Blogging RPGs: How D&D Saved My Life
When I first set out to learn the mother of all RPGs, I confess I thought it would do little more than provide a delightful evening of fun each week. It might help me think in a more imaginative and strategic nature, but nothing truly significant in the grand scheme of real life, right? Wrong. It saved my life.
In the dim hours of one particular morning, I meandered into my living room with a cup of coffee. My cat sat on a table, ears piqued and tail puffed out in fear. She looked straight up at a strange dark spot on the ceiling. There, spindly limbs curled and poised to pounce, was a hairy spider the size of my fist. Not a skinny daddy longleg, not a benevolent barn dweller named Charlotte. This thing was a mini facehugger from Alien.
Living in Florida, one might think that I’d be used to such things. We’re known for gators, mosquitoes, swamp monsters, and most recently, zombies. This, however, was a different foe altogether, and I’d gladly take any or all of the above before engaging an arachnid in battle. I do not like them, they do not like me, and I’m convinced they belong on another planet implanting chestbursters inside foolhardy space travelers. Never in my time living here have I encountered a creature such as this so close. It does not belong on this earth, and certainly does not belong crawling across my wall.
After a momentary stare down and a whole lot of panic, I let out a scream to wake the dead. Struggling to form a complete thought, I remembered that one of my recent D&D encounters involved similar monsters crawling out form the Underdark. I looked down, channeled my inner Ellen Ripley, and watched my living room carpet turn into a game grid. I may be in violation of several rules by drawing from these two drastically different geek sectors, but these were desperate times.
So, what would my elf rogue do? Daggers? You betcha! I glanced toward the kitchen and the knife block sitting just within reach and grinned. Then I thought of the hefty cost of apartment damages and reached for the next best thing—a sack of potatoes. The beast was in the line of sight, and it was my turn to roll. I stood up on my chair, and let my thrown potato daggers fly through the air.
By then, my husband had woken up to the commotion. I may hate spiders, but my husband legitimately suffers from diagnosable arachnophobia. Thanks to the Dungeon Master upstairs, it’s gotten better in recent years, otherwise this little encounter would have been much worse. As my husband came out of the bedroom, the psychology major in me could think of nothing better to say other than, “Well, here’s your direct exposure therapy!”
He screamed, stumbled back, and said, “It’s straight out of Dungeons and Dragons!”
“I knoooooooooow!” I shouted, hurling another potato.
“Allison, I swear if you kill that thing I will take you on a shopping spree!”
The creature was crawling around the room towards me now, and the legs were so thick I could hear them tapping against the wall as it got close. I leapt from the chair, my potato supply depleted. “Jack, I need the broom, some string, and a heavy book!”
The broom, some shoelaces, and a cookbook combined to create the Warhammer of Spider Squishing. Meanwhile, the monster had made its way into the kitchen. An hour and a half later, I was standing on the countertop, sacks of flour and sugar punctured and spilling around me. I managed to corner the thing inside one of the cupboards. He met his end between the edge of my warhammer and a can of French cut green beans.
“Is it even bloodied yet?” my husband asked. Would that real life let you know when your foe is at half its hit points.
“The beast is dead!” I said, pulling the corpse from the cupboard with a pair of tongs. It was several inches long, even shriveled.
I doubt I would have had the presence of mind to utilize household items in such a badass fashion were it not for Dungeons and Dragons. I will play with a new confidence and appreciation from now on. That may be one of the most disgusting experiences I’ve ever had, but saving my husband from a massive spider got me some shiny new dice for the next game, a hot new lipstick, and some nerdy office supplies. Next encounter I might try a warrior of some kind. It was fun swinging that warhammer around.
Anyone know how to get potato guts off white walls?