Saturday, August 11, 2012

Another Day Another Dungeon

There's a ton of mega dungeons out there ! If I was more computer literate and ambitious, I'd take all of those mega dungeons out there on the web and come up with a way to tie them all together in one humongous super mega dungeon! 500,000 chambers, 3,000 underground lakes, 235,000 secret doors and an endless series of pit traps, exploding sigils and dimensional portals. And that's just the first half of the dungeon...The problem with mega dungeons is that they are mega dungeons...So, realistically, nobody I knew ever played a mega dungeon from level 1 to sub level 900...We'd joke about attempting it when we were all retired old guys, and everyone we knew has passed on, and we'd have nothing but time on our hands. Then we'd give it a serious shot. 

As the Advanced Dungeon and Dragon relaunch burns up, I'm in a reflective mood. I know D+D is a unique game. If you can dream it up, then you can play it out. It invites you to make up your own rules to the game, devise your own plot lines and create a sense of place and time, best replicated in novels, films and other games etc. While other games were easier to manage, D+D certainly rewarded repeated playing: in thousands of gold pieces, supernatural powers, and influential prestige. Ya know, things that are near impossible to get in real life.

Since I've been thinking back to those early games with the guys, I'm surprised how much I'd forgotten. Throughout the 1980's, the divorce rate in my neighborhood went up. And some of the families were Brady Bunched - Up, with some new step sons and step daughters, and a new cat or dog thrown in, just to shake things up. In some ways, D+D (and films, TV shows, video games, and comic books) became a common denominator. Ironically, it gave everybody a little more stability in an unstable environment. Because, whatever was happening at home, the tension (or whatever) would spill into the game-and kind of forced some stuff out into the open. Some guys peeled away, others came on board, and a few never left. We'd just kept playing the game. After all, if we didn't find the Sword of Resurrections in time, the Kingdom of Lion Rock would fall to the forces of evil. From that stand point, it was imperative for the team to work together. Even if they didn't like each other to begin with. It sure beat doing homework in your room all night. 

I often wondered something...The groups that rallied against D+D for being a tool of Satan back then...Were a lot of those folks dealing with divorce and mixed families (something we wouldn't think twice about now-a-days, but back then, was a huge 'Kramer vs. Kramer' kind of ordeal). It was not easily accepted, nor was it preferred. And there was a deep sense of anger running through there- looking for someone to blame...I don't know...and I'm not trying to be provocative...And calm down, my parents split up too...and just as I was becoming a crazy-ass teenager too...I'm just wondering... If I was more interested, I'd look into that...maybe when I'm older with more time on my hands...Okay, back to work!    

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