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One advantage of a weekend trip ‘back home’ is it provides a lot of blog-fodder. Here’s one.

With family gathering for the weekend Brother #4 grew quite excited at the prospect of having a ‘Boy’s night’ and not just to watch a silly old game but to play Dungeons & Dragons. He promised[bribed] his brothers and some nephews if they came he would provide them plenty of food and drink. We could see this meant a lot to him, so on Saturday night we braced ourselves and attended. 

Brother #4 may be Dungeon-master but he is also Grill-master. Indeed! He is quite the wizard when it comes to the Weber. He had several smokers and grills going as he practice his art. We ate smoked baby-back ribs with a sublime sauce, along with a truly most-excellent sockeye salmon which had been brined in gin and juniper berries. In contrast to this five-star cooking he served Pabst Blue Ribbon, which is fit for trolls and little else.

For thems unfamiliar with Dungeons & Dragons it is a fantasy game in which the players create characters who band together usually to go on a quest. Dungeon-master (A.K.A Brother #4) created a world in which said characters run around. The making of such a world with all its details takes a lot of time and effort. It is no good for anyone for the characters to be killed off early in the game as this means all of DM’s work goes down the swanny.  

Dungeon-Master with his PBR -ready for gaming.

I haven’t played D&D since I was 17 and I was walking into a game already in action. It felt like walking into Act III of a Verdi opera. I hadn’t the foggiest what was going on but my fellow players A.K.A. my relations helped me with the moves. They told me when to throw the dice, which told me if the hobgoblin captain missed hitting me over the head or I had successfully enchanted the troll to run off or I had wet my tunic.*

A group of Spos excited to see each other full up on ribs and PBR AND without Ritalin talk with excitement all at once and over each other. We joke and give each other contradictory advice (‘Open the chest! No throw your axe! etc.) I soon learned paying attention to the game was totally unnecessary; I merely had to wait until someone poked me in the ribs for me to roll the 20-sided die and then I was told if I had died or done what I was supposed to do. 

This went on for hours.

Our goal was to storm an outpost in order to dismantle it. There we got into an altercation with a dark elf, a hobgoblin (who smelled terrible), and several goblins or something like them. A fracas which normally takes a few minutes to do on film or in real life is drawn out in slow motion as we took turns throwing die while drinking beer and eating cheesy popcorn out of The Magical Bowl of Junk Food. There wasn’t a ‘no cellphones” policy so we had to continually focus our Halfling thief back into the game. 

A few of us nearly died. Some of us secretly hoped for just that as it meant we could go home.  

In the fantasy fracas fight we managed to kill the bad guys and NOT die which earned us experience points and a few bits of booty. Dungeon-master assured us there are many more adventures ahead but the players had had enough. Brother #4 did not make his saving throw against Brother #3’s Spell of Limits-setting so the game was done. The Step-nephew then got paged – his wife had started her contractions so it was off to the House of Healing for him after hugs and congratulations from the brothers for a job well done in all areas. 

I don’t know when I will summoned again to don my long sword and short bow but I am at the ready. Next time I will host and we will have proper libations – no rubbish and no Orcs.  

*I am told Dwarf Clerics do this often in melees. 

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