Friday, April 20, 2018

I'm An Adventurer, Looking For Treasure

Dungeon Master James and Halfling Tori (who's playing from South Korea)
I mentioned way back over here that I had started playing Dungeons and Dragons with friends. It’s been a while since we’ve played though. It is a bit hard when your group is spread across the world after all. And life in general has a nasty habit of getting in the way. Quite hard indeed. But the game is something that I’ve thought about more and more lately.

But it’s not really thoughts about the game itself that pop up, though those thoughts are there too. Instead, it’s about the similarities in my life right now with my characters.


I generally roll poorly when it counts...
For those who don’t know, Dungeons and Dragons is a classic pencil-and-paper role playing game (RPG). It’s pretty much what it sounds like. You create a character (or adventurer) all with his/her own personality, strengths, weaknesses, traits, flaws, etc. In essence, you become that character while you play. Not unlike creating a character for a story you are writing. And that character gets thrown into situations dictated by the Dungeon Master (DM) or Game Master (GM). Those situations can revolve around conflict (“Your group gets ambushed by a horde of goblins in the dark! What do you do?”) or more socially (“The elf with the tattoos and her Halfling companion beckon you over. What do you do?”). But regardless of what type of situation you find yourself in you must react as your character would.


We had two games going and I played two different characters. Dorn is a human bounty hunter from Waterdeep who’s created a bit of a name for himself there but is trying to branch out a little bit. He’s confident in his skills and his attention and focus is on the fact that he has a job to do.

And then we have Flynt. I really miss playing Flynt. I had great plans for him when I came up with his character. Originally he was supposed to be similar to the nameless minstrel from Gaining Music, giving out inspiration and confidence to his companions. But from the start I knew that wasn’t going to be who Flynt was. I started envisioning him as a dashing rogue and a bit of a con-artist. Quick to get in trouble, and equally quick to get out of it. However, that’s also not who Flynt is. Flynt is, in a word, Flynt. Insanely charismatic, he’s a bit of a dick at times and started off as quite cowardly. As the sessions went on, though, he started to grow and became less cowardly. Instead, he has a great sense of self preservation.


From that time Tina, Will, and I adventured our way into Mordor
As much as I’d love to be as courageous as Dorn, or as charismatic as Flynt, the harsh reality is that I’m not. Nor do I believe I ever will be. They are exaggerated after all. But I’m slowly coming to the realization that I’m more like them than I thought. At least in one respect. Like them, I’m an adventurer looking for treasure. And like them, I’m forging relationships with other adventurers I'm meeting along the way. The treasure I just happen to be seeking is memories, experiences, and friendships instead of money, weapons, and items.

Maybe Jay is right. Maybe I actually am a people person as I’m finding great enjoyment and enrichment in meeting other adventurers along the way…