Yes, I know what you’re thinking. “That’s not a very exciting habit.” Sure it is! Let me tell you what Dungeons & Dragons has done for me:
- Allowed me to play a variety of fun, fantastical characters
- Given me something to always talk about at parties (“Why yes, I do remember when we had to calculate THAC0”)
- Been a wonderful way to make new friends
Not that I recommend playing Dungeons & Dragons (or any RPG) as a way to find romance, but if the geeks shall inherit the earth, you’ll find them here. (That sentence made more sense in my head.)
So why play Dungeons & Dragons?
First of all, it’s fun playing a game with friends. We get a kick out of pretending to be someone else and immersing ourselves in another world where magic is possible. In a way, it’s like taking one of those fantastic books I read as an adolescent and young adult, and becoming a character in it.
When I was in high school, I wanted so much to be Menolly in Anne McCaffrey’s “Harper Hall Trilogy.” She was born into a community that really wasn’t right for her. It was a fishing community and, naturally, they expected her to conform to their expectations. But Menolly wanted to play her instruments, not catch and prepare fish. It took an unexpected adventure for her to get out on her own and, ultimately, find where she belonged.
How is that pertinent to Dungeons & Dragons? Well, it gives people in real life a chance to be something else. For some, it’s an escape. For others, like me, it’s a good time with friends, shouting things like, “I cast Eldritch Blast!” It’s not just about stepping into a fantasy world. It’s about socializing and having fun.
Let’s face it: writing is my full-time job. I have set writing hours and goals, set social media hours and goals, etc. So something that takes me away from all of that is critical to maintaining my sanity. That means monthly outings to Panera with a girlfriend to dish about men, motherhood, writing, and other topics, hanging out with other moms during play dates for our children, and playing D&D with my friends.