You should play Dungeons and Dragons – Luther College Chips


As a major in English, there are few things that I love more than a good story. Being raised on a healthy diet of Tolkien, Le Guin and Gaiman, you can probably guess my predilection for fantastic and immersive world building. I love to be totally absorbed in a tale, but over the years I have found it more and more difficult to reserve space to indulge in such an immersion. By the time I reached college, reading for fun was almost absent from my life.

And then I was asked to complete a D&D session.

The campaign had already started several sessions before my arrival, but one of the players had to skip for personal reasons. Not wanting to procrastinate, the group offered to let me fill in as a character for an evening. I hesitated to accept. The only exposure I had had to gambling before was Strange things, and I wasn’t quite into the idea of ​​sitting in a dormitory pretending to be on a Mythic Quest. However, my friends were persistent and I was too lazy to make other plans. So, I went.

And I saw something that I hadn’t had for a long time.

I’ve seen people dive into another world and shut down ours, even briefly. I have seen friends that I have known for years become completely different people, reflections of the individuals they aspired to be or of those they knew they would never become. I saw that they were able to express ideas and emotions more freely than they would have been without the shield of a character sheet. And I knew I wanted to be a part of it.

There are a lot of reasons why you might want to play D&D. In addition to all of the above, many find the experience as a gamer or gamemaster to be incredibly rewarding as a creative. It’s a chance to develop storytelling skills without having to consider every word choice, it’s a story in action. You unwittingly recognize and implement tropes and follow them to their natural conclusions. You describe the world which only you can see as those around you can also discern its outlines. There is also something to be said for the community itself (there is even an entire episode of the series Community about this very thing). Nowhere have I met such a large gathering of people interested in the same thing with so little drama. It is a community that supports newcomers who have no idea what they are doing and wants to make sure they are successful and have fun doing it.

If you still need to be convinced, let me give you two more tips: First, if you don’t know where to start, there are a bunch of resources out there. My personal recommendation would be that you watch a campaign, and there are so many parts on YouTube and Spotify that have great content (personal favorites include Dimension 20, critical role, and Essays and Trebuchets). My last tip? Just play. One of the many virtues of D&D is the accessibility of its gameplay. All you need is six dice and a few friends, and you’re about to become your own hero.

About Johanna Gooding

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