The official student newspaper of St. John's School.

Dungeons and Dragons

We thought we were doomed when a giant, bronze Greek warrior stood between us and victory. The giant warrior was standing over Chesko, our cleric, who was unconscious. Our fighter, Zach, was unable to take part in the fight. The sorcerer’s fire was mostly ineffective against the giant. I felt all hope was lost. Not yet. I remembered the magic mirror in the pond, so I cast Mage Hand to snatch it. “Roll a D20,” Latin teacher Dr. F said. So I did. A perfect 20. I held the mirror up to the giant warrior, and he exploded. Victory, for now. Our quick thinking saved us.

As we walked through the abandoned streets of a zombie village, zombies emerged from the sewers. The group rushed to spread out and attack. Thorn whip, guided missile, arrow to the arm! Our team devised an order and planned to attack while the weaker players stayed as support. We rushed around, hitting each other with a few to many arrows, taking down one of the three zombies. Another one appeared from a house! BOOM! Our cleric sent a “guided warhead” straight into the zombie! Just in time before I got bit. Another zombie down with a sharp arrow by our ranger and another whack on the head from the “alligator whacker.” Finally, running through the flaming house we made it outside, half our team injured but alive.

In real life, Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy tabletop RPG, or role-playing game, released in 1974 by Wizards of the Coast. Facing a board is a team of players exploring the world the Dungeons Master, (DM), has created. The middle school Da Vinci DM, Dr. F, said that he started playing a few years after he started playing with his friend, co-DMing. His friend and him worked together after school on developing their world while skipping their homework — not advised. There are no real dungeons or dragons but the teamwork exhibited while making and in the game is real.

I had a solid few friends before I started playing Dungeons and Dragons, yet I continued to feel like I hadn’t discovered “my people” or “my hobby.” Dr. F my middle school DM, said he used to send out newsletters to recrute D&D players and meet new people. I also wanted to make friends and I’ve always had a vivid imagination, but I have no idea how to use it. Even though I was not a particularly good writer and could not program a game, I still enjoyed telling stories. My introduction to the fantasy realm, an escape from the pressures of school, and an opportunity to have fun came through Dungeons and Dragons.

Despite being a fun and interesting game, some people still have reservations about Dungeons and Dragons. When I mentioned D&D, people used to give me strange looks and label it as nerdy or geeky because fantasy is sometimes associated with being geeky or nerdy. It’s okay to be nerdy or geeky, but for some reason, it just bothered me. I eventually learned to ignore them. I don’t let anyone tell me that I’m weird for enjoying D&D, and that helped me learn who I was.

With my new friend group and the new sense of belonging, I started to gain confidence. I used to be unsure of who I was or what my hobbies were, but after exploring new hobbies, I found my niche.

The game of Dungeons and Dragons is entertaining and instructive. It promotes a sense of community, cooperation, and quick thinking. Even if you try Dungeons and Dragons and it’s not your favorite, you should not give up trying to find your hobby. Try new things and explore different activities. You might just find your place.

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