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Grim's Tales: It may sound boring, but hear me out

I always considered myself too much of a jack of all trades to fit one description.

I know things about the outdoors that many people do not, I actually had at least a little talent in most of the sports I played in gym class, and I've excelled in most of the manual labor jobs I've worked in the past.

But right now I'm going to let my geek flag fly. My senior year of high school I got drawn into a pastime that some would consider the epitome of nerdery - specifically, tabletop roleplaying games.

Yes, it was Dungeons and Dragons. I know some group in the '70s caused a big fervor over this game that resulted in a belief that persists today that there is something evil or demonic about it. That smear campaign came from a couple of terrible propaganda movies and possibly embarrassment by any player forced to explain the game to a friend who had never played it.

"So we sit around a table for four hours and describe what our characters are doing, like if we want to unlock a door or climb a ladder and then we roll a 20-sided die and if the roll is high ..."

(Listener's eyes begin to glaze over at how boring and nerdy this sounds. This really doesn't live up to all of the Jack Chick pamphlets that call the game satanic.)

"You got me! There are demons, so many demons. Exciting right? We almost certainly never spend an hour negotiating prices for purchased goods, no sirree!"

Anyone who has ever tried to explain what DND is knows it doesn't sound that exciting. Without actually playing the game, the best you can do is tell them about that time your friend smashed a goblin with a narwhal and hope curiosity is enough.

You really have to play it, but anyone who says it has anything demonic about it has never seen the game played. It is very mundane fun where the worst part is the math (there I go making it sound boring again).

Tabletop RPGs are about the most social thing you can do in your spare time. The players get to invent characters and use their character to explore a world described by the person running the game, imagining the environment and characters the same way you would do when reading a book, uncovering and shaping the story in a way you can't even do in video games.

The way you do it is by sitting face to face, working with or against the other people at the table. You interact, discuss, argue and do so much laughing. Everyone really comes out of their shell and lets their guard down because you get to be a character that reflects your inner creativity.

You can get into it as much or as little as you want. The only real goal is to have fun, which is easy if you are among friends.

There just aren't that many people in Pine River or Backus who play, or do so openly. As a result, I would like to hold an event next winter to introduce anyone who is interested to tabletop RPGs. For those who don't feel comfortable with DND, there will be other games for other tastes.

There is one based in Robert Jordan's "Wheel of Time" series, one based in a world like Brian Jacques' "Redwall." Another game is based in a superhero world and there's even a game for people who love horror-survival.

I also have a simpler mad-cap adventure game that is just plain funny and board games for those who want to start slowly.

I also need experienced players to act as game masters and to be mentors to new players.

If you have even the least bit of interest in this, or questions, please email me or message me on Facebook.

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