I'm embarking on a new journey today. One that will involve danger, intrigue, and a whole lot of trust.
I'm starting a new Dungeons & Dragons campaign.
That may not sound like a big deal to you but to me, it is. And here's why.
I'd wanted to play D&D since I was little but always felt intimidated. Not only did I keep my geek flag hidden back then, I wasn't aware of anyone who played so I couldn't even get my foot in the door. It wasn't until I started dating someone in my twenties who'd played his entire life that I got my chance.
But not with him. See, his D&D group was "boys only." Lame, right? Those guys had a very tight-knit group for years though so I couldn't blame them too much. But I still wanted to play. So what was a girl to do? Create a "girls only" league with the boys' girlfriends. To be fair, we also had one guy in the group. He really wanted to play and we were "more the merrier" type of people.
But my D&D career ended before I had a chance to make a saving throw. I was dumped by my boyfriend and immediately after, my group stopped talking to me. And I'll be honest, the latter might have hurt more than the former.
I was friends with these folks for almost three years before we started our gaming group but the D&D portion of our friendship was different. We had already gotten to know each other better at regular game nights but once D&D entered the equation a new chapter was opened. I was thrilled to learn the game along with them and discover what their characters were all about. We'd only played a handful of times but they were good times, and times I expected to continue.
When it didn't, I was hurt. I expected, perhaps foolishly, that my relationship with these people existed outside of the relationship I had with my ex. The breakup was his choice, I hadn't done anything evil to him, but they made the choice to break off contact with me anyway and with that, my short D&D career was over.
That was six years ago.
I've had opportunities to join other D&D games over the years but never felt quite comfortable jumping back in. I had been so happy with my group, learning together, being ourselves, that I couldn't bring myself to say yes and get hurt like that again. I've certainly had the same experience with romantic relationships in my life but always told myself I'd never know unless I tried. For some reason, D&D was different.
These days I work in an office with several geeks. We commiserate over the latest geek drama and share in the joy of exciting announcements, so when the invitation arrived in my inbox to join several of them in a new campaign, my heart stopped.
And then I said, "Fuck it. I wanna kill some goblins."
I'm just a few minutes away from meeting with my co-workers now to get ourselves situated for our new campaign. I'm gonna need a refresher course since I have a terrible memory but I couldn't be more excited to begin.
And yes, my dice do match my hair. Deal with it.