This I Believe

Michelle - Errington, BC, Canada
Entered on September 4, 2006
Age Group: Under 18
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Get a Good Dose of Creativity

Not getting enough creative time in a day? Is it because creativity’s not entertaining? Not engaging? Or is it when being creative, you can’t spend time with friends? With Dungeons and Dragons, you get entertainment, action, time with friends, and creativity!

Dungeons and Dragons, also called D&D, is a role-playing game originally created by E. Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It’s a session of “let’s play pretend” for adults. All you need are some friends, a set of dice, and a couple copies of “The Dungeons and Dragons Player’s Handbook” (by Wizards of the Coast). Among your friends, appoint a DM (Dungeon Master). The DM creates the surroundings, scenarios, dungeons, and monsters you encounter (It helps if the DM has “The Dungeon Master’s Guide” and the “Monster Manual”). Without the DM, your characters are floating in empty space. That’s another thing. Characters. Your character can be male or female, and any one of the seven races described in the Player’s Handbook (Human, Halfling, Gnome, Half-Orc, Dwarf, Half-Elf, Elf). You decide on their name, age, and description, using the Handbook as a guide. Choose one of the eleven classes (Barbarian, Bard, Cleric, Druid, Fighter, Monk, Paladin, Ranger, Rouge, Sorcerer, Wizard); they determine what your character can and cannot do. Characters have ability stats, skills, and feats, which increase over time as you gain experience points and rise levels. Last is personality and alignment. For alignment, choose any combination of either good, neutral, or evil and lawful, neutral, or chaotic. Personality is based on alignment, but you choose your character’s personal idiosyncrasies and traits. Add all these things together and you get your D&D character.

Don’t expect your first character to be flawless, with an intricate personality and a well-made background – mine wasn’t. Actually, she was quite the opposite. Her name was Lia Amakiir; an elvish Ranger. At one hundred and twenty-six, she was five-foot-five with raven-black hair and dark blue eyes. Unfortunately, she died constantly and couldn’t get over sixth level (Resurrecting people in D&D causes them to lose a level). Since I joined the party late, the monsters we faced challenged sixteenth to eighteenth level characters – Lia didn’t stand a chance. Other cons about joining late are that Lia wasn’t properly introduced to the other characters, and I didn’t get to create her background. That brought about me not playing her personality or alignment accurately. In other words, your character doesn’t need to be perfect, although joining late can become a problem, so try to avoid it.

Despite Lia’s numerous deaths, I had many enjoyable moments in D&D. The root of the most amusing occasions was an item called the Wand of Many Wonders. The wielder was a very chaotic character, and she shot it off every chance she got (we tried to prevent those chances). Once in a while the wand would affect the creature aimed at. For example, it once inflated a giant bug like a balloon, covered it in chocolate, rained bouncy balls over it, before finally making the bug disappear. However, sometimes it affected the wielder. One time she shot it off three times, and it shrunk her, shrunk her again, then turned her invisible. That wand was a nuisance during play, but now we just look back and laugh.

So, whether you want more creativity, action, humour, or time with friends, Dungeons and Dragons is the game for you. I encourage one and all to play D&D, whether you want these things or not. So join in and let your imaginations run wild!