I read Lord of the Rings when I was eleven. I'm not saying I understood it all and it took me over a year to read the whole thing. But, starting then, I was hooked on fantasy. It seems to make sense to go from reading fantasy to being a part of the story by playing the Dungeons and Dragons game. It is a game, but it's a creative, collaborative game that feels more like shared storytelling.
If you've shied away from D&D, I've got a couple of books for you.
If you like games, fantasy novels, and Sex in the City, check out Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to the Dungeons and Dragons Game by Shelly Mazzanoble. The title says it all. Mazzanoble takes the terror out of 20-sided dice. The book is fun and low-key, wise and witty.
Another beginners' book you can't go wrong with: Dungeons and Dragons for Dummies. (I love Dummies books. There is a Dummies book for every aspect of your life. They are much better than Idiot's Guides — at least in my opinion.) This Dummies guide is great if you want to understand what your kid or boyfriend/girlfriend/spouse is getting into. It will give you a good understanding of the game and maybe crack some of the stereotypes.
Coming up tomorrow — Saturday, Nov. 3 — local game-store Guardian Games will host a day of D&D. The event is designed for people who are interested in the game but have never played. All you need is a sense of adventure, and Angel and the folks at Guardian Games will provide the rest.
If, like me, you've always been more of a board game person, check out D&D Miniatures. The War Drums Starter Set will get you and a friend going. Imagine Risk combined with Chess combined with D&D: That's playing with minis.
If I haven't convinced you to get off the couch and to the gaming table, here are three novels to inspire you. Dragons of Autumn Twilight by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman will start you on an epic journey, and The Icewind Dale Trilogy by R. A. Salvatore introduces the coolest dark elf ever: Drizzt. You didn't think I could talk about fantasy books without mentioning my beloved George R. R. Martin, did you? If, after all this time you still haven't read A Game of Thrones, now is your time!
Books mentioned in this post