Wednesday, June 14, 2006
A while back, Wizards of the Coast decided a good money-making scheme would be offering basic Dungeons & Dragons kits to libraries for free. Let the librarians find and train young, new players who will eventually seek out and buy books, miniatures, dice, etc. And while I don't like that commercial aspect to the enterprise, I requested a kit and put programs on the calendar this summer. Last night we had our first "Learn to Play Dungeons & Dragons" program. Highly successful. Five younger teens showed up and had a good time. The kit comes with pre-made characters and simplified rules, but it still took a bit to orient everyone to the game. Eventually we got started and they all survived the first encounter. A bit of learning occurred after that when one guy tried to pocket all the treasure. A fight ensued and the party ended up killing each other off. I explained that's why groups (characters and players) generally have more fun (and last longer) when they cooperate, and we rewound and continued playing until our time was up. At the end I explained the library can't support exclusive programs, which an ongoing campaign with me as Dungeon Master would necessarily become, so my part was done. When I offered the use of the kit as a reference resource and mentioned our study rooms, though, they immediately exchanged contact information and began planning to get together again. One mom was astounded at the end that her son was socializing so well in light of his Asperger Syndrome (which I never would have guessed). I had to work a 10 hour day and stay until close instead of my usual 5:15 for a Tuesday, but it was well worth it. Who else gets payed for playing D&D for three hours?