungeon Master (the player that “runs” the game each session).
I love the storytelling in RPGs not because I can “finally have my stories be heard,” but because there are anywhere between 4-8 people you are collaboratively telling the story with. When done right, you have each person wanting to tell their character’s own story while getting to roll some dice and kills some mythic monsters (let’s be honest, that’s still one of the best parts of the game).
But D&D has tapped into something that resonates with a lot of people with the role playing aspect of the game. In this game you can play a larger that life version of yourself or play a character completely different from your self. For some it serves great therapy, for some it’s can be like an interactive version of your favorite TV show, and for others it’s a more immersive version of a video game they love. And not only that, they get to do it with a bunch of their friends.
Not long after I started playing, I was drawn to being a DM (the game runner). I loved the idea of created a world that can be a sandbox for others to explore. I loved the idea of facilitating a way to not only tell my stories, but for the others to tell stories too!
Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Star Wars, everyone loves a good story. A story of struggle, growth, and becoming something that you never knew you could be. Stories with great tragedy, but also stories with great triumph. These are the stories we love to hear, and the types of stories we can tell in Dungeons and Dragons.