Dungeons and Dragons… and lots and lots of rules.

I recently started developing a massive interest in Table Top Gaming. So I went to my local comic book store and bought a Dungeons and Dragons starter set. The reason I opted for D&D was because it just seemed like the right place to start.  Just like if you were to start reading fantasy,  J.R.R. Tolkien’s Lord Of The Rings would be the perfect place to begin.  D&D was my Lord Of The Rings.

I patiently waited for us to get home before gently, and at the same time violently, ripping off the plastic covering that was separating me from the magical, and beautiful land of the Forgotten Realms.  A smile ripped it’s way across my face, and much like a Heath Ledger Joker, these scars would be not be leaving anytime soon.  I called my two younger sisters and older brother in excitement.  It was time to play Dungeons and Dragons.  The enthralling, almost electric pulse of adrenaline was all over the room.  As we sat down, I realized that I had forgotten the most important part of any game:  The rules.

I looked at them all and asked if they didn’t mind me quickly having a glance at the rule book before we began. Once I had a basic idea of how things worked, we could work our way through the game, and also find out what was, and wasn’t allowed.  I took the manual from the box and gave it a good looking.  I began at the first chapter, everything you need to know to start playing.  15 minutes later I reached the second chapter: Combat, which was even longer than the initial rules chapter.  I decided to give it all a quick glance instead of trying to give it a detailed read.  I started paging through the now intimidating manual of “basic” rules.  The pages just kept on turning…  New concept after new concept.  I realized that this wasn’t just another game of UNO.  This was Dungeons and Dragons.  Arguably one of the most well known fantasy board games ever crafted by human hands.  I took a deep breath and told my siblings that we weren’t going to be playing D&D that evening, or the next.  We all laughed and decided to play the easier to grasp Zombie Dice instead.

I’ve been reading the D&D manual for the past week and almost have a full grasp on most of the rules.  Since D&D is mostly just imagination fueling the game,  there have to be a lot of rules dictating what can and can’t be done, since the game is actually limitless.  From what I’ve read already, the game looks fascinating and exciting.  Perhaps we’ll get to slay a dragon sooner than expected.  Whenever that does happen though, I’m sure that it’s going to be well worth the wait.

Dylan

2015-06-28

Why not?

Over the past year I’ve been trying to expose myself to new things.  I felt like my own interests and hobbies were starting to dry out, if that makes sense.  I craved change and a new fresh view on the way that I saw my life.  Being a geek, I have a natural tendency to obsess over anything that I enjoy.  Whether that be reading the news everyday, or a new video game.  I really get connected to the things I enjoy on a deep, almost emotional level, and I’m a firm believer that the things we enjoy doing in our spare time are really the best representations of what we represent, what we enjoy, and ultimately, who we are.

I started small.  Listening to a new radio station was the equivalent of dipping my toes into the ocean of the unknown.  Things got more interesting when I started reading books that I would normally just glance over.  I even tried a romance novel.  I didn’t finish it, but hey, I gave it a try. I introduced myself to different cultural ways of doing things and tried implementing those things into my culture.  There was an immediate sense of excitement.

The way I looked at the world started to change.  I think we get so engrossed in the things we enjoy that we don’t see the need to try new things.  Why should I try that hamburger when I could just eat the one that I already know is going to taste nice?  That question stopped shoving its way into my thoughts.  Instead of “Why?” I started saying “Why not?” and I gotta tell you.  Life feels fresh again.  Everyday is a different experience.  Everyday is something I didn’t know about the previous night. I’m always learning and, as a result, always growing.

Even this blog is something that I was sure I wouldn’t enjoy, until I tried it.  And I know that change is scary, but you know what?  It should be.  Once you stop giving yourself the limits of what you can and can’t do or enjoy, life really becomes limitless.

I’ll even try something different right now, and end this post with a quote.

“What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.” – Richard Bach

Who Doesn’t Love a Good Boardgame?

As a young boy growing up in America in the 90’s, there were a few things that I was required to be well educated in.  Namely: Pokémon, Video games and Star Wars.  I would spend hours with my San-Diego friends discussing the best Evee evolution, or the best way to clean our Nintendo 64 game cartridges. Watching the Star Wars movies on loop for a whole weekend was not uncommon either. These things became a part of me, and I still have brief moments of spontaneous excitement when someone brings up a lightsaber, or even Pikachu.

There was however, another love. The love of board games.  And while Star Wars, video games, and Pokémon stuck with me, board games seemed to lose their charm.  Why?  Heck if I know.  Maybe I grew out of them, or maybe I just stopped seeing the appeal of what was usually, quite a repetitive system of play.

Recently however, I discovered a show that would change everything for me.  TableTop, a YouTube show on the Geek and Sundry channel, which is hosted by one of my favourite actors: Wil Wheaton.  It’s basically just celebrities playing a board game.  It’s a different game each week, along with different players.  It’s actually a ton of fun to watch. Give it a try.

Before I carry on, you should know this: Board games have really developed over the years.  It’s not all about buying property or capturing Australia anymore.  These days, board games range from simple family games, to complex tactical fantasy role playing games.

After watching enough TableTop and deciding on which game I was going to spend my hard earned money, I opted for the classic: Dungeons and Dragons.   I cautiously opened the box, which revealed a bible like rulebook filled with every possible scenario the game could ever put you through.  I giggled like a little girl. I unpacked everything and then convinced my little sisters to join in on a game.  Sadly, the rules were so complex that we had to stop just to allow a chance to make sure we all knew the rules.  It was fun spending time with family around a table with nothing to guide us but our imaginations though.  We laughed, a lot.  These days, not enough people play board games.  While watching a movie with the family is always nice; playing a board game provides a whole other level of bonding and simple satisfaction.  I think that were going to start having a family board game night, once we learn all the rules that is.

It felt really good to connect to an element of my past with elements of my present, in the form of my little sisters. They couldn’t wait to play again. I don’t know why I lost interest in board games.  That doesn’t matter anymore though. Playing Dungeons and Dragons with my little sisters made up for all those lost years.  It wasn’t just a simple board game in that box, It was a part of my childhood that I hadn’t seen in years, and golly, did we have a lot to talk about.

Dylan

2015-06-22

Pronunciation Is Key

Okay, so here’s the deal, the brass tax, the main headline, and the bloggy business. Also, I don’t want to bore you my lovely reader person, so I’ll try to make this as entertaining as possible.

How do you pronounce the name of this Blog?

What is this Blog about?

These are both valid questions, and  It’s high time I answer them. (Especially the first one)

The name of this Blog is DWIWINS, and it is pronounced (Dawi-wins)  Say it loud and slow, then slowly accelerate the speed at which you make this delightfully homey but at the same time foreign sound.

Perfect.

Now for the important question.  What is this Blog about?  Well honestly, It’s about nothing, and everything.   It’s my personal view of things.  My personal experiences. My loves, my joys, and my hobbies.  This Blog is also going to talk about what it’s like to live in a 3rd world country.  You’ll soon discover that I’m a movie fanatic who hates reading movie reviews (or writing them) More about that later (In another post).  It’s also honestly just going to be about what I feel like writing.  Which is important.  If you want to read about things that only you enjoy, then start your own Blog! Write a novel! All great ideas.  This Blog however, is mine.

If after that rant, you still care about what I have to say (and write) then I think we’re going to be good friends.  Despite the fact that this will touch the personal side of blogging, I can assure you, it will be an entertaining personal side.

The world is full of people writing what they want to write, which is exactly how it should be.  This is another one of those Blogs. Love it or hate, I will be publishing posts everyday.

Dylan

2015/06/18

P.S. Once you’ve practiced it a bit, the name does get easier to say.

Yacht Happiness

First of all:  This Is my first real post that isn’t an introductory one, yay!  Hi Ho Silver and all that.  Now, let’s get down to business, the bloggy business.

Over the last two to three years, I’ve often heard people speak about: “Finding your voice.” and how, as a writer, one needs to find the sound and style they wish to convey to the audience.

Easier said than done.

This logic suggests that I will slowly discover my voice as a writer, and consequentially, the voice of this blog.  What’s the point of all this meandering about voice you might ask.  Well, basically… I don’t have a voice for this blog yet, and as a result do not  have a direct target to aim for now that I have started writing it.  In other words:  This Blog will find its own sound, its own voice, and its own style.  For now, I’ll just put some words together and slowly draw the outline of what will eventually be the canvas of personality and style that is, my blog.  Sound a bit cocky don’t I?  My apologies.

Now that the bloggy business is out of the way, let’s get to the first (non-introductory) post for this Blog.

Yacht Happiness

Now, you may be asking yourself: Yacht happiness?

Yes.  Yacht happiness.  It’s exactly what it sounds like.  The happiness you feel if you own a yacht, or more precisely, have vacations using that yacht.  Let’s assume that somewhere in the world, Leonardo Dicaprio is sitting on a yacht.  He takes a deep breath of refreshingly clean ocean air and smiles.  He looks to his left and sees several super models talking about diets or something.  He laughs.

Sounds pretty happy right?  Yes, it does.  That my friends, is yacht happiness.

Now let’s imagine that somewhere else in the world, there is a man named George.  George likes potatoes, a lot.  His favourite restaurant serves a particularly lovely roast potato meal.  Every Sunday he drives there for this meal.  One day, he finds out that they have removed it from the menu.  He is devastated.  A year goes by and he can hardly look at a potato without weeping.  One night George decides that he needs to move on from his potato past.  He drives to the restaurant to make amends with the chef who was responsible for the terrible crime of changing the menu.  As he walks through the door, a familiar smell slaps him through the face.  The roast potato special is back.  George sheds tears of delight and joy.  All is forgiven and no questions are asked once he has eaten his fifth plate.

Sounds pretty happy right?  Yes, it does. That my friends, is potato happiness.

Now, my point.  To put it bluntly, is that…

Yacht Happiness = Potato Happiness

You, the reader, have experienced both of these levels of joy at some stage in your life. To suggest that the happiness old Leo experiences on his yacht is somehow, better than the happiness George experienced when they brought back the potato special, is actually pure nonsense.  Many people think that once they have more money, or once they have enough money to get that nice car, or nice house, it means that they will experience a new kind of happiness: yacht happiness.  Now, let me not confuse you.  You will experience happiness.  That happiness will not however be a better brand of happiness compared to what you are used to.  The sooner we realise this, the easier life becomes.

So whether your happy about your first cup of coffee in the morning, or happy about the fact that your fifth flat-screen TV didn’t break after you threw your Rolex at it.  The happiness is the same. It is we who give happiness its own category, when it has none.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to eat a potato on my yacht.

Dylan

2015-06-17

The First Of Many

For quite some time now, I have been debating with myself in regards to whether or not to start a blog. How would I start it?  What would I write? Where would I find the time?  These were but a few of the myriad of questions that I somehow could not get out of my mind.  I realised that the real enemy of this blog ever finding its feet was self-doubt.  That hideous little creature that worms it’s way into our perfectly happy lives, with the sole intention of holding us back. As I type this, I feel as if I have overcome the first (and probably) most difficult stage of starting a blog.  They say that the first step is always the hardest, and that that step is one thousand times more difficult than every other step.  What they don’t tell you though, is that every step after that first step is one thousand times easier than that initial lift of the leg.

This is my Blog.  This Blog’s name is DWIWINS.   And, this Blog is about everything you never knew you actually wanted to know.  Sounds fun, right?  Well, I’ll let you decide.  It brings me peace to know that, even if no-one likes this Blog, at least I started one.  And that, no matter what, I beat that hideous little creature called self-doubt.

Dylan.

2015-06-15