There are many ways we can interpret the word, fantasy. For example, we can talk about how a fantastical place could glorify what reality should be or the dangers of ideal expectations. Fantasy could also be seen as taking a “wild journey” or a “hallucination” and how that can affect our psyche and well-being. Fantasy can also focus on our personal dreams and expectations and how those expectations do not align with our reality.
Since the topic is fantasy, I thought it would be a good time to talk about Dungeons and Dragons again. I just hope folk aren’t getting sick of me ranting and raving about it.
In my D&D group, Fates Folly, we seem to have a little ritual. We tend to spend a few minutes chatting and bantering before we properly start playing. It was during this conversation before this week’s session that someone mentioned that we have been playing for about a year now.
Time flies when you are trying to save the world from the undead army controlled my an abomination that eats planets for fun via crystals. That’s a story for another time, though.
In D&D, as long as the dice roll in your favour, you can do pretty much anything. As someone who feels like she has no control of her life, that freedom that fantasy provides is incredible. My character Autumn Breezedream is smarter and braver than I will ever be, even if it’s just for a few hours every week, it’s nice to be powerful for a while.
I once heard someone refer to D&D as free therapy and frankly, I agree wholeheartedly.
D&D isn’t just a game for me at this point. It’s not only the highlight of my week but as cheesy as this will sound, it’s now a couping mechanism for me that gives me the strength to keep going.
Not only do I get to live out a separate life via Autumn but also address several issues I face in real life. Not sure if my DM realises just how much this helps me, even if he did (since he sometimes reads these) I’m sure he would try to downplay it.
I wrote in Autumn’s backstory about how she was pretty much trapped by her family until she escaped. While nowhere near as dramatic for me, but growing up I was sheltered, and to a lesser extent still am, a bit too much which did have some consequences for me down the road. Some of which I’m still dealing with.
Autumn also is constantly trying to run away from her responsibilities, namely that now her mother Summer is dead, she is now Queen. The title makes sense now, doesn’t it? She has avoided the official crowning but knows that the time is here, doesn’t mean she is quite ready to accept it.
I suspect this part of her character came from my own fears of never being good enough. The rest of my family are all smart, successful and are out there achieving great things while I’m, well, me. I’m the failure of the family, no point in hiding it since I’ve come to terms with it.
I know that sounds like I’m being rather harsh on myself. The thing is, D&D is helping me with my self-esteem and confidence. I still have my rough days and there are times when life throws me through a loop but now I have a new tool to help.
So far the only downside is the fact I keep buying dice. I need to stop, but when I see a cute set I can’t control myself. Yeah, it’s a problem but outside of the financial cost which is purely my fault, D&D has been proven to really help me.
Can’t wait for the next session, thankfully it’s tomorrow. On that note, I should make sure everything is ready to do. May the dice roll in your favour!
I hope you enjoyed this months tour! If you haven’t please go and read The Boy Who Stood at the Crossroads of the Fantastic and the Mundane by Irina and keep an eye out for Matt’s post over at Matt Doyle Media on the 16th!