February 16, 2023
The fantasy role-playing game of Dungeons and Dragons (DND) has been around since the 1970s and allows people to engage in storytelling and adventure in a medieval imaginative setting. Players can choose a race (human, elf, dwarf), a class (fighter, rogue, wizard), skills, and come up with a backstory for their character. Then they get together with a friendly group to battle monsters, defeat evil, sing songs, and visit taverns.
As someone who grew up with The Lord of the Rings novels, I’ve always loved the idea of engaging in this kind of storytelling game. However, I’ve also been intimidated by all of the rules and time commitment. People write books dedicated to just the rules of the game!
DND is getting even more popular in social media because of shows like Stranger Things, which features a group of nerdy young folk who get together to play this RPG (role-playing game). In March of 2023, Chris Pine will star in a movie called Dungeons and Dragons: Honor Among Thieves about a group of thieves who try and conquer evil. And of course, you can’t escape series like House of the Dragon and The Rings of Power—dragons are everywhere!
There are several commercial tabletop game stores in the area that host DND groups, sell materials, and even offer introductory groups and lessons. Even though I’ve never played before, I decided to try something new in my 2023 and give it a shot.
I had my first meeting this week, and my quest will continue for about two months. During the first session, I created my character and met the other members of my group. I drew from my undergraduate degree in creative writing and general love of reading to create a multidimensional character with a unique personality. I can’t wait to see them in action! Will they be good? Or evil? Chaotic? Law-abiding? Or unpredictable and sneaky?
To get ready for my first session, I did some research using resources that we have at MCPL:
- The book Game Wizards: The Epic Battle for Dungeons and Dragons by Jon Peterson offers information about the dramatic history of this game’s early years. This book details some of the challenges presented by the group, including disagreements between the founders. It’s a good book for anyone interested in the game from a cultural or historical perspective.
- The Player’s Handbook is an essential starting point for anyone who is seeking guidance on character creation, skills, exploration, combat, spells, and general game play.
- Folks who were introduced to the game from the series Stranger Things can check out the graphic novel version the story!
I’m really excited to learn more about playing Dungeons and Dragons and exploring the fantasy genre. If you’re interested in learning more about other fantasy books that have dragons or adventure-like storylines, check out recommended titles on NoveList Plus under “Fantasy: Here Be Dragons.” There are tons of great options to try!
Electronic Resources Librarian
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