Dungeons & Dragons has seen a big resurgence lately, due in part to its appearance in Netflix’s Stranger Things. My sons have gotten into it and begged me to take them through a few dungeons over the summer. Playing a few scenarios with my boys was so much fun! It let their creativity flow as they had to make difficult “life or death” choices. They were engrossed in the stories and really felt like they were part of the adventure. Most of their free time is spent in digital worlds, and seeing them use their imaginations was a real treat for this dad.
Their interest got me to dig through my own “dungeon” on a quest to recover some D&D artifacts from my youth. Most of my old books and manuals were lost years ago, but I did manage to keep the lead figures that I painted when I was a probably ten years old. I remember getting frustrated with my inability to paint the miniatures well, and I gave up and just spray painted them, so while some of them still retain their original rough paint jobs, most are just glossy black now.
Walk into any game store today, and you’re presented with hundreds of miniatures, some metal, but most are plastic. The detail on these new figures is incredible, and they do look great, but I’ll always have a fondness for the crude 80’s figures. The sheer volume of books and manuals available for D&D is astounding — and expensive! This is not a cheap game to get into, but luckily, we have the internet now, which is a treasure trove my ten-year old self could never have imagined.
D&D is certainly not for everyone, but it is a game that can be enjoyed by all ages. Rediscovering it 40 plus years later has been a treat, and I look forward to crawling more dungeons with my new youthful apprentices.
Never could get into the game itself, but always LOVED collecting and painting the miniatures. D&D, Warhammer 40K, Star Wars, and Aliens. I still have my Aliens miniatures. Always liked the artwork in the books as well.
I’m the same — played some as a kid, but my main interest was really in the painting aspect of the hobby. Never really stopped, just progressed to model railroads, dioramas, models, etc.
I got into D&D in middle school (ye olde red box) and ran my friend through part of the Keep on the Borderlands…as well as I could at that age anyway. It wasn’t until I hit high school that I really got into playing with a group of older kids that met in the library after school.
I haven’t played in a very long time but I’ve kinda renewed my interest after reading Art & Arcana. And by renewed I mean have started looking at the newer books/manuals.
If you can find someone to play with, I would definitely recommend giving it a try. I found it really enjoyable. The new 5th edition books are excellent.
I get by listening to a couple of podcasts where they record their play session.
The Rebel says
Nice post Brian. I recently got back into playing D&D with my wife (yup, my missus) because we recently re-connected with our old Dungeon Master from 20 years back. We’re now joined by our 11-year old who’s equally excited about the role-playing element of the game all thanks to Stranger Things.
The thing is, we were all astonished by the complexities of the rule book/core book these days. They just got more complicated over the years I supposed, not that we’re supposed to use them ourselves.
I strongly endorse “house rules.” We use the books as a guide, but we adjust the “rules” to whatever we decide keeps it fun. D&D should not feel like an advanced math course. 😉
The Rebel says
Agree with ya! At the end of the day it should be fulfilling for everyone…Dungeon Master included!