Yesterday I got to play Dungeons and Dragons with actual other people around an actual table with actual dice for the first time in… Eight? Nine years? (Wow, was it really that long ago? I guess so. Damn.) It was fun. It was as much fun as I remember, if not more. I didn’t have to deal with THAC0, for one thing.
Even though I haven’t played in ages, D&D has always been a pretty important part of my life. I played online in mIRC chat rooms and on various messageboards while I was in college, but it never felt the same. I liked it, but it was like a grocery store cupcake compared to homemade–edible, but not nearly as good.
I remember that first character far better than the online ones in between. Having her on paper made her more real, I think. Her name was Nixie. She was half aquatic-elf, which made perfect sense if you knew that her mother was a former pirate-turned-bounty-hunter who had attracted a male aquatic-elf patron. He would follow the ship around and bring them good fortune. When Nixie’s mother was knocked overboard in a heated battle, he saved her by taking her to one of those handy Enchanted Underwater Grottos of Safe Breathing. When she got back to land, she was knocked up. Nixie was the result. She joined her mother on ship as soon as she was old enough, and was raised in armor and with a sword in her hand. Nixie had silver hair, with one green eye and one blue eye. If she sounds like something a fourteen-year-old would come up with, you would be correct.
Nixie was a fighter. She started out with six hit points, leather armor, a short sword and a longbow. She nearly died in her first fight because she had six goddamn hit points. (She got better.) On another occasion, she managed to critically miss the target and accidentally shoot herself with a bow and arrow for half of her total health. She got into a lot of trouble, but she always managed to survive.
Playing yesterday brought back many of those memories, and helped to create new ones. My boyfriend, younger brother, and younger brother’s girlfriend all joined me. It was the first time any of them had played D&D, and they all loved it. I think 4th Edition is a really solid system for first-timers and old-timers alike. It took them a couple of rounds to get the hang of the combat system and then we were off and running. (Or rolling, if you like the pun.) Arrows were shot, spells were slung, swords were slashed and a good time was had by all.
And yes, it turned out I could throw a rock at the kobold. And I killed it with said rock, too. Yeah! Suck it, kobolds!