Monday, February 3, 2014

Of Dice & Men

Just finished Of Dice and Men which I, despite my attempts at setting up a proper reading schedule, slipped in between "proper" novels. Some books are just too interesting and I tear into them straight away. This one I was curious about, because it tells the story of Dungeons & Dragons, which I've had a soft spot for since being introduced to it back in '92. A good role-playing game session, regardless of system, is one of the finer things to experience in life; I've always loved it. The book felt woefully short, I could read about this stuff infinitely, especially the recaps from adventures played. The text is mostly about the actual history behind the game - a look into how Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson became the originators of the role-playing game, and how their work resulted in big business. It's well written and easy to read, weaving stories from game sessions into the historical narrative successfully. When it was over, I wanted to read more. I love reading "war stories" from RPGs, imagining what it would have been like to be part of this or that campaign. Speaking of RPGs, it's been awfully quiet around the A Song of Ice and Fire role-playing game. 

The author of Of Dice & Men, David M. Ewalt, correctly (I assume) reasons that these type of tabletop games have lost a lot of ground to computer games, but if you want to really live the adventure in Westeros, there's (still) no good game based on George R.R. Martin's novels, so you pretty much have to go for the Green Ronin RPG. For 2014, Green Ronin has planned a 160-page long adventure, Dragon's Hoard (a lost Targaryen treasure?) which would help fans of the series along building a great experience. There are too few people role-playing in this world right now (correlating with increased violence! You heard it here first). Oh man, you have no idea how much I crave a good, all-night role-playing game session right now. Instead, I'm stuck with a pile of articles to correct. I could always pretend they are ancient scrolls of lore... 

A good friend and one of the two people I still play actual tabletop role-playing games with (times do change - my original gaming group from the mid-nineties and well into 2000s was eight people strong - but also, of course, we've all moved to different parts of the country) is also stuck wanting to play more than he can. He's taken his role-playing into the world of Skyrim, where he plays a female Nord named Ylva. He chronicles her adventures in a journal right here, for you to peruse. May we soon sit around the table laughing and geeking and rolling those dice again :)

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