10 Oct 2019 in Dungeons and Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons | Fantasy free rein

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Dungeons And Dragons

Storytelling. In essence, this is what Dungeons and Dragons is all about. Dungeons and Dragons is a game where a story is told by a so-called Dungeon Master and the players of the game are the main characters. When I explain the game to people who don’t know the game at all, I always compare it to a book.

Play your own story

I like to read. In books, I can lose myself and become completely absorbed in the story. Most of the books I read contain hardly any images. Everything therefore depends on my own fantasy. Obviously controlled by the author of the book. The author has a certain vision for the story and puts it into words in the book. From there you build your own view of the story, with your own representation of the events in the story.

For me, that is a great way to stimulate my own imagination. Dungeons and Dragons takes this one step further. Instead of letting the story be determined by the author alone, you play a leading role in a story. This usually together with other characters. The aim of the game is to work together with each other to further the story told by the narrator (the Dungeon Master).

You are free to choose how you do that. You are limited by the world (just like characters in a book) and by your own creativity. The stories are also called campaigns within Dungeons and Dragons. There are different rules to keep the game fun and balanced. But with Dungeons and Dragons it’s all about fun. Fun in the game and in the story.

My story

I am not very experienced with Dungeons and Dragons, but I have been playing it for months now. Not every day, not even every week. But regularly. The group in which I play consists of 5 players and 1 storyteller. We play together a group of adventurers who are looking to grow in fame and strength. This is the first campaign of our Dungeon Master and I really like it!

Our story has just taken a new course. We are on our way to a new city, with new adventures and dangers. I’m curious what the story will bring.

Playing a role

A big part of the game is, for me as a player, playing a role. Before we started playing, I made a character. This character has been given the name Baljor Taletreader. He is a half-eleven rogue with a past that has driven him to look for adventure. It was better for him to distance himself from earlier, less legal, activities.

When I made Baljor, I decided for myself what kind of character I wanted to play. I thought it would be fun to play a character who has no trouble twisting the truth when it suits him. He is also someone who goes through the fire for loyal friends, if that person deserves it. His view of the world is rather pragmatic and finds rules more guidelines.

As an autist I am used to wearing a mask. I also see playing Baljor as acting. The only thing is that I magnify parts of my own personality. That makes playing the role a lot easier.

Social game

Dungeons And Dragons

Dungeons and Dragons is a social game. It is a game that you play in people’s homes (in my case) and that you play together with other people. Fortunately, the approach of most Dungeons and Dragons groups is to play together for quite some time. There are groups that have been playing together for years.

For me as an autist it also means that it is a game that has a higher threshold to start with. I didn’t know the people, I responded to an advertisement in the local Albert Heijn where they were looking for players. But I did know the game and I knew that I like the game to play.

And now that I have taken the step, I am now months ahead. I know the people a little better now. The group plays well together, and we discover more and more of our own abilities. Sure there are things that could be better, some of us including myself are still fairly new. But we are learning and getting better and better!

It is an activity that gives me a lot of energy and I enjoy it a lot. I will occasionally tell stories from Dungeons and Dragons in the future. Things that happened, funny situations and the like.

Thanks for reading
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Tags: autisme dnd fantasie 
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David Westerink
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I am David, born in 1984 and I'm autistic. I write blog posts and advocate for autism acceptance. I'm willing to talk to anyone about anything.

I have my own podcast (in Dutch) about autism and neurodiversity! Checkout the AutCast!

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