Pardon the divergence, but over the weekend, my husband asked me that exact question (in the title there), and I’ve been pondering it ever since.
It caught me completely off-guard. All I could say was:
“Um…I don’t know…do I?”
I stammered a bit more and finally said “You know I’ve never played D&D, right?”
“Yes,” he replied, “and I can’t believe with all your RPG knowledge you’ve never played before.”
“Well, I don’t have all the RPG knowledge, but thanks.” I paused — “Don’t you need dice?”
“Yeah, that’s a problem…” he trailed off. He didn’t have any.
The conversation, though, motored along, as I learned about the kind of dice he wanted (Elvish glow in the dark), who he used to play with, how much he liked the game, how complicated the whole shebang could get. He also questioned playing with only two people. Was that even possible, we wondered?
But that initial question, asking me to play D&D, had me equally flattered, surprised, and scared.
I don’t want to re-hash my previous post and get more into my boring past, but D&D is nowhere to be found in my childhood experience. Thanks to television, I knew the game existed, but I didn’t know anyone who played and I wasn’t much into tabletop games. I mean, we had classic board games galore, and I enjoyed playing them as much as the next Wil Wheaton, but they weren’t, and still aren’t a priority.
Anyway, in all our years together, I’m surprised the subject hasn’t come up before. At most, D&D only came up during many a previous move when I’d naively ask if we had to move all his D&D books, again. As for learning D&D now, in my 30s, it would be strange, I think, but fun, maybe. And possibly good, too. Maybe it would better help me understand the breakdown of different types of points in most RPGs that I’ve taken for granted all this time. Maybe it would help me become a better strategizer. Maybe it would feed my gaming addiction in a whole new way. Maybe it would just a flaming fiasco.
I really don’t know. But seeking some sort of answer, I went to ye ole internets and searched for D&D newcomers and latecomers. I found plenty of great and mostly positive stories such as:
The Time When Dungeons and Dragons Changed My Life (littlesistergaming.wordpress.com)
Playing The Red Box: Confessions of a First Time DM (GeekDad on Wired.com)
D&D: Musings of a First-Time Slayer (thecommunitygames.net)
Leaping Lizards! Who Let the Dragon Out? (bobschwabach.wordpress.com) (This is actually a reprint of a fascinating, and long, article from 1981 from the Philadelphia Inquirer. I find it hee-lar-ree-ous that the Inquirer — one of my local papers — ever ran it. It makes perfect sense that they called it “the hottest, most addictive, most incomprehensible board game in America.”)
The other day, I started reading the original red guide (good thing he never listened to me about tossing the books) in order to get my bearings and pick a character — it’s a lot to take in, but it mostly makes sense. I probably I’ll be an Elf, or maybe just a Fighter. And I’m leaning towards Neutrality, just to make things interesting(?). It’s funny, as I read the guide, I almost constantly relate back to video game RPGs, and I’m consistently reminded that D&D is where all that started. Sometime history is fun.
I don’t know if we will actually get around to playing, but however things go, I’ll let you know how my romp into this cultural phenomenon turns out.
First, however, I must go on the search for dice, carved Elvish ones, preferably.