A Return to D&D

I Have Returned

It’s been 30 years since I played D&D, but when my best friend’s daughter asked me to join her game, I thought, should I embrace my nerdiness, again, put on my wizard’s cloak, take out my wand of magic missiles and join her group?

I won’t lie. I was hesitant.

A part of my reluctance was tangled up in my past. I’d met my first wife, Margot, while playing D&D and we used to game a lot when we were young. Those should be good memories, but as with much of my past life, there is so much pain there that I wasn’t sure I could return to D&D and not feel overwhelming sadness, the type that makes it hard to get out of bed, makes it hard to even breathe.

But what if I could get past that, what if I could turn those memories into happy ones, again?

The other part of my reluctance was, ok, let’s be honest, D&D is kind of nerdy. Maybe, like, very, very nerdy.

However, at some point, you just have to be who you really are. A Maple Leaf fan? Don’t hide it (I mean, don’t brag about it either, but don’t hide it.) Someone who loves dancing-musicals? Great. Bring out those Gene Kelly movies. Love collecting WWE dolls, oh, sorry, figurines?  Well, fondle the Rock all you want. Embrace who you are, write it in your secret diary, put it on your resume, confess it to your significant other.

It’s okay. We are in the age of acceptance. Plus, it’s almost, dare it say it, cool.

But how is THAT possible, you ask? How?

Well, the success of shows like Game of Thrones helped, but one of the biggest reasons kids are discovering D&D is Stranger Things. If you haven’t seen it, well, yeah, see it, it’s outstanding story-telling, but the kids in it play D&D.  They fight monsters together, both in game and in their story, and they find that without each other, they would all be doomed.


They seem to be having fun.

What? Fun without a TV? Without leaping from a bus above an island and landing to murder people?

Yes. Fun.

Then there’s the explosion of podcasts. Critical Role is, at least in my warped mind, the best of the lot, but there are many, many to choose from now. Critical Role, though, brought a bunch of voice actors together and, led by the incredible Matt Mercer, took on Grey Dwarves, Mind Flayers and evil demons, making it all seem like …dare I say it?… fun.

Heck, there are even cool, studly guys like Vin Diesel playing (that look like how I imagine I look in real life), and even at the hockey rink, dads are confessing to have once played back in the day. Could it be that D&D was now socially acceptable?

Judd Nelson at his best, Breakfast Club.
Still relevant today.

In the end, I decided to give it a try, again.

So if you ever played, and I know a lot of you did, come out of the closet. It’s ok. You’re cool now. (Or if not exactly ‘cool’, at least accepted.)

And hey, if you like what you’re seeing, like D&D, want to convert people into nerds or simply love Judd Nelson, share or like on Facebook, twitter, or the blogosphere.