I remember, long before my current relationship with the game, what drew me to D&D was the art.
You see I am the younger sister of geeks. I remember books piled in my brothers’ rooms, books full of terms I didn’t understand (especially THACO because … What the hell?) And wonderful artwork. Bright full page images of heroes. Wizards. Knights. Demons. The hours I spent combing through 2nd Ed AD&D books staring at the wonderful creations by talented artists are ones I still remember fondly. Or the hours of frustration I spent trying, with my clumsy adolescent hands, to recreate the illustrations in front of me. Especially anything approaching “cute” from the Monstrous Manual.
It’s safe to say that my love of this wonderful game started with the art. Even now when I return to my childhood home I will go into the storage room (what my parents affectionately call the Hell Hole) and pull out those AD&D books to see the images that I relate to my childhood and my love of fantasy.
Now in adulthood I am an avid player. What draws me to D&D has changed. Now it’s the escape from reality, the adventure and the people that I play with. Years ago I moved away from home to an isolated, rural area. Even with my husband and (then) one child it was hard not to be lonely. Someone reached out to me and asked if I wanted to play D&D 5e with them. I loved it and from there my love of the game grew.
Sadly that group eventually fell apart but D&D had returned me to my childlike wonder of fantasy lands and excitement. So when my family went home for a visit that summer we invited our (still close) high school friends to play a game with us. And we have been playing ever since. It’s a way to fight the isolation of living so far from the people I love, a way to stay connected to those I cherish, and a way to shrug off reality when it’s too much.
What started as a childhood interest in beautiful art grew into an adult lifeline. A way to survive and find joy in every week.
No matter what has drawn us to this wonderful experience it is something we share, hopefully with love and acceptance.
What drew you to D&D?