Last night’s game wasn’t a long session but it was certainly an active one. No fewer than three brand-new non-player characters were introduced to the group and the band of merry misadventurers finally made it “home” to the castle of their old friend the Marquis of Chute de l’Ombre. But there are two delightful details that made the game extra special.
First of all, it marked the end of my current run as the game master for the time being. From here on out one of the other players will be taking the reins and leading the rest of us on a “side quest” of his own design. That means I actually get to do some playing, the first in well over twenty years. You can’t even imagine how much I am looking forward to being a disruptive force for a change. If you thought the memory-challenged bard was an annoyance just wait until you get to the gnome cleric that keeps insisting “yer not doing that right.” For the icing on the cake I will also be free to eat all I want during the game because I no longer have to spend the entire time answering questions and providing the story. RELEASE THE NACHOS!!
Secondly, last night marked the first time ever that our newest player tried their hand at role-playing. They are ten years old. That isn’t the alarming part. My game is and always has been (for the most part at least) very “G” rated. Sure, there are the occasional obscenities, but last night let’s remember that a three-year old used the term “well shit” with perfect timing and in the most opportune way, so let’s just operate on the assumption that kids know potty words. We’ll try to avoid them, but let’s be realistic, that isn’t a major factor. No, what was alarming was how ridiculously good this kid was at immersing herself into the game and catching on with insane speed to how my machinations operate. That isn’t even fair. She was immediately suspicious in all the right ways, clued in like a laser to what was important to the story, and on top of all that she coined my favorite phrase ever to be uttered during a campaign: “Can we please get back to the game?” This kid knows a distraction when she encounters it, and isn’t in the least bit shy about telling people decades her senior that the game is more important than a story about meeting somebody at Dairy Queen. Bonus points: this kid was described to me as “timid.” You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
My takeaway from last night’s game was that it is a relief to not have to lead the story for awhile because I am hankering to play. It is also refreshing to note, as did an article in Quartz recently, that Dungeons & Dragons will be around for a very long time because people simply thrive on face to face interaction. And it gave me a whole new appreciation for how clever children are. I saw in the new player a glimpse at the kind of kid my daughter was, and looking at how far she has come in life how amazing she is now. There are good things in store for ladies such as this. I for one welcome our feminine overlords, and look forward to playing with a game master that understands how devastatingly cool a suit of purple platemail looks. These are my people.