Getting personal: Officer plays role of D&D club leader
People tend not to cast spells, use magical powers or slash adversaries with swords, even though some would like to now and then.
A small contingent of airmen, fascinated with imaginary worlds, regularly do this type of stuff and more. Instead of using the public streets to battle it out, they huddle around a Dungeons & Dragons game mat inside RAF Mildenhall’s Bob Hope Community Center.
Capt. Patrick Kelly is one of the heads in charge of this unofficial D&D club, which has about 20 members varying in age and rank.
The club usually plays with the new 3.5 version of D&D, Kelly said, but welcomes all realms of the game, which has been around for more than 30 years.
Members meet from 6 to 10 p.m. Tuesdays and Fridays and from noon to 8 p.m. Sundays at the center. Those interested in testing their skills against others can contact the center at 238-7179.
Kelly, an information systems flight commander with the 100th Communications Squadron, said the club’s meetings offer a chance to escape into the fantasy role-playing game filled with heroes, deadly monsters and imaginative situations.
What’s one thing that people should know about Dungeons & Dragons?
You can get addicted to it. It’s like quitting smoking, it’s hard.
Is there a misconception about those who play the game?
It wasn’t very acceptable back in the day — “Oh my god, it’s satanic!” or whatever people were calling it back then. It has regained popularity over the past five years, though.
You can see some funny stuff on the Internet of LARPers (live action role-playing) from the Society for Creative Anachronism. They’ll dress up and have real armor and weapons, like a living D&D world. We don’t do any of that crap.
Those guys are the extremists. We just come to game. It’s the same thing as sitting in front of a video game. Instead of playing your character with a control stick, you play it with your brain.
Do the games get a little heated after playing for a few hours? Some trash talking between opponents?
Oh no. Around the table everyone is trying to work. The game master, or dungeon master, is not necessarily the bad guy but he is the one that lays the ground work for stuff. He doesn’t force you to do anything and doesn’t try to kill you. He just puts out the situation and however you respond to it, it’s your own [decision].
Why is this game better than just sitting on a couch playing video games?
You get all the personal action with these folks. You get the self-satisfaction that you’d get from any kind of group session. Why do you play baseball instead of playing it on a video game? It’s the same thing.
Who would win a fight against each other — Harry Potter or a D&D sorcerer?
Elminster is one of the biggest sorcerers. He would destroy Harry Potter, if he wanted to. But he’s a good guy, so he wouldn’t do anything to Harry.
Does Gandalf, the powerful wizard from “Lord of the Rings,” stand a better chance?
That’s tough. “Lord of the Rings” is actually the … concept that the founder of D&D built it on back in the day. The best wizard you can be is supposed to be Gandalf. So, would he have a chance? Probably. It’d be a wizard’s duel.