Monday, March 9, 2015

D&D - Why

D&D - Why

Why do we play D&D?  I had this conversation a few weeks ago with someone.  She said that for her D&D was more just an excuse to get together and hang out.  An excuse to drink and order pizza and see people.

I shook my head.

I didn't have a good answer at the time.  Something about D&D is more than that for me.  A tremendous part of it of course has to be the camaraderie.  It's about seeing your friends at a regular time, gathered around the table and sharing together.  You get to eat snacks, talk about where everyone is at, have some fun.  But you also make a story.  For four to six hours every week, you gather a group of your friends, and you collectively make a story.  You have this tremendous sense of investiture because you have a hand in making, in raw decision making and forming.

You roll dice. You hope for ideal situations, they only sometimes come.  You dream up grand and huge ideas, and you fail, and you succeed, you triumph, and sometimes you die.  You play things that you really aren't in real life.  More than that you get to play. I mean reallly, realllllly play. Imagine, try, dream, play.

Every week I come up with crazy, strange and wondrous odd things.  I've been building this world now for about six months. It has been a great creative outlet that piques my interest and tastes in terms of game design and writing refinement.  Some weeks I spend dreaming up heroes, others I weave tales about how deities interact and the mechanations of gods in the lives of mortals.  Sometimes I build cities and civilizations, define governments and class wars, races and calendars.

This week I wrote a strange love story. Set in a vast and weird world, with characters that would never have otherwise found affiliation.  D&D gave me an opportunity to not only make these characters, to define them and give them agency, but also to pit them against my players. To make them have choices, to give them their own story.

To let them have tragedy.

My players knew them as adversaries, but I hope in the coming days to take the notes I've made over the last few days and make it an actual story, because D&D gave me the opportunity to play.

To explore

And to dream.