My Dwarf Kicks Ass

I played Dungeons and Dragons about half a dozen times before I met my husband and it just wasn't all that much fun for me. That's all changed now.

Dungeons and Dragons, usually called D&D, is a role-playing game set in a fantasy, medieval-style world. Players create a character and use that character's racial abilities and class talents to pursue fortune and adventure. Different races have different strengths, so choosing one depends on personal taste and what type of character class the player wants. The books that describe all the rules and options are very dense and quite intimidating to a new player, so an experienced player usually helps with character design.

When I was designing my first D&D characters, I was in high school and I was the only girl in the game. The friends who helped me design my characters usually insisted that I play a magic user or a thief. I was always frustrated and confused with those characters. When I played a magic user, the good fighting spells had to be cast a couple of moves in advance to work in time. My thief characters were lousy fighters and got their butts kicked a lot.

D&D has a point system for successful actions taken in the game, but since my characters were rather bumbling, I almost always had the lowest score. On top of that, I was usually confused about the general rules of the game, which everyone else seemed to have memorized.

I have since learned that magic users are some of the most complicated characters to play and are best left in the hands of an experienced player. I have also learned that thief characters aren't a good choice for new players either. Joe and his friends have helped me see the light.

My husband Joe and I are now in our thirties. His friends recently decided to start up a classic style D&D game and invited me to play. When Joe asked what kind of character I'd like to be, I told him about my past experiences and asked him to set me up with something very easy to play. His response was brilliant: play a single-class fighter character.

I always thought that you had to know something about fighting to play a fighter character, but that's not true. Joe explained that fighter characters are the simplest ones in the game. We wanted everything about my new character to kick ass, so we chose a very strong race (mountain dwarf) and a very strong weapon (two-handed axe). We chose single-class because those characters rise up through the game faster. When a character is multi-class, like a fighter-thief, any points they gain get split between the two levels and they rise a lot slower.

We made the dwarf very simple, very focused and very strong. This has helped me score so many points that my character has risen two levels in only six games. This is the absolute best I have ever played. I never understood the game half as well before as I do now. Learning the other parts of the game is so much easier when your character is basic.

My group is mostly magic users and my dwarf is the muscle of the group. I am the front line of defense. It doesn't even matter that I don't know much about fighting. I don't have to. All I have to say is "I kick the ass of the bad guy closest to me" and then I roll my dice to see how it went. Joe even made me a little flow chart so I would know which dice to roll when.

When I played in high school, they were always bending the rules for me because I was clueless and my character was weak. Now I'm an equal in the game. I play by the same rules as everyone else. I save the butts of my group time after time and they love me for it. I am no longer the confused little girl who constantly apologizes for goofing up. I am the muscle. I am the protector. I am the dwarf and the dwarf kicks ass.