Greetings and salutations everyone!
Within the past two semesters, I have been lucky enough to be the Dungeon Master (DM), for a group of rag-tag adventurers on a quest for greatness! What do I mean by this? I mean I gather 5 people together every Saturday and have them sit around a table and roll balls of plastic to determine their fate.
That's right ladies and gentlemen! I am talking about Dungeons and Dragons, and it's the same kind that you would probably have had nerd friends play way back when, only it's still a modern game!
For some of us, the idea of going on adventures that span the length of our imagination is pretty cool. And having someone to tell our stories can be a taxing endeavor, but it can be really rewarding to also keep those involved amused, and see what they can do within your world. In my position, I have this entire continent spanning 7 countries within my campaign. Each country is more evil and difficult than the rest, but it only leads into more interesting stories and tales of conquer!
Dungeoning the Dragon, Dragoning the Dungeon, or just Dungeons and Dragons can be all simplified to a tabletop adventure, where you create your character and you adopt their persona. You become that gnome, or you become that elf, and use that greataxe you bought with your bounty from your last great conquest to chop off the head of that ogre. You could be a bard, spinning tales across the land, and keeping your allies morale up. Or you could be the devout priest, on a quest of salvation of the land, cleansing the world of evil one encounter at a time.
With all of this, to say it's an incredible game is an understatement. When I was first introduced into the genre, I didn't really know what to make of it, other than the sky is the limit. And that statement isn't entirely true because it could be beyond the sky is the limit. Which also isn't very true because you could explore the dark recesses of space if you would like to.. So to say that there are any limits imposed aside from the limitations based on quantum mechanics and the destruction of the universe as we know it would be misinformative.
The world of D&D expands much further than we could ever make it, and that is the beauty in it all. There really isn't any foreseeable end aside from the current adventure we are on. We will go and save that princess, slay that dragon, and be back by sundown to drink some mead at our local inn, only to do it again and again. Only this time we will be slaying the lich to the far east, and recover the king's sceptre to transform everyone back into human beings once more. Our imagination is the limit, and any encounter can be justified as such.
I would like to roll for diplomacy... With my axe.
The side of it right? The blunt side?
No I would like to cleave some diplomacy up in here.
You can justify doing whatever you want, however you want it (as long as it's within reasonable standing of course). There are rules, and there are mundane limitations, but perhaps your goal is to transcend upon petty humanity and emerge into godhood status. Perhaps you are a king with a silver tongue, capable of stirring a nation into your rule. Or perhaps you are the furtive pygmy who possesses a soul unlike the rest and would move forward to shape the future. Any of this is possible, and it's an incredible experience.
I'm making this post partially to give an insight to not only a player, but also the dungeon master, and to give light to how rewarding it is. I craft these dungeons to make my players think, and they can come up with some crazy solutions that end up working after all. Diplomacy is a fickle matter that can be solved many different ways, or coercing someone to do something for you can be done with coin or a dagger. It's a play into psychology in a sense to see how they will tackle certain objectives, and it's incredible to say the least.
If I could say anything, it's to give a game of Dungeons and Dragons a try, just to stretch the limit of your imagination, just to find that there is no limit. The world is our oyster, and that oyster I'm going to open in an attempt to harvest a pearl to sell to buy that shiny new sword in the weapons shop. It's a great feeling to be in control, and to play a hero is just even more of an amazing experience.
The only question I have though is: Are you game?