Table top gaming is amazing.
I was introduced to the world about four years ago when my boyfriend got a call from one of his guy friends asking if he wanted to join and impromptu D&D (that's Dungeons & Dragons) session that night. We were just heading out on a date so - still on the phone, he looked over at me with eyebrows raised, "Can I bring my girlfriend?" The answer, "Sure - the more the merrier, if you think she'd like to play?" I affirmed that ya sure I'd give it a go (I didn't want to be a stick in the mud and I've always been an avid reader of fantasy books so why not?) My boyfriend then explained the basics of the game - paper, eraser, funny shaped dice, monsters and miniatures. So, basically - you make characters, fight monsters and find treasure. Sounded good to me.
You start off by making a character or persona for yourself, you choose what race you want to play; human, elf, dwarf... etc. Then you picked a class; wizard, fighter, thief...you get the picture. We drove over to his friends house, met the other players and the night began.
The most important part of the game is you have a DM (Dungeon Master) or GM (Game Master) if they prefer, who creates a world of words (and sometimes visuals if you get lucky) for your characters to play in. Having a really good GM is fantastic! I've always loved being told stories - you're never too old for a story. Actually, that's probably why I work at a library and present storytimes - I've got a captive audience that loves hearing stories as much as I do! Anyhoo- being told a good story really opens up your imagination, you can see the mounds of gold glinting in the distance, you can smell the brimstone hot breath of the towering dragon in-front of you, you can feel the anxiety of your character (will they make it out alive?) it's all very exhilarating! In D&D you not only get told a story, you get to be part of it. What your character says and does adds to the world that you play in. You'll definitely find that the adventure is really what you make it, and if you make it good - you and your group will be telling and re-telling tales of your adventures over and over!
So, I started out my D&D career with a dragonborn (basically a human'ish sized dragon that wears clothes and stands upright) who is a healer (I figured if I was the one saving my groups collective butts from dying they'd keep me around), with a bit of a trickster streak in him (who am I to pass up a good practical joke?). We went on grand quests and adventures together every Saturday night and eventually those strangers that I played D&D with every week became some of my closest friends, and Saturday nights became potluck dinners. Now, four years later, I've played different characters and different roles and we've had members join and leave us, but the core group has stayed. The bonds that people make when they collectively tell a story are very strong.
Anyways, this post is just a giant vote of praise for some of the programming initiatives going on at CPL this year - one being Digital Detox Day.
In supporting Calgary families as they spend time together, CPL invites you to "unplug" on Sunday afternoons through February. Turn off your phone, unplug your iPod and join us for and afternoon of creative learning and enjoyment! Come to: Collectable Card Games at Louise Riley where facilitators teach participants how to play collectible card games like Magic the Gathering - if you already know how to play come show off your deck or challenge somebody to a duel! Sunday Feb. 26, 2:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. in our magazine area by the big windows. In partnership with The Sentry Box.
Also if you would like to check out some fun reads about table top gaming and who plays (you'd be surprised!) borrow The Elfish Gene, Homeland or Into the Wild Nerd Yonder from us or you could even order Confessions of a Part-Time Sorecess, or Everything I Need to Know I Learned from Dungeons and Dragons through TAL (The Alberta Library). Imagine the fun! Happy Gaming!