An Odd Post: How D&D Has Kept Me Going

Dear Readers, my posting, as I have said recently, has been sporadic. as I’ve said before, my multiple sclerosis has been kicking my backside. I’m really trying.

That said, I did want to do a post today, even if it’s voice to text from my phone.

Like many people, I started playing D&D as a teenager. Well, not as a teenager so much as a preteen 12-year-old.

My first group consisted of my older cousin Daniel and my cousin Jack, who was my age. I was fascinated with the concept of the thief (this was back in the second edition days) and a caster who could wear armor, the cleric. My cleric was a fun frontline tank, but my robe, that was my absolute favorite class.

I don’t remember a whole lot from that day and age, but I remember being so enamored with a game where I could actually engage my imagination in near endless ways.

Of note, I remember our characters acquiring a castle that looked like a panther with its mouth open as the entrance. I remember our recurring BBEG, Kief, who always seemed to be behind every plot, and I’m pretty sure I remember him being a vampire at some point.

I remember my thief enjoying being a vampire until it kind of screwed him over with the whole daylight thing. He got cured in the end.

In any case, we always got together to play when our parents got together to play. And since most of the time our parents lived far apart, it was every few years or so. But we always had a great time.

Later, as I grew to love the game and tried to get others interested, since I was the only person who knew the game with any amount of understanding, I began to be the DM. I soon discovered a love for the game that I never realized I could have. I began to craft stories and plot lines, be my own cartographer with maps, read up and discover a love for the lore of campaign settings.

Fast forward the high school, and I found a study group I played with for almost 8 years. Unfortunately, that group mostly disintegrated. A few years later as an older adult, I had a new group that lasted about 4 years. I had players that came and went, but there was a core group that stayed.

I even found a group of players that I played with in Afghanistan. We played every other day the entire deployment.

4th edition really turned me off from playing, although I really tried to like it. I quit for a while after that.

Then I found a new group and played a Fallout-based d20 Modern/Future/Apocalypse with. That became my regular gaming group for a very long time. Then I moved.

Moving to the Midwest, I immediately went looking for a game store and a game group. What I was pleasantly surprised to find, was that my wife and two sons were wanting to play.

Fast forward from then and my wife and I are foster parents. we specialized in dealing with, strangely enough, teenage girls. At the time, I did not have primary custody of my two sons so was never really an issue.

My foster daughters and my sons then became the beginning of my starting and adventurers league group. It was great. I then started adventurously at the very new gaming store in that town, growing from one table of my own children to four to six tables of teenagers with a few adults sprinkled in. Interestingly, I was the only adult DM.

After my MS diagnosis, we moved to back to where it is warmer. Some of my old game group when we lived here previously, those guys I played the Fallout-based game with, wanted to jump back into playing. Others didn’t. Others have moved from here before I came back.

I discovered a new game store, where I joined Adventurers League, only to be asked if I would like to run it. I accepted it. Then the pandemic happened.

Why am I recounting the history of me playing D&D? Well, because of the things that happened around that.

My dad was active duty Air Force. We moved around every 2 to 3 years. Every time I had to pick up steaks and find new friends, D&D and role playing as a whole most what helped me deal with that.

Traveling with insecurities and the awkwardness of growing up as a teenager was lesswnwd with a group of friends who dealt with the same sorts of things.

As an adult, going through a toxic marriage, and later divorce, who still just got together to play and not think about things for a few hours.

Later, in recent history, having the ability and creativity to craft stories and worlds and characters, watching my players’ characters go through growth and watching the players’ satisfaction and delight at what I’d prepared and given to them, despite my debilitating disease that takes more and more from me as time goes by.

Getting to play with my teenage kids and wife, and having a wonderful time as a family and a game group during this ridiculously long quarantine.

D&D has been a part of my life most of my life. I’m 39 now. That means that D&D has been part of my life for almost 30 years.

I’d like to say this unequivocally: D&D is not the most important thing in my life, nor should it. My family means the world to me. My faith means even more to me than that.

But along with those two things, D&D has been such a huge part of my life in helping me deal and cope with so many things: my PTSD, my depression and anxiety associated with PTSD, my worries about life events, the distress that comes from my MS.

I don’t know about each and every one of you, but D&D has been one of the best things during this quarantine. And the fact that tools, great ones, exist to play remotely makes this even better.

Well, that’s all I have for you today, Dear Readers.

Until next time…

P.S. – I have three four quick announcements:

1) I am doing a giveaway! For every 25 subscribers, I will do a random selection of my subscriber list to receive a random painted miniature! For every 100 Subscribers, I will send out a free t-shirt from our store on our Patreon!

2) I have gotten a bit a feedback on my How-To Paint Miniatures articles, and I have decided to do a video series called “Miniature Painting For Amateurs” in order to teach people the basics of painting minis. I’ll be integrating those videos and possibly others into another page on The Blog (with links in my posts).

3) I love feedback. It helps me keep going and it helps me deliver more quality content to you all. Any and all constructive feedback is appreciated, so send me a message or post a comment!

4) Among the many gaming Discord servers, there is one that I am a huge fan of, called Arryn. They are a wonderful and lively community who all love gaming. I recommend joining. It’s a very active community with tons of support with great moderators that all care about the community. Additionally, if you are Dungeon Master/Game Master, you will be especially beloved as we are ALWAYS in need of folks to run games. Here is the link! Hope to see you there!

Published by The Daily DM

I'm just a DM telling the stories of my tables.

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