Dungeons, Dragons, and First Encounters: Part 1

Do you know what I did last weekend? I played Dungeons and Dragons for the first time ever, and it was so much fun!

Yes! You heard that right! It was fun!!! Just settle down and let me explain….

A few months ago, I stumbled upon a comic book store in a shopping center I often frequent. I really don’t know why I had never noticed it before, but when I saw it, it caused me great distress because I knew I was going to have to go in there.

As things in my life have changed over the past couple of years, I have become friends with nerdy people just like myself, and with that, has come a huge renewal of many things I used to love but hadn’t really expressed in a long time. That may sound a little vague, but it’s the truth. See, I loved Dan dearly, but he wasn’t really a nerdy sci-fi person. So, over the years much of my sci-fi fanaticism had been toned way down. But then, life changed direction, and suddenly I found myself connected with people who like all the same nerdy stuff I do. To be honest, I didn’t even think people like this really existed! But here they are….on Twitter…..the introvert capital of the world. And now I am….surrounded by friends who know even more about science and Star Wars and superheroes than I do! It’s totally awesome!

Into this newfound world of awesomeness steps, Jeff.

(You know….Jeff….? I’ve mentioned him before…..my best friend…..my gaming buddy…..my “chemistry” partner *wink wink*….. *Sigh*…..Jeff…… a complicated story…..that I am not going to get into right now.)

Moving on….

Jeff and I have spent countless hours discussing everything from Star Wars to politics, pets to personal tragedy, and everything in between. Somewhere along the way, he mentioned that he plays Dungeons and Dragons (or other similar role playing games) with a group of friends on a regular basis. This revelation was intriguing exciting. Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) has always been almost mystical to me. I had heard of the game, but I really didn’t know anything about it. I had certainly never been around anyone who actually played it!

Jeff’s D&D experience made him even more alluring, but I think looking back on everything, he probably didn’t realize how interested I really was. I mean, I don’t exactly get “excited.” And I didn’t really know enough about the game to even ask questions, so I’m afraid I just came across as uninterested or bored. (But I wasn’t, Jeff! I really wasn’t!)

As a matter of fact, D&D was part of our first date. Jeff and I met in real life for the first time in Atlanta, and that is a really long drive from where he lives. By the time he got to the hotel where we were meeting, I had already been there for a while, so he didn’t really have time to decompress. Basically, he walk in, we said hello, brought his stuff up to his room, and went to the hotel cafe to eat. I didn’t really think about how flustered he probably was. I mean, I was nervous too. This was our first date, and I was worried that I was going to blank and be tongue tied. But fortunately for me, Jeff’s nervousness translates into talking a mile a minute! And do you know what he talked about? Yep. His D&D group. It was so endearing, and I had so much fun listening to him. It was during that conversation when I knew I was already in love with this man.

Now I’m going to take a moment to talk directly to Jeff for second. So the rest of you just look away for a moment. I’ll be right back.

(Jeff, I’m sorry if any of what I’ve said bothers or embarrasses you. That is certainly not my intention. Nothing I’ve said here should come as a surprise to you, and it does not change the current situation. This is simply my truth, and I can not talk about D&D without talking about you. The two are very intertwined in my mind. I really hope you understand.)

Ok. I’m back. The point I was trying to make before I got sidetracked with blissful reminiscing is that Jeff is the reason I started to think about playing D&D in an actual real way. Before him, I guess I figured people played it, but I didn’t know anyone who did in real life. So, I started asking Jeff about his gaming sessions every chance I could (without being a pest), and one time we even watched Wil Wheaton (you know…that guy who played Wesley Crusher on Star Trek: The Next Generation) DM (Dungeon Master) his own D&D session on TV (yeah, we are that cool 😂!).

Now fast forward to a couple of months ago. Like I said, I had stumbled across this comic book store, but I didn’t go in. I had never been in a comic book store before, and the thought of going in there was very intimidating. I decided to check them out online, and it turns out that this store offers a lot of different gaming nights, including Magic the Gathering, X-Wing, and Dungeons and Dragons. I joined all the Facebook groups.

It still took me a while to work up the courage go into the store, but when I did, I was pleasantly surprised. It was awkward at first, but eventually, a female employee struck up a conversation with me and put me at ease, graciously answering many of questions. She even said she would tell the administrator of the D&D Facebook group to approve me (it’s a closed group and I hadn’t been accepted yet).

The next hurdle was the D&D group itself. They meet on Wednesday nights, but Wednesdays are not possible for me because of church. I wasn’t sure what to do. I almost went one night when church was cancelled, just to see what it was like, but I couldn’t work up the courage.

I started thinking this probably wasn’t going to happen and maybe I should give it up or try one of the other games when one of the guys posted on the Facebook page that he was willing to get a Saturday game going if there was enough interest. I knew this was my way in, so I responded to his post. He set up the time for everyone, and I took my first step into the world of Dungeons and Dragons!

This has turned into a longer post than I anticipated. I think this will have to be continued…

I really hope you come back to hear the rest of my story.

Tela

 

 

Jedi at Last…and Porgs

The new Star Wars trailer debuted during Monday night football. Yeah, you heard me…MONDAY NIGHT FOOTBALL! It was the first time in the history of the world when every nerd everywhere was watching football!

And that’s not even the most talked about part!

But before I go into all the buzz and my thoughts on the trailer, let me just tell you a little secret…..

I’m a nerd. 

Yeah. Shocking, isn’t it?

Look, you were bound to find out sometime. Better it come from me than you hearing it on the streets.

What was that?

Oh….?   You already knew?! 😳 Well, isn’t this embarrassing?

The video gaming gave it away, didnt’ it? I should have been more discrete. *Sigh* Oh well….at least we don’t have to pretend anymore.

I’m a nerd.

You know I’m a nerd.

We all know I’m a nerd.

So…now that we’re all on the same page, let’s geek out about Star Wars!!!

There are a myriad of Star Wars bloggers, commentators, analysts, and video bloggers on the internet, and I do not regularly read, listened to, or watch any of them. But I did catch some of the chatter after the trailer dropped (as they say in the business). There was much speculation on who was talking to who and why. All the usual wild theories started popping up like meerkats on the savanna.

Most of the “experts” were already trying to make huge plot predictions based on the conversations that appeared to be happening in the trailer, but all I can think is….

It’s a trailer, guys! It’s entire purpose is to tease, confuse, comfuscate…..basically……generate interest. If it gave away all the answers, there would be no reason to see the movie.

Here’s the way I see it:

Everything in this trailer pushes us to the conclusion that Luke is going to refuse to teach Rey about the Force. There is the line about “raw strength” and Luke not being scared “enough,” but that’s all you get. That statement alone does not mean he is refusing. That may be part of the negotiating that he does with himself before he ultimately accepts. There is the seeming conversation between Kylo Ren and Rey in which he extends his hand in a helpful gesture, but again there is not much to go on. You can’t really say for sure if this conversation actually takes place face to face. I will admit, it does seem legit, but it could be some kind of vision or something. That conversation could be yet another thing that actually pushes Luke to be more involved than he would like. And let’s not forget the fact that Luke is hiding from everyone by being on that remote planet in the first place. I mean, nothing says reluctant teacher more than disappearing from society for years, but even this doesn’t guarantee Luke won’t mentor Rey. Yoda was reluctant to teach Luke, but he did it anyway.

The point I am making is movie trailers are meant to excite and even mislead. I don’t see too much point in trying to figure out the entire plot based solely on a couple of minutes of randomly edited footage, and quite frankly, I would be disappointed if we could. I am hoping for surprises in this movie, and I’m suspicious to accept the conclusion the trailer is pushing us to come to.

But in all this chatter, let’s not overlook the truly controversial part of this trailer.

PORGS!

Yes! Porgs are everywhere! They are already being billed as the next Ewoks, and Disney sure hasn’t wasted any time in capitalizing on their cute, fury little faces. Just walk down the toy aisles at your local superstore, and you will see what I mean.

I don’t want to sound completely anti-Porg, here. I am just cautious. That little, soulful-eyed creature appears for only about two seconds in the entire trailer, and all it’s doing is screaming. I am just saying, I would like to reserve judgement about this puffin/pug-like thing until I get to “meet” him. How can Disney expect me to warm up to that little, squeaky, fluffy pile of space cuteness before I even know his name?

Aww, who am I kidding? Just look at that sweet little face!!!

Yikes! I’m falling for it already!

All Porgs aside, I am excited about this movie. The trailer did exactly what movie trailers should do. It generated interest, it revealed just enough information to create questions and spark conversation, and it promised some pretty epic battles.

I can’t wait to see it!

Oh, and it had space foxes…….SPACE FOXES!!!

Tela