Through the Prism

After passing through the prism, each refraction contains some pure essence of the light, but only an incomplete part. We will always experience some aspect of reality, of the Truth, but only from our perspectives as they are colored by who and where we are. Others will know a different color and none will see the whole, complete light. These are my musings from my particular refraction.



A while back, Wizards of the Coast decided a good money-making scheme would be offering basic Dungeons & Dragons kits to libraries for free. Let the librarians find and train young, new players who will eventually seek out and buy books, miniatures, dice, etc. And while I don't like that commercial aspect to the enterprise, I requested a kit and put programs on the calendar this summer. Last night we had our first "Learn to Play Dungeons & Dragons" program. Highly successful. Five younger teens showed up and had a good time. The kit comes with pre-made characters and simplified rules, but it still took a bit to orient everyone to the game. Eventually we got started and they all survived the first encounter. A bit of learning occurred after that when one guy tried to pocket all the treasure. A fight ensued and the party ended up killing each other off. I explained that's why groups (characters and players) generally have more fun (and last longer) when they cooperate, and we rewound and continued playing until our time was up. At the end I explained the library can't support exclusive programs, which an ongoing campaign with me as Dungeon Master would necessarily become, so my part was done. When I offered the use of the kit as a reference resource and mentioned our study rooms, though, they immediately exchanged contact information and began planning to get together again. One mom was astounded at the end that her son was socializing so well in light of his Asperger Syndrome (which I never would have guessed). I had to work a 10 hour day and stay until close instead of my usual 5:15 for a Tuesday, but it was well worth it. Who else gets payed for playing D&D for three hours?


At 6/14/2006 3:53 PM, Blogger The Blue Pamphlet said...

That's awesome Degolar. My Mom has always been paranoid about D&D and the "bad" aspects supposedly associated with it, but toss in a few Tolkien references she could relate too and the vast amount of math you get to practice and she didn't worry so much about it.

Did you get any negative feedback on the program?

It's awesome when you get to do a program (or training session for that matter) that you can get involved in and love to teach. It doesn't feel like work anymore.

At 6/15/2006 12:26 AM, Blogger Gobula said...

What exactly are the "bad" aspects associated with D&D? Imaginative social interaction sounds like a lot of fun to me.

I am going to take the high road here and refrain from telling any of the 6 billion nerd jokes that are available to me. The only negative thing I have ever heard about D&D is the whole "nerd" aspect, which, when you really think about it, isn't all that negative. Really, nerds don't exist outside of the highschool atmosphere. In fact, nerds run the world. Well, all the nerds except the Star Wars ones, they are too busy waiting in line to run anything.

P.S. - Anyone want a free D&D starter box? That shit is useless!

At 6/15/2006 6:47 AM, Blogger Degolar said...

Useless? I just had a highly successful library program with one.

At 6/15/2006 7:45 AM, Blogger The Blue Pamphlet said...

Trust me, there's more than enough crowd around here that still has the Bible belt on pretty tight aka... "Dungeons and Dragons is a pathway to many abilities some consider to be unnatural.”

Or, parents don't want their children associated with "those" people. (Those, of course being a certain status that parents attempt to impose on their children).

Mind you, I'm all for it, and I agree with the social interaction, creativity, and building of interpersional (and math!) skills. The Psychologist in my always likes to absorb the information from all sides.

At 6/15/2006 9:51 AM, Blogger Gobula said...

I meant useless to me, which is why I asked if anyone who could use it wanted mine.

At 6/15/2006 12:52 PM, Blogger Degolar said...

If no one else is interested, I'd add it to our library kit.

At 6/15/2006 5:35 PM, Blogger Hadrian said...

Ooooh, ooooh, I'm interested, especially if it includes the cleric of Pelor figure. I collect gaming stuff, and the library has enough kits already. And, you Master-Sergeant Gobula, level 55 mage, scourge of the Horde, really have no room to talk about geek hobbies. Which reminds me, are we ever going to play Warhammer?

At 6/19/2006 3:11 PM, Blogger Gobula said...

If you want it you can have it.

You know, we should play Warhammer sometime.


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