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Tuesday, July 6, 2021

Shining light on the Devil's Game: Xerei Savantes talks Dungeons and Dragons in Secondlife.


As kids things have always fascinated us. It doesn't matter what it is but I think the main thing we always loved most as children is an adventure. We'd run around outside and hide from imaginary monsters. A stick off the ground suddenly becoming a magic wand to cast fireballs or a staff of a mighty wizard. Another with a stick and a make-shift shield becoming the fighter. Then we all grow up but even as adults that same small stick suddenly becomes a magic wand again when we think no one is watching, some of us not willing to give up on that need for adventure. 

It was a day in 1974 when a man named Gary Gygax and his friend Dave Arneson created the game Dungeons and Dragons. At the time Dungeons and Dragons was created it wasn't very well received in those conservative times but it had found its home though with those of us who wanted to have those adventures still and explore without friends. In 1977 Gary Gygax began work on Advanced Dungeons and Dragons which was a more comprehensive version of the game and published several manuals and modules for players to use and run the adventures of the game. I feel it was with this edition of the game that it got its foothold in society. In the '80s when the times were a lot more conservative and young kids started playing the game it was quickly branded "The Devil's Game" because of what it encompassed. The hype died down over time but new Editions have still been produced and the love of the game is still there and with the introduction into pop culture due to shows like Big Bang Theory and Stranger Things the player base has exploded and brought it back into the mainstream.




With today's technology, it has become a lot easier to find groups to play the game with others. With the advances that have been made and people trying to find ways to play this game that they love, some have found a home in this virtual world of ours. Building places for us players to come and live out our adventures with the characters we create, the vast amount of creators giving players the chance at ultimate character creation, and giving players a chance to truly bring their characters alive.




One might wonder how the rules of the traditional game are translated over to a virtual environment but it seems to be quite simple. Checks and Attacks are still made using dice if a player chooses or a Sim might offer other types of systems for a player to choose from. With all the combat systems available in Secondlife the choices are almost endless for what the Sims can use. Some systems let players eat and drink allowing for even more immersion into their character's world.




The Dungeon Master still has the traditional role to fill as the one who creates the stories and the encounters and hands out the much sought-after loot. And when it comes time to do a dungeon crawl or explore some ancient ruins Secondlife lets the Dungeon Master take it to another level as some Dungeons and Dragons sims have builders that will build the dungeons that are needed, yet again letting players delve into their character's world and physically explore the dungeon. If you find that you enjoy a more traditional feel there are also Sims that run it old school with maps, tokens, and dice.




I explored the sim Faerun-Silver Marches run by Quetzai and fell in love with what I saw. The love of the game shows in what she had built and after a talk with her, it’s clear that she has a very good team of Admins who also have a love for the game, some with decades of experience, that helps everything run smoothly. Having the overworld and then also having the Underdark makes it easy to get immersed into the world and get a feel for everything from the character's perspective.


With the vast variety of races, both humanoid and monster, in Dungeons and Dragons and the vast pool of creators who also have the love of the unusual, with a little bit of leg work in the marketplace and working with the Dungeons Masters, it is almost possible to play anything that comes to a players mind. In terms of playing a game with character customization and the ability to build exactly what you need, I think Secondlife is second to none and it shows what players make with their characters and what the sim owners build for their player base.


Additional Information: 

SLURL:http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Darkside/141/239/1001

Preferred contact: Quetzal

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