How I Escaped the World in a Dungeon...

“All right everybody, roll initiative.”

The noise of dice hitting the table was the unofficial starting sound of my first tabletop gaming session in years.

We had all gathered around a table in our friend’s basement, character sheets in hand. Chips and Halloween candy were scattered around the room, video-game music running on a loop in the background.

The session was intensely fun, and continued for a few hours. Our spirits were high as our characters' stories began. We had a few close calls, but after a very acrobatic strike from our party’s Rogue, we defeated a particularly nasty Displacer Beast. This brought the first chapter of a hopefully long campaign to a satisfying conclusion.

This, ladies and gentlemen, was the renowned tabletop role-playing game known as Dungeons and Dragons

photo source: rob sullivan

photo source: rob sullivan

Introduced in the 70s, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is widely considered one of the most immersive tabletop games to ever exist. I have played it in the past, but I recently wanted to try it again in hopes of seeing if it was as good as I remembered.

Thanks to my experienced Dungeon Master, or DM for short, the session exceeded my expectations. It was the result of a lot of hard work in the weeks leading up to the session. We had named our characters, prepared our backstories, and chosen our abilities. We were ready to go the second we sat down at the table.

photo source: pixabay.com

photo source: pixabay.com

The rules are a little complex, but it all comes down to the DM. The DM is the person who organizes the story, enforces the rules, and plays the monsters. They create the world and fill it with obstacles and adversity, while the players do their best to conquer it, explore it, or just go around collecting treasure.

What makes the game so interesting is the fact that there is no set path. D&D isn’t laid out like some overly linear video game. The players, if they wanted to, could head in any random direction to see what they could find.

This can be annoying to the DM, but if they are skilled enough they can learn to adapt and create interesting scenarios and challenges no matter where their players decide to go.

So, the fact that D&D allows for such adaptability, improvization, and sheer spontaneity is what makes it, in my opinion, an extremely immersive game. This makes it an excellent activity for escapism.

Below is a video of an almost professional session of D&D, with a few familiar faces. Give it a watch if you want to see what the game is like!

Also check out the official D&D website at dnd.wizards.com as well as the official subreddit at www.reddit.com/r/DnD.

 


John Cutland

A 22-year-old college student with a passion for nerdy things, John is currently attending Algonquin College for Professional Writing and dreams of one day being a novelist. He enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and LARPing. He also occasionally streams his shenanigans on his Twitch channel.

 Facebook | Twitter | Youtube Channel | Twitch

 

 

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John Cutland

A 22 year old college student with a passion for nerdy things. John Cutland is currently attending Algonquin College for professional writing and one day dreams to be a novelist. He enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and larping.

https://www.facebook.com/john.cutland.7 | https://twitter.com/JohnCutland | https://www.youtube.com/user/Countchocky

Important Notes on Escapism

My last post started off strong with the act of escapism. You can’t really go deeper than LARPing. But today I would like to try a form of escapism that I’d say most people do every day. That form of escapism, ladies and gentlemen, is music.

Do you ever listen to a song and feel it just carry you off? You lose yourself in the rhythm and can’t help tapping your foot to the beat. Or perhaps the lyrics tell a story, and you are appreciating every word, wondering how it’s going to end.

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Living a fantasy life in the modern-day world

Have you ever watched an epic fantasy film and thought, “That looks awesome, I wish I could do something like that,” only to discover that when you walk into the nearest bar and ask if they have any quests, most people just laugh at you? Unfortunately, we live in a world where there aren’t any dragons that need to be slain, or bandits who need to be rounded up.

Let’s face it, living a fantasy life in today’s world just isn’t possible.

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Introducing The Mental Houdini

Look out! It’s your boring life! Your depressing job! Your annoying chores!

Has life got you down? Do you ever look out your window wishing you could be somewhere different, doing something else, as someone new?

Well then, this is the place for you. The Mental Houdini is a blog dedicated to helping you escape the doldrums of life.

Escapism is defined as a way of avoiding an unpleasant or boring life by using a variety of methods.

In this blog, I will document my attempts at using common methods, as well as coming up with a few of my own. Some you might see here are: reading, writing, music, video games, cooking, role-playing, travel, and anything else we may discover along the way.

So join me, and together we can free our minds.

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John Cutland

A 22-year-old college student with a passion for nerdy things, John is currently attending Algonquin College for Professional Writing and dreams of one day being a novelist. He enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and LARPing. He also occasionally streams his shenanigans on his Twitch channel.

Facebook | Twitter | Youtube Channel | Twitch

1 Comment

John Cutland

A 22 year old college student with a passion for nerdy things. John Cutland is currently attending Algonquin College for professional writing and one day dreams to be a novelist. He enjoys reading, writing, playing video games, and larping.

https://www.facebook.com/john.cutland.7 | https://twitter.com/JohnCutland | https://www.youtube.com/user/Countchocky