My first experience playing ‘Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition’
By Sonam Kaloti, Arts Editor
First of all, I did not run into any Demogorgons. Second, I had no idea what a Demogorgon was before Stranger Things introduced me to Dungeons & Dragons as a game that wasn’t completely uncool, despite the characters who play it in the show being, well, uncool.
The characters in the show are given nicknames like “Frog-face” by their peers, communicate over walkie-talkies, and dwell in their basements roleplaying as wizards, for crying out loud. As usual, bullying and mob mentality against certain genres of anything are almost always misinformed. Too quick was I to judge this form of entertainment for most of my life (probably like most people), and my roleplaying awakening had to come eventually—which it did.
Luckily for me, some of my friends had experience playing D&D and taught me the basics of the game quickly. Using the Fifth Edition book and an app called “Fight Club 5th Edition,” I created my character. I thought this was going to be my favourite part of the game, like it is for video games such as The Sims, but I was wrong.
The character creation isn’t unlike many video games I’ve played thus far. RuneScape, Dragon Quest, and Diablo come to mind when thinking about the multiple layers of character creation. Whether you want to be a rogue, wizard, or anything else, these other games incorporate very medieval-fantasy-esque themes into their gameplay as well.
I took a while to create my character because there are so many things to learn at this stage of gameplay. I chose Dragonborn as my race because it sounded cool (that’s how I made a lot of decisions at this point in the game), and then I wanted to choose Sorcerer as my class but quickly realized I couldn’t understand a single word in the description. My friends told me it was one of the most complicated classes if not the most, and therefore not best suited for beginners. Disappointed, I chose the Wizard class instead.
There are innumerable technical aspects to the game, many of which you can play without if you desire, but if not, there is a lot to learn. I’m sure it would come naturally the more campaigns you play.
Soon, I introduced Sir Longjohn to the world. I never chose a gender, so the pronouns alternate. He is overly confident, ambitious, and always seeks out the most exciting and entertaining situations. He also gets bored easy, sometimes resulting in leaving fights and conversations with NPCs early. My favourite aspect about him is his pet chameleon, Crueller, who didn’t do anything except be there because I wasn’t allowed to start with an actual pet.
We played an adventure that involved getting a magic stone for a bartender in a local tavern. One thing led to another and I acquired a horse who the dungeon master named Australia (but I changed his name to Cece) and a giant spider who apparently loved me. I gave the spider away at first but got him back due to a charm spell that wouldn’t have worked had my dungeon master not rolled a one that turn. I chose spells based on what sounded powerful, and somehow I ended up being a little too powerful. In fact, I almost killed everyone in my adventure (including my chameleon) by casting a level one Thunderwave spell. My fellow players were not happy about that one, but my dungeon master found it hilarious.
The adventure we played was thrilling and filled with plot twists that were unexpected and changed the plot completely. Our dungeon master changed a few parts due to the writing of said parts being kind of bland, which was disappointing to hear, but I love that the game is malleable enough to play however you want to.
I’m glad I put my baseless ego aside and played Dungeons & Dragons because it was a great creative exercise, a nice bonding time with friends, and most of all, it was just fun! I might have gotten lucky with my rolls, spells, and whatever else to cause a bias, but I really do think everyone should get together with their friends and try it out if they haven’t already. It’s sure to be a memorable experience.