Like so many before me, my first experience with a Table Top Role Playing game was Dungeons & Dragons. I was 10 years old when a kid from the neighborhood started talking about this game he just tried out. He said it was better than any game he’d ever played before. It was even better than video games. In this game, you can do anything!
You can fight anything you want. You can go on any adventure. You could talk to anyone and go through any door. It was better than anything else out there because it was built from your own creativity. You could literally make it as fun as you want because you were making the game. It also had a pretty epic name. A 10-year-old who likes fantasy will absolutely have to try out a game called Dungeons & Dragons.
Well, my friends and I got hooked after one session. And I really mean hooked. We would play at the bus stop before school, during lunch, and after school. We would play it on the weekends. We would play it when we should have been doing our homework.
Up until junior high, we were obsessed. Then, hormones kicked in and peer pressure grew so immense it could crush a submarine like a tin can. Of course, Dungeons & Dragons wasn’t cool anymore.
My love for the game never left my heart, however. It just got buried under an avalanche of self-doubt and anxiety. As I got older, I would look back on those imagined adventures with a great deal of fondness and nostalgia. I found new fandoms to dive into, and by the time I graduated high school, I had moved on to other realms of geekdom. Though Dungeons & Dragons would always have a special place in my heart, I never thought I would revisit it.
Fast-forward a decade and the 5th edition debuts! In this new form, D&D began to enter the mainstream. Suddenly, dungeon dwelling geeks could be what nothing to found anywhere. My love for the game not only reawakened but emerged like an Ancient Red Dragon from a long hibernation.
I found a D&D group with an open seat on Meetup.com, because that was a thing! People actually started forming meet ups for D&D!
I realized my long dormant love for the game really was like an Ancient Red Dragon emerging from its cave, it was hungry. I bought all the books and read them cover to cover. I started listening to podcasts on my morning commute to work. I looked at D&D art and started devouring fantasy novels. I fed the Dragon.
People inevitably noticed my new (reawakened) obsession. Family, friends, and even coworkers, became aware of how I spent all my free time, and since the stigma surrounding nerds and geeks has been rapidly retreating from the zeitgeist, I was eventually asked to DM. That Ancient Red Dragon got bigger and bigger. Today, I’m running and playing in multiple games with people all over the country.
But why blog about it?
Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition did more than just reignite my excitement for TTRPG. It showed me that there was something important missing from my life. For years my mind, time, and energy has been consumed by what I “should” be doing. So much so that I completely forgot what I liked to do. Part of my identity faded into the haze of the real world, but D&D put a spotlight back on a nearly forgotten part of who I was.
Before I sat down at that first game, my life had descended into a simple routine. I went to work, I came home and did more work, I worried about the future and tried to figure out how to make my work more secure. Essentially, my life centered around work.
After moving halfway across the country for, you guessed it, work, I only had the time to make a small number of new friends. And because I was so busy with the real world, I rarely saw them. I would go see movies every now and then, but I hadn’t picked up a novel in years. The things that were really important to me, the things that I really love to do were set aside for the sake of work.
At some point, I realized what was happening to my life and I needed to do something about it. Fortunately for me, this personal realization coincided with the Dungeons & Dragons renaissance. I wanted to have more of a social life and spend more time doing the things that I truly enjoyed. Let’s be honest, Dungeons & Dragons was perfect. A role-playing game I used to love got popular again right when I realized I needed to be more social and spend more time in my fandoms.
Did I get lucky or what?
For me, D&D turned out to be a gift that kept on giving. I wanted to spend more time with friends and more time doing things I enjoyed. Those boxes got checked. I didn’t realize till later, however, how much I used to enjoy obsessing over various fandoms. Pouring through all the D&D books reminded me what it was like to be a geek obsessed with geeky things. Once I got through the official stuff, I started reading modules written by independent creators. Then I started in on other TTRPG systems. After that, indie games caught my attention.
My obsessive nature grew.
I found that I had to see for myself how far the rabbit hole goes, and I’m still looking.
Ultimately, I found that there’s a lot out there to be obsessed with. TTRPG systems was just the beginning.
So what exactly is this blog about?
Dungeons & Dragons, of course!
But not just that. I want to dive deep into table top role playing systems in general. I intend to focus on independent creators. There are writers doing truly unique, creative, and artistic things in a medium that has not really had an opportunity to be explored. Fantasy and sci-fi have an exciting and new vehicle.
However, if you’re into Dungeons & Dragons, tabletop RPGs, fantasy and sci-fi, you’re probably into a lot of other things. Well, so am I. This fandom is big. So big, in fact, it has a lot of other fandoms orbiting it. I want to explore what’s new and interesting in those worlds as well.
My focus is going to be on the creators, however.
I’m going to pay particular attention to indie creators. These people are artists trying new things and exploring (or creating) new worlds. I want to talk to them. I want to write about what they are doing.
Dungeons & Dragons reminded me of what really matters to me. It showed me what I lost in my desperate attempt to fit into the world. Creativity. Ultimately, that’s what this blog is about, creative content and the creative people making it.