Thursday, April 8, 2010

Why I Carried My DM's Guide with the Back Out

Like most of us out there I have my gaming shelf, or shelves depending on the stage of your addiction, close at hand so I can just reach over and grab a copy of Pendragon's Knights Adventurous or any of the three editions of D&D (1st, 3.0 and 4th) core books or my entire shelf dedicated to GURPS. I swear I learned more about history through gaming supplements than I ever did in high school or college for the matter. I still have my original set of 1st edition AD&D core books including the Deities and Demigods with the two excluded mythos in later versions. It has seen better days, tape holds the binding together.

I was retelling the story to the guys about one of my first times explaining D&D to a substitute teacher in junior high. I had my DM guide on my table as I struggle with a chemical equation.

"What's that?" The substitute pointed at my DM's Guide and I thought I was in trouble.

"It's a game. D&D. Dungeons and Dragons."

"Are you a devil worshipper?" Now when he asked this there was no judgment in his tone. He just sounded interested in a very creepy way."

"No. It's just a game."

"How come it's got a devil on the front?"

"It's not a devil. It's an effffrri." I didn't know how to pronounce it. It just came out as a fupping sound.

"Does the game have devils in it?"

"Yeah." I was thinking I am losing this one and this stupid cover is not making things any easier. Why not just put a dragon or giant on the front. Nope had to be some devil looking dude with a name I couldn't pronounce.

Later in study hall that day I was talking to one of my fellow D&Ders. We knew each other by the extra amount of folders and books we carried. We talked about our most recent game and our plan to get together at the library across the street and play though a module. Mr. Substitute teacher was listening to us and part of our conversation was about how we killed this and killed that. My fellow D&Der talked about how he had to sacrifice an animal to get the gate open. Mr. Substitute Teacher sat next to us and whispered "Where do you guys do your sacrificing? I do mine under the bridge by my house." We both nodded and sat in an uncomfortable silence and I was praying for that bell to ring.

I was glad he was a substitute teacher. From that day on I was real careful when I brought my gaming books, especially the DMs Guide with it back out. Eventually I covered them with paperbags like I did my school books. Great camouflage. I learned that the attention of those interested was sometimes worse than those who hated us for bringing that trash into the school. Those people I knew how to handle.