Georgia, dungeons and dragons
Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) — is a board game for people who love fantasy. Our colleague Kirill is a dungeon master — he makes adventures for other players. Kirill shared his story on how he started a DnD club in Batumi and talked about the game.
What is Dungeons and Dragons
Dungeons and Dragons is a fantasy tabletop roleplay game. It was published in 1974 as an add-on for the game «Chainmail». But DnD promptly gained popularity on its own. There are 5 editions of the game.
I would say that if you like fantasy (movies, cartoons, series, anime, books), if you would like to get yourself in the shoes of a fantasy character, then Dungeons and Dragons is the game for you. Your age or gender are not irrelevant. If you are interested in trying it out, if you like to improvise and give free rein to your imagination, I'm certain you would like the game. The key to a fun time here is to have the right company. The bottom line is that everyone is comfortable with one another.
In my opinion, DnD is the best game ever made. You gather around a big table with great people and pretend to be a character taking part in an adventure. The game doesn't have many rules, and the ones that actually exist don't restrict you much. The rules only blueprint how the world works, how your characters interact with each other and the game universe. The rules are described in the Player's Handbook — a thick book that explores every little detail of DnD. If you only just start playing, you don't need to read the entire Handbook: there is an official shorter version of the rules book suitable for new players.
For your DnD game you also need a Game Master (also known as Dungeon Master). He is a referee who gets the game going and makes sure you act in accordance with the universe rules. His main task is to create a world, make it alive, and introduce breathtaking plot twists. Thanks to your Game Master all of the NPCs come to life.
If you would like to see a remarkable Game Master, I strongly suggest you watch the video in which Matthew Mercer, my favorite Game Master, runs an adventure for his team and Vin Diesel.
I myself play as a Dungeon Master, as I like this role. I make up and adapt game scenarios, run adventures, solve conflicts and award the players for well thought decisions.
Kirill's Game Master set up
Another important part of the game is dice. They bring the fun component of randomness to the game. Depending on the results of your dice roll you will either succeed or fail at doing certain actions. For instance, you roll the dice when you need to notice a trap or fend off the enemy attack — whether you succeed or not is decided by the dice. There are 7 types of dice in the game, they are named according to the number of sides: d4, d6, d8, d10, d12, d20, d100 (it's like d10 except it's got numbers from 10 to 100 on the sides).
How to play DnD
There are two types of storylines: one shots and campaigns. Players normally need 1 or 2 playing sessions to complete an one shot. Campaigns might last up to several months.
There's a lot of freedom in DnD in the field of story development. When I played the same storyline with two different groups we had completely different outcomes. The premise of the story was that the adventurers had to rescue a dwarf who was kept hostage in an abandoned castle taken over by a bunch of goblins. The players were supposed to get rid of the goblins and set the dwarf free. Preferably, alive.
When I played this campaign for the first time, there was a necromant in the group of adventurers. By the end of the game the necromant managed to collect quite an impressive army of zombies. So my players sent the zombies to attack goblins in the castle. This maneuver kept them safe during the offensive.
In the castle there was a tower, where the goblins kept an owlbear — an extremely dangerous creature. The team's druid planted explosive mushrooms in front of the tower. When the owlbear was released, it rushed over the mushrooms and exploded on them.
My new team of adventurers in Batumi came up with an even more elegant plan. They managed to steal a barrel of strong dwarven brandy on the way to the castle and saved it for better times. The guys went from the back entrance to the tower and did not meet almost any goblins. They found a room with a prisoner and freed him — again, almost without touching anyone. They placed the barrel under the tower door, placed a long wick, and set fire to it. When the team left the castle, they met the goblin patrol, began to talk, and were already preparing to start fighting. But then the tower exploded and the furious owlbear flew out from there. This is how goblin patrol changed its mind about messing with my adventurers.
How the DnD club in Batumi was born
I didn't really think of starting a club. But my work friends found out about my hobby and when I moved to Georgia someone added me to the chat for fans of the game. I then announced that I was ready to host games at my place and very quickly people wanted to join in. At the very beginning, there was such a stir that people wanted to sign up in the queue. Then it settled down: some people started playing online, others moved to Tbilisi and began to play there.
DnD gives you a lot of opportunities to exercise your imagination and enjoy yourself in the company of fun people. It can be a great bonding experience, and I strongly recommend trying it out as long as you like fantasy, board games and the spirit of adventure.