Putting the Roles in Role-playing

The year 2020 brought a lot of things that really sucked, but one thing that was good was my re-introduction to Dungeons and Dragons. I had played before, years and years ago, but my work as the event coordinator here at Lawrence Public Library changed pace precipitously, and there were no longer movies to go to and places to hang out, so something had to fill the great void of Netflix asking me if I was still watching The Good Place.* 

Enter D&D. 

I badgered my way into a friend’s group and it has honestly been the highlight of my week. We raid fire cultists monasteries and make terrible decisions that get one or more of us killed pretty regularly. My favorite thing about D&D might be character creation. 

Some D&D backstory for the uninitiated: Dungeons and Dragons is a role playing game where you build a character based on a handful of classes like bard, sorcerer, and fighter, and races like elves, humans, and orcs. There’s a lot more to choose from depending on which version you play. Check out the Player’s Handbook for more! We’ve also got some great kid’s books in A Young Adventurers Guide that explains stuff in a kid-friendly way.

My current character is Tonya Harding. Inspired by the “You’re Wrong About” episodes on her and the movie I, Tonya, she’s a deeply misunderstood human fighter with a sharktooth sword and a well-earned chip on her shoulder. And now that I’m in deep I find myself categorizing almost every character I watch in a movie or root for in a book. 

Kevin McCallister in Home Alone–Ranger; Halfling

  • Halfling because he’s small and a homebody (even if it’s only by circumstance), and a ranger because they are the best at building traps and sneaking about unnoticed. 

Ferris Bueller in Ferris Bueller's Day Off–Rogue;Tiefling

  • Tiefling because his charisma is unmatched, and rogue because he is excellent at avoiding his Principal Rooney, his dad, and facing consequences for his actions. 

Noemí Taboada in Mexican Gothic –Bard; Half-elf

  • She is super charismatic, she’s great at sneaking around the great big creepy mushroom mansion, and she’s super smart and figures EVERYTHING out. (I can’t say anything else without spoiling it).

Kerry Fuller in Real Men Knit–Monk; Wood-elf

  • She’s got a heart of gold and a mission to help kids. She’s super in tune with her community and of course she’s dextrous with all that knitting experience. She’d be great with a bow and arrow in no time.

I could really go on all day, but then this would turn into some sort of nut naming scene in a Christopher Guest movie, and no one wants that. Now I'm thinking of all the Best in Show characters meeting at a bar...

*There is evidently a cookbook based on the show-Forking Good. I can not attest to the quality of any of the recipes, but I’m glad it’s in the world.

-Kristin Soper is the Events Coordinator for Lawrence Public Library.