A 12 Sided Die and the Dungeon Master’s Guide


A Game of Dice, Paper, and Suspense. Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, is a tabletop role playing game created by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson in 1974. D&D consists of two factions of people. There is a dungeon master who creates his own interpretation of the standard rules, builds the world, and creates quests for the players.

The Adventure Begins, on Thursdays. Ares Bourque, the Dungeon Master in this game and the president of Thornton Academy’s Tabletop Club, moves the players’ pieces into position to begin the day’s quest. To him, D&D provides “a nice way to unwind after school, hanging with friends and having fun.”

Dice, Dice, and…More Dice. In D&D a plethora of dice is utilized. From the traditional 6 sided die, called a D6, to dice of all sorts. These dice come in all shapes and sizes. From red and black D12s to D6s with a skull. However, like all things in life, a premium set of dice can be costly. Prices can be as high as $40 dollars for a set of 7 dice. Colby Dumont, a regular of Bourque’s D&D game at Tabletop Club, has spent close to $14 on dice, said that “the dice represent random chance. Everything is based on the drop of a die, you never know what will happen. I could roll to kill a monster and end up killing myself.”

A Journey. The Dungeon Master tells a story in which the only props are a handful of models and dice. For a Dungeon Master to be truly successful, he/she must excel in creativity to keep the players engaged. Weekly, Bourque must flaunt his creativity to keep the campaign alive. “I’ve been burned out for the last two months” he said, “sometimes it can be hard to think of things, but most of the time I get inspired by stuff that I watch or play.”

Of Many Bumps. Bourque laughs as he reveals the trap that the players have sprung. Now monsters will surround the players within the small confines of the dungeon. According to Bourque, “It is fun to see how things unfold, and how players react to different circumstances.”

In the Belly of the Master. In a match of D&D, the Dungeon Master sits behind a wall of cardboard. Behind this wall of cardboard is where he makes his moves and sets the scene. From rolling dice, to summoning monsters, and keeping track of the players’ progress, Borque feels that the dungeon master’s area “represents mystery because the players don’t know what is going on there, they have to anticipate.”

Huzzah! Michael, another regular player, has just barely survived a trap that he stumbled into. D&D is a game heavily based on chance, after all dice rolling is an integral part of the game. “There are always risks in pretty much anything that you are doing. You have to know the outcomes of those situations. You may fail but, if you do well,q then it might change your life for the better,” Dumont said.

Lore Galore. Dumont is flipping through qa lore guide for the condition that Bourque has just given his character. With a game as old as D&D there are many lore guides from player classes to monsters that the player may face. Bourque and his band of adventurers still use hard covered books to get their lore instead of the web. To justify his purchases, Bourque said that “it’s about supporting the company that makes the game because, if we don’t buy the books, they can’t continue to create products that we enjoy.”

Knights of Pen and Paper. To create their characters in D&D, the players roll dice to get their stats and they record the numbers on their character sheet. Although it may not look like much, this piece of paper is what keeps the game alive. The player’s inventory, health, special traits, are all recorded on that piece of paper. Although it is just a sheet of paper, Dumont said it represents “the strength in one’s character.”

In the Garage, or in this case, Tabletop Club. There is a song by the rock group Weezer titled In the Garage. In the song the lead singer talks of his dungeon master guide, his twelve sided die and how, through this stuff,he can express who he truly is. Dumont shares the same sentiment. “It allows me to do anything that I want, including things that I couldn’t in real life.”

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