So Much Adventure Awaits!
Dungeons and Dragons is back, and it's bigger than ever. Video series, podcasts, TV and movies are all getting in on the action - and so should you.
[ClickPress, Tue Jul 11 2017] Dungeons and Dragons has been showing up again everywhere you look. TV shows like “Stranger Things”, movies, and video games have been either showing the game being played, or are directly influenced by it. The pen and paper board game has expanded beyond the kitchen table, playable online with friends near and far via services like Roll20.net and Fantasy Grounds. Podcasts like “Critical Role” have millions of weekly viewers and listeners. People are having a great time, together, and one thing is very clear. You should be playing Dungeons and Dragons. If you’ve never played, you should start. In an always-online world where it’s easy to become isolated, games like DnD give you an opportunity to interact with other people for a few hours of drama, excitement, actual conversation, and laughs.
Some of you may remember your first DnD books, your first dice – slaying your first dragon! Evil sorcerers and powerful liches that held the land under an iron heel, only to be defeated by your ragtag band of rebels. Even if you started young, you realized that role playing games gave you some insight into problem solving, even situations where you had to talk your way out of trouble when you knew you were outmatched. For younger players, it reinforced reading, analysis, learning how to apply codified rules, cooperation, the consequences of the things we say and do, as well as basic math skills. For adults, it gave opportunities for cathartic role playing, a way to build rich and detailed fantasy worlds with friends, face-to-face engagement, and may even have improved your mental health. Recent studies show what long time players have always known: role playing games are useful therapeutic tools, allowing everyone from special needs children, the elderly, to veterans work through tough social or violent situations in a safe and controlled way.
Every quest has a call to adventure. This is your call. Wizard’s of the Coast has a new version of DnD that has been playtested and played by tens of thousands of players. 5th Edition is familiar to people who played earlier editions, but much more streamlined for new players to easily pick up the game. You can even download the basic rules for free online ( http://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/basicrules ), or pick up a pregenerated quest with characters and everything you need ( The “Starter Set” or “The Lost Mines of Phandelver” for less than $15 in most major bookstores or online). Read up a little, roll some dice, and get in the game! A Player’s Handbook is also a good first purchase.
Once you’ve played a few games, you’re probably going to want to start building your own world, and populating it with your own characters and monsters. Many might remember drawing detailed maps of hidden grottos, or high icy mountains filled with treasure. You can expand your library to include the Monster Manual and Dungeon Master’s Guide and start playing regularly. Many people play a weekly game, but some do every other week or once a month. Call your friends, pick a night and a regular time, and see what works best for you. By keeping a regular “game night”, you’ll have a better chance of building a consistent story. It helps if someone keeps a journal of what happened, so everyone can “recap” at the next game.
DnD is a bit like improv. A Dungeon Master (DM) may create a general story line, but that story has to consider the fact that the players may want to explore more, or fight more, or talk more than you had planned. This is ok, just sketch out some general other ways things could happen (or consequences for not going to save the kidnapped duke), and improvise. You’ll get the hang of it in no time, just keep in mind that the point is to have fun.. if you show them a mountain in the distance, they may want to go there – even if they aren’t ready yet. They’ll want to know the barkeeps name. Does he have kids? What kind of things do they sell in this little shop? Little details like that can make a world rich and fun to explore.
We’ve all been there, creating stories each week – when you hit a wall: Writer’s Block. It’s a problem, true, but don’t let that stop you from playing. Use your favorite books for inspiration, ask a friend.. you could even ask the group to come up with other places they’d like to go an explore. It’s your world, so you don’t have to worry about how it “should be” - it’s magic. Put a T-Rex in medieval England! Have fun with it. This is your sandbox, and you can do anything you want with it.
As you expand your world, you may want to have one more tool in your tool chest: Limitless-Adventures. We’re a couple of DMs who started creating encounters to fill in that sandbox and what happens between here and there. Instead of “You travel a few days through the murky forest”, we have encounter packs that can make that time exciting. We have locations that you drop into your cities. We have stores, with inventory, and Non-Player Characters that live and work in them. We have allies, and foes, contacts, and quest givers. Every single one of them has everything you need to just drop them into your world, with one important feature. Every single one has three writing hooks of Further Adventure™ to help you move your story along, and inspire you to create more. You can download a free sample here ( limitless-adventures.com/try ) We even release free encounters, adventures, and other tools every month on our mailing list. We’re here to help you build your world.
This is your call to adventure. You should be playing Dungeons and Dragons. Limitless-Adventures is here to help.