Keeping up with a Dungeons & Dragons Master

 

One night about two years ago, my sister announced to my family that she had started to play Dungeons and Dragons — and I thought that she had reached the pinnacle of her status as a “nerd.”

She began printing out player sheets and then moved on to drawing her character and doing online campaigns on Friday nights.

At that point in my life, I never thought that I would someday be interested in playing or, even furthermore, wanting to know about what it takes to create the gameplay and how to earn the title Dungeon Master; however, that all changed this year with my friend and Dungeon Master (DM), Kevin Pattison.

A couple weeks ago, I was able to interview both Pattison and his mentor and fellow DM, Zackery Roos about the process of becoming a Dungeon Master and how Dungeons and Dragons is so much more than what stereotypes make it out to be.

“Anyone can play it—you just have to have the passion and enthusiasm,” Pattison said, in response to a question relating to the types of people that can play D&D.

Pattison had begun playing as a part of campaigns run by Roos, and when both players went off to different universities, Roos continued to run campaigns in St. Catherine’s where he goes to Brock University, and Pattison decided to try his hand at being a DM.

When I asked Pattison what the hardest part about becoming a DM was he said:

“It’s honestly making sure that I do it right.”

Both Pattison and Roos have taken on more creative routes, in terms of the way that they have created their game play.

Roos explained that he has chosen to create his own deities and some of his campaigns, but also uses other resources for maps and references to create characters.

After learning the basics and opening yourself up, Roos explained that “D&D can be an amazing time with the right people and a good attitude”, which makes me even more excited to start some campaigns with my friends and see where I can make it as player in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

“I have find some time out of my day and I’m taking a more creation pathway and it generally takes a little bit longer and referencing — as a dungeon master, it’s your rules and you don’t have to follow the book — it’s your choice”

Before talking with both DMs, I didn’t really know the main difference between being a DM and being a regular player was. I learned very quickly that the amount of work that goes into creating or finding campaigns that are enjoyable for the players is not always an easy task — acting as DM can be very daunting if you have only ever been a player before.

“I joke with my players that I play every other character that they interact with — players explore the world and the DM makes it,” Roos said.

After hearing how much effort and thought that each DM puts into playing their roles, I could not figure out how they balanced their time.

As a student who struggles with time management, the thought of juggling school, extra-curricular’s and a separate virtual world seemed like insurmountable task, but each DM explained, in similar ways, that D&D does not have to act as another “chore” or responsibility in your day, but can be a stress reliever.

D&D is an escape from reality and you can be the hero and not have to follow the set path of life,” Roos said.

Roos and Pattison are both DM’s who want to create the best platform for their players to have fun and enjoy the experience of playing Dungeons and Dragons, but — as they both expressed — it ultimately does come down to how the players interact with the game.

“You just got to be excited to try something new because you are stepping into someone else’s shoes in the game,” Pattison explained.

Although Dungeons and Dragons may be known as game that strictly caters to a niche community, Pattison and Roos have both taught me, not only how much work goes into becoming a DM, but also how this game can be played by people from all different walks of life.

All you need is some creativity, imagination and confidence to step out of your comfort zone.

After learning the basics and opening yourself up, Roos explained that “D&D can be an amazing time with the right people and a good attitude”, which makes me even more excited to start some campaigns with my friends and see where I can make it as player in the world of Dungeons and Dragons.

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