Friday, February 15, 2019

THIS Is Why You Should Play D&D

As kids, we played a lot of Dungeons and Dragons, which for those unfamiliar with the game is basically a codified version of make-believe, a sort of improvisational storytelling underpinned with statistics and random number generation achieved through the use of funny dice. Players create characters defined by statistics indicating their physical and mental attributes (in the original: Strength, Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution, and Charisma) which determine how good they are at performing various tasks and how much punishment they can take before they are incapacitated or die in the course of the adventures that form the plots of the game. Blogger Jeff Rients wrote the best succinct description of the basic premise of the game: "You play Conan, I play Gandalf. We team up to fight Dracula."

The game is moderated by a referee, known in the parlance as a Dungeon Master, who sets up the premise of the various adventures, creates the cast of non-player characters (allies, adversaries, bystanders, pretty much the 'inhabitants' of the game world), draws the maps of the adventure scenes, and devises the various obstacles and rewards the players deal with- encounters, tricks, traps. One of the tropes of the game is the dungeon full of deathtraps which must be circumvented for the players to succeed...

Which brings us to Philly- here we have a video of some guys touring a derelict house, guys who seem to have played a lot of D&D, judging by their skill at finding a trap and their use of a pole to harmlessly trigger it:

I like the content warning at the Philly Voice: (Warning: There is excessive profanity in the video embedded below.) Judging by what these guys encountered, I have to say that there is exactly the right amount of profanity in the video. You can't expect a bunch of Philly guys to speak High Gygaxian when they're stressed out.


Ali Redford said...

This reminded me of an evening when our (now adult) kid came home from going out, telling us he'd played D&D with some friends from his afterschool job. I giggled and told him I knew people who played that when I was his age. He said he would have guessed that, due to the beautiful, archaic language in the game.
Worse, we took him out to supper for his birthday tonight, and I told him about this blog entry, then about my memory, and he recalled that, too. Then he apologized for the "old" slur. :-D

Big Bad Bald Bastard said...

That's funny, Ali. I'll take 'old' over the alternative any day.