Dungeons & Dragons & Dads

Liam, after climbing a rock at the park
The hero of our tale, later in the day after climbing a rock at the park.

I was lying in bed last night, on the verge of falling asleep, and I realized that the best way to get myself writing regularly again is… well, to write. And it’s been so long since I wrote regularly, I figured the best thing to write about is myself and my life and the things that go on inside of my head. So I grabbed the little Moleskine I keep next to my bed and the pen with the flashlight that I got from ThinkGeek and I wrote, “Every night, write for 15 minutes”.

So… that’s what this is.

I’m using my favorite text editor of all time, TextMate, and a little timer widget that runs on my dashboard. And I’ve set a reminder in Google Calendar: every night at around 9pm, I will be ordered to do this little exercise. Some of what I write might make it to GeekDad, while the bulk will likely remain here on my own blog.

Today was Liam’s second-to-last day of spring break–they’re off on Monday, too–and we spent the morning in our pajamas. After sending Natania off to work, he and I watched Spy Kids on Netflix. At first he didn’t want to watch it, as he is stuck in an entertainment rut of Overhaulin’ (ugh) and Top Gear (yay!). But I convinced him. And he loved it, wanted to watch it when mom got home, can’t wait for the sequels, etc.

Then I tried something very ambitious. I pulled out our Legend of Drizzt board game and told Liam we were going to play some Dungeons & Dragons. He was excited. I had, of course, forgotten that I haven’t actually unpacked the game, so we spent about twenty minutes punching cardboard tokens and tiles and organizing all of the pieces.

After a cursory refresher of the rules, we started. He played Regis the halfling and I was Drizzt. In the scenario we played, we had to find a lost artifact, and Artemis Entreri was after Regis for his crimes against the thieves’ guild.

I was a little light on the Encounter card draws (I made him pull one whenever he didn’t explore, but not on black arrows; I gave myself all Encounter cards that the rules called for) and at one point, he got discouraged by the appearance of the assassin Artemis and being pinned in against a bad monster, so I role-played that the monster, a spirit, didn’t give chase as he ran away. I also let him pull a special tile so that we could be reunited on the board (we had split the party… d’oh!)

Other than that, though, we played the game rules-as-written. And had a lot of fun! About halfway through, I realized that I was playing it too much like a board game, so I amped up the characterization and made sure that Liam knew it was fine for him to do the same. When he smashed Artemis down with his magical mace, Liam was excited and described it to me, swiping the assassin’s miniature off the board to illustrate.

All in all, a lot of fun. He immediately told me that the crown we had fetched from the ancient throne room was cursed, and I told him that we’d have to explore the further adventures of Regis and Drizzt and the cursed crown on another day. He’s looking forward to it.

Which, of course, means that I have succeeded.

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