The Holidays are here. Time to kick back and relax with family and friends. Perhaps you’re blessed with a few days off work or a slower paced environment for a few short weeks. As a D&D player your mind will invariably drift to your favourite hobby and how you can get a few more hours of game time in.
My normal gaming group is on holiday hiatus and we won’t reconvene until the new year when we begins a new campaign. It’s actually more of a ressurected 3.5e campaign that’s been given a face lift and fresh legs with 4e, but I digress.
Over the next few weeks I know I’m going to want to play D&D. It will start as a small desire. I’ll realize that I haven’t played in over a week and I’ll start to reminisce about the last session. This feeling will grow and eventually panic will settle in. I’ll search feverishly for my dice, looking to get even a small D&D fix. I’ll start telling my wife about my favourite PC hoping to engage her in a meaningful D&D conversation. But she will rebuff me. With a look that says “loser” she will give a self-appreciating smile and tell me that’s nice and that she doesn’t really care about Ethan the Rogue and his daring exploits.
My infant son is no better. He will look at the dice and taste them. Taunting me. He will torment me with his apparent willingness to indulge in my rants, only to walk away and play with his newest Christmas gift. When I’m not looking he will grab my dice and scatter them to the four corners of the house! In a final act of humiliation he will stuff his mouth with my dice, thinking them some new form of candy!
These are my fears. As I look forward with dread to the absence of D&D over the holidays. The horror of the sleepless nights is already upon me, already a gnawing at my gut. I can feel the paranoia of deprivation seeping into my bones.
In an effort to stave off the hallucinations, anxiety attacks and shakes that arrive with extended absences of D&D I have prepared these 10 tips on how to get your D&D fix over the holidays. Print this guide out, keep it with you at all times lest you succumb to the horror that not playing D&D will bring!
- Find as many of your favourite D&D books as you have washrooms in your house. Put one book in each, that way you always have something of substance to read during your daily constitutional. If your wife disapproves, make a Thievery or Stealth check and hide the book!
- Read Keith Baker’s new book Son of Khyber. Keith did not put me up to writing this, but Ameron is reading the book and he says that so far it’s pretty good. Expect a full review in 2010.
- Play with the Character Builder. There is something about generating new characters, I can spend hours doing it. Dreaming up builds, backgrounds and then repeating it again. For some real fun have the CB auto-build you a 10th level character and then see how many awful choices it makes for you in feat, power and weapon selection. Then correct these errors to make a truly tough PC.
- Read the archives at Dungeon’s Master. This should probably be point number 1, but maybe it will have greater impact if I slip it in lower on the list. We’ve written over 250 articles this past year, take some time to explore.
- Visit your friendly local gaming store and get involved with a pick up game. Not sure if one is being run? Organize it yourself, you lazy sod!
- Dust off all those old copies of Dungeon and Dragon magazines. Put a stack with the books you selected in point #1.
- Go dice shopping. It’s a new year, and you should buy new dice! New dice are shiny, make sure to test them though. You may even want to road test them.
- Play Dragon Age: Origins. A fresh spin on the fantasy genre and a game that will engage you, making you forget all about D&D. You will be slave to a new master.
- Develop a new idea for a long term campaign. Start making your notes, drawing your maps, developing your NPCs, plot lines and encounter combinations. You know this activity could consume your life, not just the few weeks of the holidays.
- Recruit a new player. Your nephew, neice, cousin, uncle, aunt, mother-in-law or grandmother. Heck, anyone will do! You know they’re closet D&D players. They only need to be tempted by the lure of rolling dice to determine the fate of fictional characters that only exist in their mind. Soon they will start calling you to play D&D, organizing campaigns and coming over all the time. Wait, on second thought, maybe this isn’t a good idea. Or at least don’t tell your spouse that it was your idea.
Keep this list close to you at all times. May it ward the evil that the absence of D&D can bring into your life.
(Editors note: Wimwick’s wife is a former D&D player. She understands the joy the game can bring. That being said she couldn’t care less about Ethan the Rogue or his exploits. She does humour Wimwick by pretending to care. Wimwick’s son would eat the dice. That’s what 16 month old children do, monsters!)