During a particularly boring day during my two long years in a mundane job, I happened to sit next door to a colleague who was idly doodling in his sketchbook. It was obviously a map of some kind of underground complex with passageways and doors. When I asked him about it, he immediately clammed up and it took some persistent cajoling to get him to explain what it was.
“It’s for a game” he said curtly.
“What sort of game?” I asked, my curiosity piqued.
“I can’t explain – if you really must know, you’ll have to come and play.”
So I did – and boy, am I glad I did. The game was Dungeons and Dragons and the first thing handed to me was a sheet of paper. On one side was a picture of a medieval figure complete with armour and sword. The other side was jam-packed with statistics. The second thing handed to me was a handful of polyhedral dice.
As I studied the character sheet, struggling to make head nor tail of all the statistics, my new friend told me not to worry about it and drew my attention to the table where he drew a map of an inn. He asked me where I wanted to be. Something in his tone told me that something was about to happen, so I chose to stand over by the window. He told me that the other patrons were looking at me strangely, so reluctantly, I took my place at a table.
It wasn’t long before a wolf came bursting through the wall and I became locked in mortal combat rolling dice like fury. The whole evening zipped by and at the end, I was desperate to play again. That evening was nearly a quarter of a century ago and yet I remember it in vivid detail. I have played role-playing games ever since.
I like every aspect of them. I love discovering new worlds and exploring amazing stories. The fact that many of these experiences play out over long campaigns of play make them an immensely satisfying experience. The things I like most though, are the maps. I am a very visual person and I find a map transports me to where the action is. Without a map, I struggle to take in what’s happening. I have a great collection of maps I’ve built up over the years and I’m always reluctant to throw them away.
So, am I still in touch with the friend that introduced me to the hobby. No, unfortunately, he was put away for attempted murder but that’s another story. I will always owe a debt to him for all the new worlds he introduced me to.
- Dice Colors (diceaholic.wordpress.com)
- Painting a Picture for the Player (thewayofthedm.wordpress.com)
- Adding Life to your D&D Game (thewayofthedm.wordpress.com)
- [Friday Map] Epherin’s Keep (rpgcharacters.wordpress.com)
- Monday Map: Dungeon Map, Level 2 from Savage Swords of Athanor (swordsofathanor.blogspot.com)
- Town Map for New Role-Playing Game Project (starbrightillustrations.com)
- Unpacking the new Star Wars Beginner’s Role Playing Game box (newbiedm.com)
- First Look: Barebones Fantasy Role-playing Game (stargazersworld.com)