Dnd Is Wrong For Me

Top 10 Captivating Reasons D&D is Wrong For Me

At age 59 – a married mother of three grown children – I can come up with at least ten good reasons D&D is wrong for me. These reasons have been on my mind a lot lately. I am trying to decide whether or not ten is enough to make me stop messing around with it.

#10 – I am too old

When was the last time you heard about a senior citizen with saggy boobs putting on a headset to stream her latest session of Ghosts of Saltmarsh? Like, never. But I do that. I am almost 60 years old. I’m obsessed with a fantasy role-playing game where I pretend to be a teenage gnome who has run away from home to fight dragons. Ridiculous right?

When I hang out with people my age and they ask me, “so, what have you been doing lately?” – what the hell am I supposed to tell them?

I’ve been playing a lot of D&D.
“D&D? You mean like a video game?”
No, it’s a role playing game, online, with people you have never met.

Quilting? Knitting? Road trips to raid Goodwill shops? All those things would be excellent past times for a person like me. But Dungeons & Dragons? No way.

Quilt - D&Amp;D Is Wrong
I should be spending my time on stuff like this. (It’s a quilt made out of my children’s baby clothes.)
Photo by Agatha Devere

#9 – I am too female

Female D&D players are growing in number, but we are still in the minority for sure. Add to that an OLD female D&D player. Let’s just say I feel like the seriously odd duck in the crowd. And, finally, to make the whole thing especially other-worldly, stick this old lady duck in a game as the DM. Clearly, you can see how it would be much easier to explain myself if I was a guy. There are plenty of grognards out there. They started playing in the good-ole-days and are pleasantly surprised to find out their “nerd-ness” is now the height of coolness.

But I am not cool. I am just strange. When people I play with online find out the friendly woman they are playing with is old enough to be their mom (or even grandmother), their gut reaction is, “Oh My God!” I sometimes feel like a freak show, depending on who I am playing with. Even those I’ve been playing with for months don’t know exactly what to make of me.

#8 – My family could care less

My husband + “gaming” does not compute. While he loves Lord of the Rings, The Last Kingdom, and other cool stuff, he will never understand why anyone would willingly spend their time playing a game on any device. He would rather golf.

My oldest is obsessed with video games but is on the spectrum, and the social aspects of D&D are a stumbling block. My middle son likes D&D., But he is just too freaked out by the fact his mom is a DM to discuss it with me openly. My daughter thinks it’s boring. She also thinks rocks and minerals are “crystals.”

Playing Games
The only kind of “gaming” I can talk my family into doing with me. (It’s called Wingspan)
Photo by Agatha Devere

#7 It’s addictive

Anyone who knows anything about D&D knows it can be horribly addictive. It can suck your attention while you are playing (or DMing) a game and when you are not. You can wake up in the middle of the night wondering if you should make your Rime of the Frostmaiden players fight crag cats or an ice druid – and how many.

I don’t do well with addictive stuff. I smoked for years and have the lungs to prove it. I can quickly drink too much, especially when I’m having fun. I took up knitting about five years ago, and my yarn stash is bordering on obscene. When I do something, I do it too much. D&D is no exception.

#6 I have nothing to show for it

Playing D&D is a waste of time. So is DMing. You have absolutely nothing to show for it when it has done. Unlike many other pastimes (hobbies, crafts, endeavors, missions, etc.), D&D only results in selfish fun. To make it even worse, no one but you has any idea how fun it actually was. No one in your real life cares what happened in-game. So you end up with just a memory of fun that you can’t prove.

#5 I get it wrong

Much of the stuff involved in playing a sound, strategic game of D&D makes my brain itch. I have been playing for over two years and still don’t know how to calculate stats. I let D&D Beyond do all my thinking for me. I don’t like any game involving heavy brain work. Add all this math to the strategic thinking you usually need to run an excellent combat encounter, and I am rendered pretty damn useless. Luckily (or perhaps “unluckily”), I have no problem with role-playing. So I can get through a session without screaming.

Because my brain does not play well with the mechanics of D&D, I get a lot of stuff wrong. It’s bad enough to feel like ill-at-ease due to your age. But when I can’t figure out what a rogue’s sneak attack damage should be when he is dodging, hiding, steady aiming and swashbuckling, I am embarrassed.

#4 I mistake it for real life

I was born in 1962. I graduated from high school in 1981. Back then, having a social life had nothing to do with computers, let alone the internet. The idea of a personal relationship with someone you had never met was unthought of.

#3 It’s lonely

Well, it’s not lonely per se. It’s just that not too many people understand it, let alone want to engage in it. The online community has been great, especially during Covid. However, there is nothing like the tabletop, face-to-face games we did growing up.

#2 It has hurt me

Two long-term campaigns I was in as a player blew up a few months ago. Personal stuff made it’s way into those games. It blew a huge hole through what I thought were real friendships. I was devastated. I am still not over it. But I was, and still am, utterly shocked that a game could cause so much real-world hurt. That is the really scary, dangerous part.

I almost quit playing when the disaster occurred. I was not the only one who lost friends, was left game-less, and felt very sad. But, perhaps because I am old and female, I felt I need to try and “fix it.” So I tried to pick up the pieces and have been doing so ever since.

Jpeg Image 2 1
It’s one thing to be a female warlock. But a senior citizen warlock in today’s D&D is an un-nerving place to be.
Image Courtesy Netflix/PicsArt

#1 Yeah, My Self Doubt That D&D Is Wrong Will Pass

Like many phases in life, I’m sure my lingering mind spin that D&D is wrong will pass. It’s a game fro crying out loud. Millions of people all over the world play games and have pastimes. What there are many like it, D&D is mine.

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Agatha Quickly

Agatha Quickly writes about the online gaming industry. She holds advanced degrees in mathematics and wrote a thesis on string theory. She also contributes to iGuestPost regularly.

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