D is for Dungeons & Dragons

I remember back in my days of middle school the 3rd edition of Dungeons & Dragons was just released.  This was my first experience of any roleplaying game and I, along with several friends, had a grand old time.

My character was an Elven ranger named Deacon.  Deacon could shoot down enemies with his bow from great distances, slash them to pieces up close with his swords, and easily perform any number of manuevers that involved eye-hand coordination, reflexes, and balance.

Deacon was also tremendously shy.  He did not know how to talk to his fellow party members and was especially timid around strangers encountered on the adventure.  His face was covered in horrific scars and he preferred to cover it with a hood as to avoid eye contact.  According to the rules, he had the same amount of charisma as the average triceratops.

Deacon banded together with the necromancer Amos (perhaps his brother, we’re not sure), the nimble monk Lowenrath, the brave cleric Trent Goodman, the vicious fighter Talon, and the tag-along halfling rogue Milky.  They were all on a quest to destroy the tyrant Zarbon (yes, as in the name of the minor villain from Dragonball Z).  Both Deacon and Amos had a personal vendetta against Zarbon because he slew their parents.  The backstory and motivation of any similar heroes has never been seen in any tale past, present, or future.

The heroes never actually did stop Zarbon.  But along the way they conquered an occupied castle, slew the mooncalf on top of Nightfang Spire, found a room made out of gold (which they melted down into coins), and even ventured into the nightmarish land of Ravenloft.

Sometimes characters die in D&D.  Deacon was killed off by a beast called a Digester.  It spewed a jet of acid and melted Deacon into a puddle of goo, but through the magic of resurrection he came back.  Amos died as he was caught in the magical stare of a Bodak and fell over dead.  He didn’t come back because his player simply hated the character.  His body was burned and the ashes were returned to their homeland.  Neither were heard of again but were somehow conveniently replaced by a wizard named Vincent and a fighter named Ping.

Milky also died.  Upon approaching the portal to Ravenloft, tremendously powerful tentacles reached out and sucked him into oblivion.  After the rest of the party deliberated about the wisdom of entering such a portal, they did so, and the halfling’s innards were strewn across the cursed landscape.  Poor Milky.  He was never resurrected because, in all of our childish bickering about the player, we did not want him to come back.

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5 Responses to “D is for Dungeons & Dragons”

  1. Often times it is the arbitrary death of a character that makes them so memorable. For me it was a brash young man from the mountains who had little need for social etiquette. He died leaping from a cliff planning on dive bombing a dragon only to learn the merchant he offended had sold him a bottle of snake oil rather than a potion of flying.

    Needless to say my next character was a bit more charismatic and a lot more courteous.

  2. I never played D&D. I’d love to learn how to play now, but surprisingly enough I can’t find anyone who wants to play.

  3. Call me old fashioned but that sounds terrible. I roleplay so I can physically be in the presence of other people (else I would just play a videogame). I know this is not always possible (I’ve had party members Skype in), but I do thing it should be the goal. But of course, it’s my choice with how people raid dungeons on their own time. 🙂

    Stephanie, you might want to consider asking some of your guy friends if they play or know someone who does. Typically we keep this kinda knowledge sealed shut around women. You can also check out postings in your local comic book shop.

    You should also think about what kind of D&D you want to play. There are many different editions (4th being the newest). Lots of players, myself included, stick with a game called Pathfinder that is a third party clone of the previous version. But there’s also a growing number of people starting to play third party clones of some of the earliest versions (such as Labyrinth Lord).

    In fact, RedHobbit here could probably educate both of us to the merits of Labyrinth Lord. I know I’m curious! I simply would like a game that is faster than 3rd edition (especially at higher levels).

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