On the way to drop her off at school yesterday morning she asked, “What is Dungeons and Dragons?”
There is a step back in time from her last set of questions.
How do you cover that topic in the five minutes left before I drop her off?
The question came back over dinner, as my wife watched our local Sharks lose to Detroit in the NHL playoffs. (One more game to decide the series.)
I started explaining it with World of Warcraft as my initial reference point, but that wasn’t going very well, except as a minor history lesson in game design and how we cannot escape from what Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson wrought almost 40 years ago.
Then I got out my 1978 Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Player’s Handbook, however that was not the best illustration either. “Not user friendly” doesn’t even enter into it. I’m not sure how we figured out how to play with those original books.
Actually, I recall a lot of improvising and “making it up as we went along.” And then a good chunk of rule book lawyering when “making it up” didn’t go the way somebody liked.
While she was pondering the book (after being admonished to “Be careful! It is more than 30 years old!”) I went looking for my dice. They are around here somewhere. I’ll find them.
So I then handed her a copy of David Hargrave‘s The Howling Tower dungeon module, just so she could see maps and room descriptions.
My copy looks just like this!
She wanted to play “tonight!”
She was on her computer and printing out 4th edition character sheets. Oy!
I can see patience is going to be an issue here. I remember gaming sessions going late into the night and never leaving the Inn where we started off… or never even getting started off, there being enough rolling up and accounting to be done to get started.
Eventually I got her to let things go to the weekend, but the original AD&D might be a bit too arcane… for even me at this point.
I might have to go pick up a copy of the 4th edition Player’s Handbook, which should be interesting. I hear the rules have been streamlined quite a bit. I still think of 2nd edition as being “That new stuff.” The whole d20 system came along nearly a decade after I last rolled my own saving throw.
Then again, maybe I should just get out my copy of Tunnels & Trolls. That was always a bit easier to get your head around, and I only need to find a pile of standard, six sided dice.