Dungeons & Dragons is a team-based, tabletop role-playing game that combines both tactical turn-based combat and fantasy acting to create an enriching experience for everyone willing to invest the time. It grants the opportunity to live out the fantasy of being a valiant knight, a genius wizard, a silent assassin, some prick that goes around murdering people because it's funny, or literally anything else you feel like. With an infinite number of characters you could play, and an uncountable number of ways to play them, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. It’s my hope to pique your curiosity and set you on the fast path to enjoying this game as much as I do.
The most obvious way to play this game is to get your friends and make a party. The Fellowship of the Ring from The Lord of the Rings is a classic D&D party. You’ll want a couple guys with swords in the front, an archer and wizard in the back, along with someone who can heal wounds. It’s safe and it works…. But that’s the problem. Everyone’s going to play that team. Is this a magical fantasy adventure or a minimum-wage accounting job that you only took to pay your rent? Fuck that. You got three friends? All of you should be wizards; that’s badass. Or ninjas, think of how awesome it would be to be four ninjas. Trust me, it’s definitely a great idea, I wouldn't steer you wrong.
“But wait,” you might be asking, “won’t having a non-standard team make us likely to lose?” Maybe, but you see, there’s no winning in D&D. After playing the game for years, I can safely say that D&D is one part epic fantasy adventure and one part laughing at your friends when they mess up.
An example. The other week my friends and I needed to sabotage a military garrison. Convinced she could scout it for us, my friend turned into a dog and approached the base. Unbeknownst to her, the guard on duty loved doggies and decided to keep her as a pet. She should have left, but sometimes people make gloriously awful decisions. Next thing we know she’s leashed in his house and can’t escape, while our characters are sitting outside waiting for her. Unaware of her fate and fearing the worst we proceed without her. We spent the next five hours being fantasy terrorists, running along the outer walls of the fort, dropping down bombs and dispatching guards, while occasionally cutting back to her attempts to escape the life of a house pet. Now, I implore you, what other game could give such a ridiculous experience?
Nicholas Wrixon-Wood was born, raised, and is still living in Ottawa, Ontario. Nicholas is a fledgling writer with a primary interest in fantasy and science fiction, though he can appreciate a well-written story of any flavour. Currently studying at Algonquin College, he has an interest in exploring the different options that exist within the professional writing world.