Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Connecting With Your Inner Half-Elf

Sharing a blog with another person is interesting: utterly distinct threads can develop as each person explores a different way in which life sucks. Joseph, for instance, has been analyzing his inner spiritual self. I, on the other hand, have been spending my time examining my inner nerdy self.

As I was walking to work this morning, I was fondly recollecting my days as a sex-deprived, acne-riddled, Coke-bottle-glasses-wearing, debate-team-joining, straight-A-aspiring, 300-baud-modem-using Dungeons & Dragons player. (Holy crap. I actually felt my self-esteem shrink up and cower while typing all of that out.) Anyway, it's true: I was a D&D dork. Playing D&D collided with my sexual frustration too. Among the group of friends with whom I played, our favorite location was in Justin's basement. Justin's basement was his bedroom too, which seemed unbelievably cool to me. Inexplicably, his father had stashed a near-complete collection of Playboys, dating to the 1960s, in an unsecured cabinet in the basement. Yes, in the same space where his puberty-experiencing son spent his nights alone. So when it came time to pick a place for our overnight D&D insecurity fests, someone would inevitably remark, "How about Justin's basement? He has all those Play- … I mean, there's lots of space down there."

Our D&D sessions in Justin's basement would commence innocently enough: painted figurines aligned in our marching order; a few saving throws; an orc here; a bugbear there. But how long could we ignore the stash in the cabinet? About an hour, it turns out. Someone would creep over to the cabinet and pull a Playboy out and idly look at it. It would be passed on, and another pulled out to replace it. Within minutes, the basement floor was covered with Playboys and we were reclining all over the place, feet in the air, examining the intricacies of every photo. Then we fell asleep.

Maybe that was a sign that we were becoming adults. Sex trumped hand-to-hand combat.

All of that is a preface to the real purpose of this post. During my walk to work this morning, I asked myself, "If I were a D&D character, what would my character attributes be?" (Ah, that timeless question.) For those who don’t know, when you create a character in D&D, you roll dice to generate numbers for six attributes. You roll a 6-sided die three times, which means that the range of possible outcomes for each attribute is 3 to 18. However, these numbers are distributed on a bell curve, since there is only one way to roll an 18, but there are many ways to roll a 12. Here's what I came up with:

Strength: 11. On an age-adjusted basis, I'm pretty average here.
Intelligence: 16. Okay, whatever number makes me smarter than you. Beat it.
Wisdom: 13.
Dexterity: 13. Seems limited to pool tables and dart boards.
Constitution: 12. Generally healthy. But bad personal habits have likely taken a toll.
Charisma: 18, bitch!

Oh, and I'm a neutral good half-elf. Named Gwydion.

Now, people, connect with your inner half-elf and give us an honest assessment of your character attributes. Later, we can all get together and assume these personas in a mammoth game of D&D. I'll bring the Playboys.


Blogger Henry Baum said...

I'm Chaotic Evil. Not really, just wanted to say that. I never quite understood what Lawful Good and Evil were. I think I'm neutral evil with a constitution of about 3. Intelligence: 17. My charisma depends on the amount of alcohol I pour into my constitution.

AC -10. My ring of the sullen wanderer makes me impervious to criticism. Or feel it more deeply, I'm not sure.

My morning coffee makes me write nonsense.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Spiral Stairs said...

Henry says: "My morning coffee makes me write nonsense."

Where do you think garbage like this post comes from?

Congratulations on your excellent armor class. Mine's AC -5 -- thanks to my Chain Mail of Avoidance. (Huge bonus on all saving throws to avoid confrontation or other emotionally uncomfortable situations.)

I also carry Spiral's Ring of Passive Aggression. Adds +1 HP damage to all attacks using veiled criticism or offputting body language.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...


Strength: 12 or 13 ( I could probably fight 2-3 ten year-olds and win)
Intelligence: 11 (score adjusted to reflect realit: slightly smarter than the average bear, probably not as smart as I think I am)
Wisdom: 12 (women who silly enough to have relationships with me get half that)
Dexterity: 15 (I can be spry and tumble well)
Constitution: 15 (pretty healthy, can run further than I need to)
Charisma: 10 (neither a leader, nor a follower...a leadler)

Alignment: Lawful Neutral. I am a bit of a rule-follower, but too cynical to be either good or evil.

AC -3, bolstered by my cloak of disinterest

7:56 PM  
Blogger Magazine Man said...

Question for discussion:

Who's the bigger dork: someone who played D&D growing up, or someone who was SUCH a dork that the D&D dorks wouldn't let him play, so consequently he never learned the game?

Not that I'm speaking from experience here. No, no...

9:39 PM  
Blogger Joseph K said...

The guys who played it -- speaking from, er, experience -- are considerably dorkier. Consider yourself blessed for never having had an argument with your best friend over whether you cast the wrong spell at the wrong time while attacking a horde of orcs.

10:04 PM  
Anonymous Matthew Rose said...


3:46 AM  
Anonymous Dwain Krepps said...

I''m familiar with this subject too

12:17 PM  

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