Saturday 22 February 2014

A diversion into D&D

It has been mentioned on this blog before, that my other hobby is D&D (Dungeons & Dragons).
As I have only 20 followers (yet!), I always make it a point to check out my new followers and their interests. My latest minion, uh sorry, loyal follower, "The lord of Excess" (Hi, and welcome!) led me to discover the "D&D 40th anniversary Blog Hop Challenge".

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of our beloved game, an initiative has risen - much like our very own Sprue Cutters Union - to have all interested blogs participate in a daily blog carnival, posting about various aspects of another shared interest.
As the initiative started on february 1st, I'm much too late to join the (now closed) list of participants, but this cannot prevent me from writing about another passion of mine. Who knows, some of you may also share this hobby with me and we find something more to talk about. As for myself, this one single link has allowed me to encounter a TON of D&D-related blogs in only a few minutes, so I have my work cut out getting to know all of them.

As I'm 3 weeks late, I'll not be doing this on a daily basis, I'll just cover all questions in one go, skipping the ones that are not relevant to my case.

If you like the subject, give a shout or comment below.

#1 : First person who introduced you to D&D? Which edition? Your first character?

Back in the day (almost 10 years ago), I was part of a LOTR-fanclub, heavily into swordfight-reenactment. I'm not talking LARP-style foam weapons (no offense), but actual steel weapons used in "stage" combat, meaning the moves where choreographed, but a layman's eye would never have seen that. Some blood was involved once in a while, but that just added to the show. Nobody ever lost an eye, although sometimes it was only by a few millimeters.

This was the club where I met my girlfriend and a lot of friends I still know today. One of them was a longtime D&D player, looking to start a new group (2nd edition, not that I knew what was what then). I was most drawn to play the "rogue". It's now 9 year later and we still play about once a month for a 6-7 hour session. My rogue is now a level 6 shadowdancer (level 18 total), leader of his own guild and it's safe to say I've grown attached to the little guy.

#2 : First person YOU introduced to D&D? Which edition? THEIR first character?

Somewhere last year, I persuaded 2 of my colleagues at work to try their first D&D game. I was anxious AND scared to play the role of DM, but we're now 10 sessions later, another friend has joined and we're happily cruising along. Still 2nd edition, as that seems to be every long-term player's favourite. They play a dwarf warrior and an elven ranger.

#3 : First dungeon you explored as a PC or ran as a DM.

As a player : in our very first session we defeated a vampire in the caverns beneath Silverymoon. Not sure if it was an official campaign or something that sprung from the imagination of our DM. My girlfriend got charmed and had to fight her own friends and we tried our cooking skill on a defeated Umberhulk (turns out you can't eat Umberhulk?!)

As a DM : I started my first session with a fan-made 2 hour adventure that I found online (research into what happened after a local mage's tower exploded). It was meant as an introduction to the world of D&D. They loved it, and we continued with TSR 1073 "Dragon's Den adventure pack". I'm currently running TSR 9063 "Against the cult of the reptile god".

#4 : First dragon you slew (or some other powerful monster).

First slewn dragon was probably a bone dragon that I almost killed single-handedly. This was with another (short-run) character. Not sure if it was with my warrior or my paladin. Both characters were only played 4 times or so, as we decided to focus our time on the main group instead.

A green dragon followed, a red dragon (twice, through a loophole in time/space) and some monster, the name of which escapes me, all in "Red hand of doom". Our DM makes sure we get our share of interesting monsters.

#5 : First character to go from 1st level to 20th level

We started at lvl 6 (sorry if you think that's cheating :-)) and my rogue is now 18.

#7 : First D&D Product you ever bought. Do you still have it?

When we started playing, I bought a Player's Handbook and The complete Thief's book on Ebay. I think I also bought the Dungeon Master Screen as a gift for our DM's birthday.

When I started as a DM, I bought a whole range of books, most from a friend who quit playing long ago. (DM manual, Monster manual, Encyclopedia Magica, ...) I will never sell any of these!

#8 : First set of polyhedral dice you owned. Do you still use them?

Yup. Bought at the "Gamesworld" fair in Brussels. I don't think the fair still exists. I bought a second set a while later. It's all part of my more prized possessions.

#14 : Did you meet your significant other while playing D&D? Does he or she still play?

I didn't meet her at D&D, but we started playing in the same group when we were only a couple of weeks together. She quit playing after a few years, but her character lives on as a very occasional NPC, when needed to fill in a storyline that was created by our DM to span many years.

#22 : First D&D-based novel you ever read?

I've read just about anything from R.A. Salvatore about the adventures of Drizzt and his companions.

#23 : First song that comes to mind that you associate with D&D. Why?

"Requiem for a dream". It's one of the catchiest songs I know and our DM has used it in numerous combat sequences. (If you're into metal, try Eric Calderone's version.)

#25 : Longest running campaign/gaming group you've been in.
#26 : Do you still game with the people who introduced you to the hobby?

Already answered in #1, but yes, I still play with basically the same guys as 10 years ago. 3 players of the original 5 have left, 1 new has joined and stayed, 2 have come and gone again after one year.

#27 : If you had to do it all over again, would you do anything different when you first started gaming?


#28 : What is the single most important lesson you've learned from playing Dungeons & Dragons?

Hardest question out of the bunch. I guess it's important to go outside the house and meet with friends IRL, even if it's to sit in THEIR house all day. There's a quality to it, you don't get from only playing online.

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