For some high schoolers, one of the most difficult parts of this extended shutdown is being cut off from friends. That is why now is the perfect time to start a Dungeons and Dragons campaign with your friends online. Originally created in the 1980s, D&D has seen a resurgence in the past few years and is now more popular than ever. For those who have never played the game, it is interesting in that the first rule of the game is that you can feel free to ignore the rules of the game and create new ones. The only thing that remains consistent between different games is that a group of people get together and then pretend to be fictional characters who go on adventures, written and described by one person known as the Dungeon Master (DM). All the rules are optional and change from group to group, so one group of friends can play tournament style combat in medieval Europe while another solves noir-style murder mysteries in deep space.
The “game” is more of an exercise in collaborative storytelling than anything else. The players and DM take an equal role in weaving a narrative together. That is why it is such a great way to stay in touch with friends during the shutdown. Since there is no board or consistent set of rules, if you have a few friends and access to voice or video call, you already have a D&D campaign. The game can also help lend a metaphorical change of scenery. Even if we can’t go outside our houses, we are still able to dive into far-flung galaxies and fantasy worlds of adventure.
Nevertheless, as flexible as D&D is, just diving in without any rules or handbooks to rely on can be overwhelming. That is why Wizards of the Coast, the company that makes D&D, has created a free online material archive complete with maps, basic rules, monsters, characters, and even pre-written adventures. As a long time Dungeon Master myself, I know that this archive is a treasure trove of great adventures and resources that would make it easy for a first time DM to start a new campaign. Despite its reputation for being a bit of an obscure pastime, D&D really is a lot of fun with something to offer everyone, and trying out something new is a great way to pass the time while we’re in lockdown. Check out the free adventure archive below.