Get Thee Behind Me, Vile D&D


But he turned, and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, D&D: thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things that be of men, but those that be of nerds.

And so it was that some twisted string of coincidences has led to my thinking that starting a pen and paper D&D campaign would be a really great idea. Playing The Temple of Elemental Evil, which I'm told is a classic module, I can't help but wonder how I would run it at a table with a few friends to join me. It doesn't seem like much a leap to go from a basic understanding of the D&D rules to buying a Dungeon Master Guide and fighting with other nerds over what color their half-orc warrior's eyes are. It may not seem like much of a leap but the end result may be more ridicule from friends and family than I could bare.

The scariest part of all? Hoochie is totally game.

Save the high fives and dirty looks please, I know I'm a lucky man when it comes to luring my significant other into questionable nerdy activities. The problem is that when I tip toed around the idea of running a D&D module with her she didn't say no. It's akin to jokingly suggesting you spice up your relationship with a saddle and a pair of jumper cables and seeing her nod thoughtfully. You were mostly joking but now you have no choice do you? Now you just have to try it at least once.

This means once we move into the house we'll be picking up the D&D 3.5 DM guide and probably the player's handbook too. From there I imagine that we will lock ourselves in the bedroom and read them cover to cover so no one knows what we're up to. Maybe we'll knock some furniture around, scream and grunt a lot like we're having wild monkey sex to cover our true activities. It's gotta be easier to explain away than the truth. Once that's done and over with you might find us skulking into a local geek shop to acquire some figurines and many sided dice. Do they require you wear a cloak and take on a name that ends with "edil" to get in? I really don't know. Certisedil doesn't exactly roll off the tongue.

I guess from there we go to the library and photocopy some player sheets which will eventually become depressingly important in the weeks and months ahead. We'll set everything up at the table and stare at each other in an uncomfortable silence until she whispers quietly, suppressing a sob;

"You walk into a dusty crypt, there is a room to the north and a long hallway to the east"

So will begin our steady spiral into madness and more nerdiness than we might be able to handle alone. My true fear is that in the end, I think I'll like it.

- Certis


Think of it as acting, or playing a role in a play. Seriously. It's a hell of a lot more fun when you just enjoy the game.

People who play D&D or any other P&P RPG don't scare me. It's the people who can't separate game from reality effectively anymore who can be really disturbing. It's a fun way to spend an afternoon with friends.

And it's all a good excuse to eat lots of crap that you would normally never touch without a huge amount of guilt. The important part is the tradition of the GM eats for free :).

That's funny, just this Sunday I went to an ol' friend's house to create a new D&D character for a campaign he wants to run.

It was pretty fun. I just didn't like the bad vibe from his girlfriend. You could have cut the nerd-contempt with a -1 Sword of Angryness.

Another vote here for creating an actual believable but not just like you character.  Computer D&D is pretty cool, you use what's most effective. Again and again..and then get bored.  Pen and paper style, I try to do what my character would honestly do, not just what's most beneficial or maximizes rules/damage/more stuff for me.  This tends to lead to problems, and problems are more interesting then, 'Gosh that whole fireball, fireball, lightning bolt, prismatic spray thing really worked. Again."

If you've ever played a MUD, you've also seen the dynamic of people playing either the "coolest person I can imagine being" or the "asshole I wish I could be in real life without getting beat up" but I doubt that's much of a danger for ya'll.  

Also, please don't leave out the silly accents.  Dwarves need either thick Scottish or Russian accents.  We already know halfling accents, "It comes in pints?"  (you did see the movie five times +, right?).  I spose you can have an uppercrusty British accent as a paladin if you must but come on, how over quoted is Holy Grail?  Real D&D elves (unlike lotr movies) are of course French.

We used to have so many arguments based on "did your character make that snide remark or did you make it out of character" that the smartasses amongst us had to have "role playing hats."  If you were wearing the hat when you said, 'Your specialty is Divination?!?! Bwah hahahahah.  What's your best spell, detect door, range: touch? hahahahah." then your character really said it.