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Veteran Member - Level 14
Growing up, my brother and I always played a lot of video games that dealt with fantasy/adventure. But the experience that stuck with me more than anything was a board game that he had called Hero Quest. The game was set up to where the players each picked one of four characters (Barbarian, Elf, Dwarf, and Wizard) and had to maneuver around the board with a predetermined set up to complete quests given out of the quest book. It was very basic, but it was a ton of fun for us back in the day, and we picked up the two expansions as well.
A few years later, my brother got me into a card game that seemed very strange to me at first. Yet, as I got to play it more and more, and picked up on some of the intricacies of it (as well as collected a decent deck of my own), I began to truly appreciate playing it. Of course, my days of Playing Magic: The Gathering are long behind me, but when I was into it back in elementary and middle school, I would often bring my deck with me to school, just in case if we should have indoor recess, and my friends and I would be able to find our own little space to play.
After I stopped playing Magic, I had an extended period of time in which I didn't play any sort of table top or board games. My brother moved out and we didn't see each other on as regular a basis, so we didn't play. Meanwhile, the majority of my friends, like me began to get heavily into video games. So, it passed that I didn't play any for the rest of my time that I lived at home, and the trend continued through my time in the Army, as there wasn't anyone I knew that played.
Then, when I got out, and was settling back into living in Nebraska, a couple friends that I got to know through my brother invited me to hang out at a friend's place to play Dungeons & Dragons. At this point, I had never played Dungeons & Dragons. My brother and I tried a couple of times to set something up with a couple of friends that shared interests in table top games, but nothing ever happened with it. So, I agreed, not sure entirely what to expect.
Not only did I not realize just how much I would end up enjoying playing, but it turns out that the friend's place we were playing at was friends with a good friend of mine from high school, and it just so turned out that the other person playing with us happened to be my friend from high school Lincoln, as it turns out, is a city, where everyone knows people who know people. It just happened to work out that Paul, the friend I had met through my brother, was one of the managers of the grocery store my friend Amanda worked at during high school. Any concerns about how it would work out playing with this group were gone, as I found myself right at home, and able to pick up on the game and play off of what others did fairly quickly.
The first game we played lasted for over 2 years, ending last Spring. I played as a true neutral half elf rogue, and fell into a group of travelers from several walks of life. We had the dwarven thief, who later married a princess and spent many of his days running from responsibility, while trying to take over any army he could get his hands on. Then there was the monk, who lacked self confidence at first, but grew into an opinionated jerk. Next was the noblewoman that dressed as a man so she could become a knight. She was a goodie two shoes and ended up becoming the queen of a country. Finally, we had the half orc barbarian, or as we liked to call her, the blender. All came from different walks of life and had different personalities to play out, and over two years, the adventure was one that kept us excited for the possibilities each week.
You must die. I alone am best.
As that session was going on, my friends got me into another board game that I absolutely love, called Zombies. This game normally takes us 3-4 hours to play out, because we play it about as cut throat as you can imagine. The concept is that you build the map as you go. Each tile of the map is made up of 3x3 squares, with the layout of a city drawn into them. As you build, there are new buildings that eventually are placed that hold supplies, as well as zombies that can be battled. The last card is the helipad, which we always play as far away from the start point as possible. As you play, you collect the zombies that you kill. First to 25 zombies, or to reach the helipad wins. However, should you die in combat, you lose half your zombies and have to start from the beginning again. It is nothing to see a line of zombies stretching 5 map tiles from the helipad, blocking the route, once it has been placed. As I said, it is cut throat, but amazing fun.
Now, we find ourselves in a new session of Dungeons & Dragons. We have the chaotic good favored soul, who is a high priest with state sponsored church in the country our characters are from. He's uptight and hates my character (for good reasons, as you'll soon understand). Then we have the true neutral war mage. He is pretty ridiculous so far, but is in the city guard with my character, and our characters are fairly good friends. Next, we have the chaotic good wizard, the sister of the war mage. She hates me too (again, you'll understand soon). Her newborn son was stolen by the king of a neighboring country, who just so happens to be a lich. She has fairly selfish motivations, but they are understandable (I guess). Next is the drough rogue. She just happens to be possessed by a powerful demon that comes out whenever she is on the verge of dying, or in the act of having intercourse. When this happens, anything in the vicinity is turned into chunky spaghetti sauce. Humorously enough, the favored soul prayed for his deity to intervene one time when the demon was on the verge of coming out, and she now has a demon and an avatar living within her. We're hoping we can get rid of the demon to see if the avatar will start to prevent her from stealing or doing other such bad acts. We think it would be funny.
I'm the one surrounded by three enemies, holding the sword out to the side.
Finally, we come to my character. My character is a ranking officer within the country's military. He has come to fame for his pursuit of bandits within the city, as well as playing a key role in taking over enemy military forces. He is a go to for the royalty of the nation. He just happens to be making deals with the the thieves' guild in the outlying areas, dealing with the merchants' guild, and building a temple to Hextor within the capital city. Yes, the reason that the other characters either don't like me, or get bad vibes from me is because I am a paladin of tyranny, a lawful evil character. Honestly, this character is vastly more fun than my last one. My inevitable goal is to take over the entire nation, but seeing as I can't do it myself, I'm using my companions to help deliver me power that I can then wield to overthrow the current leaders, betray the merchants' guild so that I may have their wealth, and crush the thieves' guild for being a blight upon the order of the city. Awww, it's fun to be playing the helper, while planning to back stab every last one of the fools at the same time.
Video gaming offers some great experiences, but I don't think I have encountered one yet that matches the freedom that one can find in table top gaming. On top of that, it's always fun to just hang out with friends (in person) and catch up on how people are doing. We all like to have fun and there are always a laugh or two, usually to a joke about horse sex (I don't even remember how this running gag started). All in all, table top gaming offers a unique and fun experience if you can get friends together to make it work. It's one of the bright spots in my week, and I look forward to playing every Thursday.
I had no idea D&D games could last that long! I have never played it as you may be able to tell, it's probably because none of my friends play that either, I have played Magic with my cousins though and it was lots of fun because we had to roleplay how the battle was going in a believable way or we weren't able to use a card, we even got to draw a battlefield for our games with some super complicated rules which I wouldn't be able to remember now since it was so long ago.
I really enjoyed this blog. I have always wanted to try D&D but never got the chance. I doubt I will for awhile since I just moved to Saint Paul, MN and don't know anyone right now. Anyways, nice post.
I haven't played d&d for years but man it sounds fun sometimes! Also, I played MtG from beta to ice age and fondly remember hero quest. Great blog man, lots of memories!
Oh man, I'm still in the middle of my D&D campaign. Evil characters are awfully fun, aren't they? It's funny when the party makes no effort to figure out your alignment. It took everyone by surprise when they figured out I was Neutral Evil, or "I really don't care so long as this comes out with me on top" evil. They only started to suspect cause she had the uncanny ability to talk to demons... and get them to leave the party alone. Even funnier was that she was the only person in the party with skill points in diplomacy, so the self serving evil character was always in charge of negotiations. She wanted so badly to be the belle of every ball, bluffing her way into the courts, but was cursed with growing up in such a small hold that everyone knew everyone so ended up... a refined rogue. So much amusement.
I never knew D&D could be so fun! It sounds pretty cool. One of my good friends( I was actually hanging with him just earlier today) has a pack of Magic: The Gathering cards, so I think next time we hang out I might ask him to teach me how to play. I used to be really interested in the game Axis and Allies cause I though it seemed really cool. Does anyone know if that's any good?