When a Dragon Drags You to a Dungeon

I can safely classify myself as a “nerd.” As in the John Green description of a nerd, “unironically enthusiastic about stuff.” This is true. I do unashamedly and enthusiastically love lots of stuff: young adult fiction, anime, music, BBC series, poetry, video games, archaeology, figure skating, and, most recently, Dungeons & Dragons.

Loving D&D was not actually my choice. My good friend dragged me into it and I’ve failed to claw my way out (not that I’ve tried). I’ve been playing D&D since May of 2019, and am currently involved in six separate campaigns. and also fully invested in multiple podcasts of other players’ campaigns. I have spent way too much money on sets of pretty dice, large books of stuff, and snack foods for each session. It is my favorite pastime and the most outwardly “nerdy” thing I do.

See, I am a writer: a storyteller, aspiring author, make-believe-extraordinaire—and Dungeons and Dragons just so happens to be the perfect sport for the writer’s brain. Creating characters that have detailed (and devastating) backstories and putting myself into their personality while interacting with other characters is the perfect way to stumble upon realistic dialogue and action.

Or, I create a character by rolling a die and plunging headfirst into a world with no backstory, no set personality or traits, no idea what I am getting them into, and no clue how to get them out of it. Either way, a story emerges every time.

Currently, I am on the cusp of starting my own campaign—a world that has been steadily brewing in my brain for the past four years. This is a world that I had planned to turn into a novel someday, but I could never find the motivation. But now, I’ve written, drawn, planned, and explored more of this world in three weeks than I have in the past three years. I’ve never been more excited to create something in my life.

Plus, I get to share it with my awesome, ridiculous, hilarious “nerd” friends who care just as much as I do.

So, maybe I was dragged by the ankles into a world I never asked to be a part of.

But a dungeon is actually quite a nice place to be, and a dragon makes for lovely company.

Kathryn Brown

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