Paige FTW: An Ode To The Original

Last year, I started playing Dungeons & Dragons with a group of friends.

One year later, we are all wildly obsessed (only halfway through an epic homebrew campaign, too) — and I have to question why it took me, a lifelong RPG fan, so long to get into it.

We play with religious intensity, devoting eight hours almost every single Sunday to gathering in my living room, enthralled by this caper of good and evil. We’ve shed tears while playing (in both mirth and grief); we’ve developed a repertoire of inside jokes (“What are you gonna do, fight us?” has become a legend). Our bonds of friendship are solid.

Our party consists, for the moment, of a wizard, bard, cleric and paladin/warlock (I am the paladin), though we are hoping to add a druid and fighter/ranger sometime in the next few weeks (our original fighter and ranger recently moved to the mainland). We love our spellcasters here. A few of us (me and the bard) have died a few times already. We’re at level 10 right now, hoping to make it to 20 (we started at 1, like true stalwarts).

That Dungeons & Dragons is the cornerstone of every role-playing game that has followed is obvious, from the tactical turn-based battles to the time-honored fantasy tropes to the role-playing (duh).

Of course, Dungeons & Dragons has made a huge comeback lately thanks to Critical Role and the legions of other games that have popped up everywhere.

It’s nice, honestly, in this highly digitized age, to see the raw, unbridled power of pen-and-paper games that use nothing but written rules and imagination to populate these robust worlds. The time commitment it takes to play these games, of course, is massive. But oh, the rewards!

I encourage you to put down the controller or step away from the keyboard — just for a little while! — to try and experience this for yourself, at least once, if you can. It’s a life-changing experience.