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Have Fun with D&D - and Pick Out Some Great Gifts

Updated on September 24, 2014

My role playing introduction, and some awesome dice

I first played AD&D (Advanced Dungeons and Dragons) on the same day I was introduced to the delightful combination of Cool Ranch Doritos and Mountain Dew. I don't drink soda any more, but I love D&D (although I do seldom play any more), and Cool Ranch Doritos still rule.

Anyway, these awesome fuzzy dice (version 2.0, nerd version) are an instantly recognizable icon of role-playing awesomeness. I've had people honk at me, with me thinking I had cut them off or something, only to point out their own dice of nerdness. I've sparked great conversations with just about everyone who has gotten into my car over the last 3 years or so about my experiences playing D&D and/or other role-playing games as a kid (and, to some degree, as an adult as well). I've explained how playing Basic and Advanced Dungeons and Dragons as a kid really taught me a great deal about running a business, honestly, and also gave me an outlet by which I avoided drug use of any sort through my teenage years, a feat I probably can't say the same thing for most kids who never played D&D.

These dice are representative of a powerful counterculture of kids and teens who came of age not really fitting in with their preppy or jock peers, but who now more or less run the world (okay, a bit of an exaggeration, but let's face it: we're well on our way). Represent your 20-sided dice rolling self proudly like holding out a +5 shield in front of you to greet all comers.

If you love this video, then those fuzzy dice are for you

More serious?

If you have a more "serious" gamer, you might want to consider purchasing one of the original books. One great resource for classic out of print D&D books is eBay. I spent many a late night on eBay scouring the listings for rare items, and I actually also became a long time seller (it was a huge part of my fairly early web experience!).

Be sure to check out the user's feedback rating, as this will indicate whether they're ultra-trustworthy or not. Have a great time looking through old D&D books, and if you've been a fan for years, try not to let the waves of inevitable nostalgia overtake you!

Favorite D&D game

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What can Dungeons and Dragons do for you?

Playing D&D will teach you a number of different skills, not the least of which is how to work with other people to accomplish a shared goal. Beyond this, you'll have to become social in general, learning to interact with a DM (Dungeon Master), who is like your "boss" in some ways, and rudimentary math skills (attributes, armor class, THACO (To Hit an Armor Class of zerO), and money conversion, among other skills. You may learn racial tolerance and gender equality, depending on the nature of your campaign, and you'll learn how to solve problems when you're under pressure (nobody wants their character to be killed, after all!).

My personal stash of first edition Advanced Dungeons and Dragons books


Dungeon Master!

If you're the DM (Dungeon Master), you'll essentially be a storyteller. You'll learn how to weave a complicated, intricate tale that enraptures your players and interests them in your campaign. It's not the "hack and slash" stuff they keep coming back for (although that part doesn't hurt!), but rather a good blend of that stuff and the story. What's going to happen next? That, friends, is up to you.

You won't be entirely alone, though, although you will certainly need to use your imagination. I often drew upon experiences from reading tons of fiction as a kid, whether it was the predictable swords and sorcery stuff, or more modern horror books, or even just general fiction, I gleaned ideas from all over the place! However, there was no better source for inspiration than simply by reading the Dungeon Master's Guide itself! This book not only lays out the ground rules for running a campaign- utterly invaluable in and of itself, setting a framework within which you can run a fantastic and structured campaign - but also as a general source for inspiration, with many asides from the author himself, drawing upon his decades of role playing experience (and brilliant mind).

Read more about Gary Gygax and the history of D&D here if you'd like. It's a riveting, fascinating story in and of itself!

D&D cartoon! Remember this?


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