What people THINK D&D is and what D&D ACTUALLY is.
Written by Sally Walker
In 1974 a new style of fantasy storytelling role playing game was created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. A game where anyone could be anything (within reason) and you could heal, fight and magic your way through various adventures. Yes that’s right, in 1974, Dungeons & Dragons was born.
Since then Dungeons & Dragons, or D&D for short, has had various revivals through media attention, especially over the last few years thanks to Stranger Things. However, D&D never really went away for those who played it and even during the Covid19 pandemic when ‘in person’ D&D meetings stopped, players found new virtual ways to get together such as using Zoom, Roll20, Discord and more.
For those who don’t know me, I am Sally and yes, I am indeed a D&D player. I have been playing D&D since the early 1990’s and I am the group’s ‘forever Cleric’. I started playing when I was in school mostly because I was then (and still am) a nerd but also as a form of escapism.
However since the 70’s D&D has had many people asking for this ‘evil’ game to be closed down and taken away from games groups. But why? Welcome to what people think D&D is and what it actually is.
THOUGHT: Satanic Cult – Many religious groups have deemed D&D to be a portal to hell and that it’s players are group members of various cults including Satanism.
TRUTH: In reality, D&D is a game where good (mostly) triumphs over evil, or in D&D terms, the group triumphs over the BBEG (Big Bad Evil Guy/Gal). The game and the gaming system promotes working together, forming friendships and supporting each other. None of which has anything to do with the Devil.
THOUGHT: Fetishes & Kinky Role play – Many people still think that D&D is a cover up for other types of role play.
TRUTH: The most touching I have EVER seen in a D&D group is when someone drops a set of dice or their character sheet and someone else picks it up for them. The height of excitement isn’t anything sexy, it’s usually if you stumble across a forest and you happen to find a magical healing potion on the floor!
THOUGHT: Only Male Nerds Play
TRUTH: Well yes, I am a nerd, and a proud one at that, and I play D&D but did you know that I am also a qualified financial advisor, journalist and a web developer? I am also gasp female, a wife and mum. Not only nerdy types play. In fact that is the wonderful thing about D&D, ANYONE can play, no matter of age, race, gender, sexual orientation, background or even whether you have the nerd gene or not.
THOUGHT: Too Complicated
TRUTH: When you first start to play D&D you may well be a little overwhelmed by all the books, character sheets, the numbers, the stats and the actual gameplay. But I can promise you, it is easier than you think. It is a game that you need to play to learn. Once you have a couple of sessions under your belt you will see that it is really a lot simpler than it looks and a lot of it is just imagination and a teeny bit of math! (Don’t panic, calculators and D&D specific apps are allowed too!).
I cannot imagine a time when I do not want to play D&D, it has been part of my life for over 35 years. It has allowed me to feel more confident in myself, to get me through some difficult times in my life, to make new friends and to become who I am today. So why not join a D&D group today and have a go. You never know, you might love it. I think you will.
Written by Sally Walker
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