Quarantine Watch

COVID Saturday. I had a lot of things I wanted to do. I chose the path of least resistance.

I played Dungeons and Dragons with some friends. It’s funny, sometimes I think I’m ok at spotting trends. When I first moved to Seattle in 2016, I noticed that a good chunk of my eavesdropping returned discussions about Dungeons and Dragons. Every time I was out and about, I’d hear a conversation or two about character creation and game worlds. It seemed so obvious that people were looking for stay at home alternatives with friends.

A little while later I started seeing articles talking about Wizards of the Coast and the resurgence of nerddom. My trend spotting skillz were validated.

A friend of mine, a long-time Seattler, traveled in familiar but separate nerd circles. They started a game and invited me to join. I forget how long we played pre-COVID. Two, maybe three years. Sounds like a long time. But when it’s a bunch of people with careers, kids, and social obligations, that might have been one session every three months.

Oddly enough, with my flailing flexible freelance disaster of a career change, on paper it would seem like I’d be the most reliable player. Nope. People with “real” jobs get (maybe) a three hour window for D&D on Saturdays or Sundays. That’s when some of my best flailing photo opportunities happened. Protests, concerts, photoshoots. I reluctantly skipped a lot of games and eventually dropped out.

I dropped out a couple of weeks before the COVID reality. Now I’m back in, and I’m grateful. Sure, the circumstances suck, but it is a welcomed connection in the time of quarantine.

It’s easy. Sort of. It’s easy because Jeff goes to great lengths to make it easy. But we log into a site, plug in a microphone, and away we go. I play a bard. We have a paladin, druid, maestor (we switched to a Game of Thrones world base), rogue, and wizard. I don’t like the wizard. Hear me out. The wizard dropped a fireball on me and some baddies to save his love interest. That takes a while to get over. My sympatico friend in the group is the rogue. A little bit of a heart of gold kind of rogue. I’m trying to gently suggest that we should do a little more rob from the rich and give to the want to be rich.

Today’s session didn’t go so well for me. This may come as a shock, but we found ourselves under the city, in the sewers. My bard is pretty much the good looking, smart, hero, unspoken leader of the group. Everyone would agree if they were adding their comments here remotely, but this is text and not audio – you’ll just have to trust me. Anyway, as I was busy saving everyone, I got bit by something that might turn me into this rat beast, a follower of the rat king. Not Nutcracker fun graceful ballet rat king. Me living in the sewers rat king.

My bard is admittedly a little vain. Trades on his looks a bit. Very popular in inns and taverns with the ladies. My stage tips and extracurricular activities are going to decrease as a rat underling. I hope we find a cure. It’s a shame we haven’t got a paladin or a druid who are supposed to be able to handle these sorts of things. Oh wait…

I started this post as a Quarantine Watch post. I went a completely different direction. Circle back. I opened Netflix tonight and there was The Road to Perdition. I forgot how good a movie that is. Predictable? Sure. But it’s good. Good dialogue, well shot.

Paul Newman’s character says, “Sons are put on this earth to trouble their fathers.” It’s true. Sorry, dad. Looking forward to seeing you soon and having a Guinness.