It has been some years since I’ve played a game of Dungeons and Dragons. The Wuhan Whammy is probably the primary culprit. For some reason, no one other than the DM was willing to meet for a game. The move last summer halfway across the country likely extended the interruption.
In the grand scheme this lack of gaming is little more than a minor inconvenience. I seldom enjoyed extended periods of play, especially after high school. A few games during college. (Fraternity D&D games can be wildly amusing, if scatalogical.) A few games during Advance Individual Training at Fort Bragg. A few lengthier campaigns after law school with old high school and college friends. A few more truncated campaigns years later, hampered by the usual logistical difficulties that come with middle aged, married men attempting to synchronize schedules.
It’s fine. I have plenty of other things to occupy my time. And the corporate gate keepers have performed prodigies in diminishing my interest. With one boneheaded decision after another leading to my wry amusement, eye-rolling, or despairing head shakes, these banner bearers of the Everything is Offensive Age continue to cast shade on the hobby. (At this rate the entire human species will die off in a generation, integument become too attenuated to protect against anything.) Of course I wouldn’t buy products from the inheritors of TSR anyway; I play first edition AD&D, using the same three books acquired decades ago. I don’t need anything else. So my annoyance at whatever nuttery they might perpetuate next is utterly irrelevant. My boycotting them would be akin to a vegetarian boycotting the local steakhouse. Pointless.
However, there is a gleam on the horizon. I will have a chance to play in a mere few months. I’ll be attending the North Texas RPG Convention in June. Time to dust off the books and refresh my memory of the rules. I’m not really familiar with gaming conventions. But it ought to be a fun weekend. Perhaps I will see some of you there.
Now, in the interests of defraying my travel expenses: Do you like to read? Do you enjoy fantastic tales of action and adventure? Why not pick up one of mine? Might I suggest the first book of the Semi-Autos and Sorcery series?
Right, that’s out of the way. For those of you following the exploits of Magnus Stoneslayer, here is Entry 38.
A man can be told a fact, know that fact, but not truly understand it, dear diary. Understanding seems to come as a flash of insight; in its involuntary, non-deliberative nature it is more akin to emotion than cognition. The fact that one has known for years becomes suddenly imbued with meaning. It is now understood.
Continuing my descent from the hills to the verdant plain upon which laps the vast inland sea I took note of the curious configuration of the stony exposed surfaces of hillocks and massive boulders projecting from the sloping ground, the relationships of which struck me as queerly geometric. As I walked I gradually reached the conclusion that what I was seeing were the remains of worked building material: cyclopean blocks of stone once erected as walls or foundations by human – or even pre-human – hands.
Looking at the vista in this light, seeing it as the weathered remains of a city, I began to ponder how long it actually required the depredation of wind and rain to so erode a mighty metropolis that it becomes nigh indistinguishable from a boulder strewn moraine. And then, like a revelation, like an epiphany, I attained an understanding of the antiquity of the place, of the yawning chasm of years separating this stone here as it appears to me now from how it appeared when it comprised a single component of a structure once serving some unguessable function.
I thought of my few years and how few likely remained. And I thought of the generation that lived and died before me, and the one before that, and the one before that, and so on, stretching back and back into the dim, unfathomable mists of the past.
And each man of each generation – reaching back in unbroken succession to the years when this city stood tall, proud, and seemingly eternal – deemed himself important. Would he still so hold if he could glimpse this ruin and calculate the insignificant sliver of his time in the world relative to the eon that encompassed the creation and unthinkably slow diminution of this place?
Damn right he would, if like me, dear diary, he understood the immeasurable importance of the now.
I understand it, and I bid you a fond good night, secure in the significance of my time. And of me.
Happy Easter, readers.