31 Days of D&D — Day 31

Day 31 — What D&D means to me…

D&d_originalIn the Fall of 1978, on a shelf in the Sci-Fi/Fantasy section of the bookstore in our local mall, I discovered something… magical. It was a colorful box set with, admittedly, childlike artwork, but to this twelve year old, it offered everything my heart desired.

I had already discovered JRR Tolkien and Robert E. Howard by this time and was hungry for fantasy in that obsessive way that only pre-teens can experience.

TSR’s Dungeons & Dragons offered to fill that void, boldly proclaiming —

“You are holding a fantastic world of Swords and Sorcery Adventures in your hands!”

“Dungeons & Dragons is the original game of fantasy role playing. It is a truly unique experience, for each participant assumes a game persona who goes from adventure to adventure, growing more powerful with each successful expedition.”

“Dungeons & Dragons will allow you to completely unleash your imagination and creativity…”

There was absolutely nothing I wanted more and Dungeons & Dragons delivered.

Receiving that Basic Box Set for Christmas that year was easily the best gift I ever received, because it introduced me to the game that has continued to inspire me in all the decades since.

dmbobI’ve been playing Dungeons & Dragons (and countless other games inspired by it) now for 37+ years and I’ve shared the game with dozens upon dozens of gamers, making lifelong friends along the way.

Dungeons & Dragons, as promised, unleashed my imagination. I am the writer I am today because of the years spent honing the craft of storytelling from behind a Dungeon Master’s Screen.

And best of all, I’ve been able to share the game with my son, now twelve years old himself, and he’s in love with it too.

What does D&D mean to me? The world. It means the world.

31 Days of D&D — Day 30

Day 30 — Favorite “Celebrity” DM?

There aren’t a lot of high profile game masters out there, but they do exist. Of late, I’ve been enamored with Matthew Mercer.

mercer

Being a voice actor, Mercer has the ability to uniquely bring his npcs to life and his smooth but authoritative command of the table is admirable. He’s obviously having fun and so are the players at the Critical Role table.

31 Days of D&D — Day 29

Day 29 — Favorite Place I’ve Played?

I’ve gamed in a lot of interesting places and some very mundane ones. Oddly enough, I don’t think I’ve ever played in a basement. There was my parent’s attic, my grandmother’s dining room, Wizard’s Keep, a slew of apartments, a few hotel rooms, a Town Hall, an Oddfellows Lodge, a shelter house, campsite, even a cave once.

As for favorite — coming in second place would be Brent’s Garage…

garage1

garage2

We sure had a lot of fun in that place over the years and we played all kinds of games there — D&D (of course), Gamma World, Top Secret, Boot Hill, Traveller, Twilight 2000, Car Wars, and more.

But my favorite place has got to be at our dining room table. Why? I mean, it’s too small and the lighting is terrible… Well, it’s because it’s where I taught my son the game and where we play now whenever we get the chance.

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31 Days of D&D — Day 28

Day 28 — Favorite Cursed Item?

So many fun ones for a DM, like Armor of Arrow Attraction, Boots of Dancing, or Necklace of Strangulation, or anything that flips your alignment or switches your gender.

Cursed items can really shake up a campaign.

My most recent favorite was in the Enochia campaign and was the Crown of Koldwynt’r worn by the Lich King. It was, to be quite honest, slightly borrowed from Adventure Time.

iceking

The Crown conferred upon the wearer all manner of cold-related magical powers, you know— cone of cold, ice storm, wall of ice, and the like — but it did so by slowly robbing you of your body heat, until you became undead, a lich if you will, kept alive by the crown’s magic.

But it didn’t stop there.

The Crown of Koldwynt’r continues to be fueled by draining the heat from everything around it…

Yeah, that was a good one. I need to dust that beast off again and give it another run.

 

31 Days of D&D — Day 26

Day 26 — Favorite Magic Item(s)?

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The Hammer of Thunderbolts

A +3 returning hammer that deals 4d6 points of damage on any hit? Yes please, but toss in a Belt of Giant Strength and Gauntlets of Ogre Power along with it and you can stack all those enhancement bonuses, becoming far more than just a force to be reckoned with. You become a force of nature.

Big damage, an ominous thunderclap, and instant death dropped on giants of all stripes — If combat is your thing, the Hammer of Thunderbolts is the ultimate magic item…