2nd Generation D&D Players

5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook

The cover of the rulebook from the 1981 Basic Set. Cover art by Erol Otus.

“After searching in the ancient desk, you find a blank piece of paper. After giving it a good look, you can’t see any visible marks on it. While lost in trying to figure out its meaning, you become aware of someone or something breathing behind you. What do you do?”


I started playing Dungeons and Dragons when I was younger than ten years old, in a small space the floor between the bed and wall with my brother, five years my senior, when we were supposed to be sleeping. I clearly remember the funny looking dice, coloring in their numbers with the included crayon, tracing the numbers like one would go over a line, thinking to myself, this is dumb. I pretty sure I was an adult when I learned how it was supposed to be done.

Underneath the night’s veil, my brother Scott would tell me stories of combat and fierce creatures, and we would roll funny dice, their results helping dictate how well my character performed or if the enemy heard my hopefully silent foot steps as my character tried to sneak past them.

Unfortunately, I did take most of two decades off from the hobby. From my late teens to my late 30s, I didn’t play much. I tried my best to be a good adult, the best father and husband I could be. The hobby fell away as my friends also tried their hands at adulthood. Fast forward many years, and I find myself sitting in front of my son and a few of his friends with the 5th Edition Player’s Handbook, and I am immediately reminded of the joy of unbridled, youthful imagination.

Max draws his character's avatar.
Max draws his character’s avatar.

There is any number of things that a father can do with their children, and it would be a success. However, D&D is special. It allows for a myriad of things to converge in one time and place. Imagination, teamwork, social experiences, math, history, problem solving, morality and storytelling all come together in a simple, but amazing time and experience.

Playing the game with my son and his friends, reminds me how amazing they are. And to me, that makes D&D amazing.

D&D Inducted into the Toy Hall of Fame

We are extremely proud D&D has been recognized by the Strong Museum, and we owe what the game is today to you, our fans. As stewards of D&D, we will continue to make great entertainment to inspire your creativity.Nathan Stewart, Senior Director of D&D at Wizards of the Coast, was on hand in Rochester, NY to witness the induction ceremony and speak on behalf of Dungeons & Dragons. D&D means so much to so many people, but it is especially important to young people as they learn and grow.

Source: Toy Hall of Fame | Dungeons & Dragons

D&D remains a do-it-yourself, low-tech, largely non commercial pastime. You don’t need gadgets or expensive equipment. The game doesn’t burn electricity or gas or batteries. No monthly fees or (un)necessary upgrades. You’re forced to interact with each other, to be present and face-to-face (not face in our iPhones or screens). With D&D, all you need is some dice, graph paper, some rule books, some pencils, and some provisions. In this way, D&D is a subversive, even revolutionary, fight against the status quo of entertainment in America.

Ethan Gilsdorf, in the insightful April, 2013 piece, What Is the Future of D&D and Tabletop Gaming? (via unpossiblelabs)

RPGs

My desire to start collecting (if not play!) as many RPGs as I can is growing. The current list I am excited to look at: 

I use to pick up some of the strangest RPGs I would find. Small publishers. Drivethru RPG is a great site to look through them all. (Bushido, Wraith, Shadowrun, PSI World…)

I am currently running a Dresden Files game, and our group will likely go back to D&D 4th (or DnDnext) after that.

On my radar.

Not sure how often I will do this, but with The Totally Rad Show ending I have been thinking a lot about the things that I enjoy. Apart from mentioning my beautiful wife, beautiful kids, which goes without saying how much I love them, I want to chronicle some of the many things that I have gotten excited about recently. In no particular order:

  1. Warhammer 40k. It is something my bother and I used to play years ago. We have recently gotten back into it, and it has been a lot of fun to spend time with Scott. My wife has gotten into it as well! (She is awesome.)
  2. D&D. I started playing when my brother got the first red box decades ago. I played up through high school, and quit playing somewhere after I got married. Fast forward 15 years, and I have gotten back into using 4th Edition. (I missed 3rd/3.5/Pathfinder.) It is different, but I am really enjoying it.
  3. Board Games. My first board game outside of the Matel/Hasbro titles was either, Talisman or some crazy Avalon Hill game. Catan, Agricola, Carcassonne, Level 7, Elder Signs, Lords of Waterdeep, Civilization: Through the Ages. Love them all.

What is on your radar?