“Alright,” I announce to tonight’s band of adventurers—really a roomful of teenage boys, huddled around a pile of character sheets and 20-sided dice, but in our game they are sorcerers, bards, and fighters. I’m reading from a script, setting the scene for our adventure: “You’ve been traveling through the stark hills for several days. The trip has been uneventful, though at times you heard growling and thought you saw vague figures lurking—”
“Hey, I’m getting drunk,” one of them interrupts.
I raise an eyebrow. “Getting drunk where?”
“Um, ‘right here’ is the middle of the tundra. There’s no tavern or anything.”
“Then I brought some whiskey with me.”
I doubt he actually bothered marking that down on his character sheet, but watching a fighter blunder drunkenly around the battlefield sounds amusing enough to prevent my raising any further objections. “Okay, whatever, you’re drinking whiskey. Congrats. Anyway, um.... Right, you guys thought you heard growling and saw vague figures lurking—”
“Did I mention I have a huge rack?”
One of my adventurers, Howard, is pointing to the little figure that represents his character, a red-haired elf sorceress. “I’m playing a chick, and I have a huge rack. It’s very important.”
“Do I get to have a huge rack? Is that okay?”
Rolling my eyes, I confirm. “Yes, you get to have a huge rack. Congrats, Howard.”
He’s positively beaming at my affirmation. I continue: “Just at dusk, you catch sight of a town in the distance: rugged but bustling, nestled in….” I can feel their attention wavering—clearly, they aren’t getting into the scene-setting I’m doing here. But I’m nothing if not adaptable: “Blah blah blah, let’s cut to the chase. There’s a bunch of wolves attacking you; what are you gonna do about it?”
And thus began another night of Dungeons & Dragons.