As I lay in bed in our loft with my sleeping bubba, I listen to the sounds from the kitchen below, of rolling dice, and the voices of Scott, Bear, and Star. They are adventuring in the world of Dungeons and Dragons. Scott the Dungeon Master, Bear and Star playing several characters each. It has become a regular nightly activity recently, and a growing passion of Bear’s.
Whilst we were away on our road trip last year Bear sold his collection of Pokemon cards and used the money to invest in a trading card game Magic, The Gathering. As we travelled his love of Magic grew and he played in his first tournament at The Wicked Goblin games shop in Cairns. By the time we returned home late last year it was apparent that we needed to find a games shop so we could support Bear’s growing interest.
We found Battleaxe at Kingston, and shortly after started taking Bear to weekly game nights of Magic, The Gathering. His collection of cards grew, his knowledge and skills of the game increased dramatically, and he developed his own individual playing style and stratagem. During this time we noticed that there was also a Dungeons and Dragons game night at Battleaxe. Bear has had a long held interest in D&D, years before we had bought him a starter set, it is also a game Scott played when he was younger, and something we knew we could share as a family. We couldn’t manage to take Bear to Kingston twice a week but after playing Magic for a few months he decided to give D&D a go.
Bear has now been attending the D&D game nights for a few months and he may love it even more than Magic. More recently we were able to purchase for Bear a Monster Manual, Player’s Handbook, and Dungeon Master’s guide so he could really immerse himself in the world of D&D, be better prepared and knowledgeable for the campaigns played, and be able to develop his characters more easily and in more depth. He has devoured these books, having read them all completely, and astoundingly to me remembers all of what he’s read, able to call upon facts, figures, and information with ease.
A couple of weeks ago he also asked for special writing books. He is using these to create characters and monsters, write his own campaign, keep a book of spells and game notes, and one of his character’s Hannaman is writing a book of his adventures (Star also now has a special book that she too is using as a spell book and for game notes for one of her characters Hamfast). Bear’s writing, which has always been a source of laborious and tedious frustration for him and diligently avoided, has improved dramatically, his Lego even packed up to clear his desk! It’s amazing how Bear’s passion has transformed writing into a useful tool that he is using to expand and further his interests!
Two nights ago Bear and his sister played D&D on their own. For several hours sounds of laughter, excitement, and exuberant enactment emanated from his bedroom. Bear embracing the role of Dungeon master as they adventured in the beginnings of his own campaign.
In addition we also bought a campaign book (Scott, Bear, and Star had been playing a short campaign from Bear’s old starter set but needed something more) and after days of preparation; Bear and Star developing their characters and Scott reading and preparing for his role as Dungeon Master, they have started adventuring! I hope to join in and play soon, when Strong is a bit older, but for now it makes my heart glow to hear their adventuring and time shared together from above.
As well as Bear’s adventures through Magic, The Gathering and D&D, another fantastical love that he has been pursuing is Manga. He has always enjoyed reading Manga but his interest has grown in intensity over the past months and we have been supporting this as much as we are able. We gifted Bear several novels at Yule just past, after finding a much larger source at a shop in Hobart; Area 52. The only problem is how fast he reads them! He does come back to them though, reading them several times, and appreciating the artwork, his favourite of his new additions Biomega by Tsutomu Nihei. There’s something I also find particularly awesome about Manga, perhaps it’s the artwork and the way it conveys so much of the story, combining the art of storytelling with the visual art of drawing. We will endeavour to keep up with Bear’s insatiable appetite for Manga, which also extends to Anime!
Apart from these passionate interests of Bear’s he also, of course, continues to explore alternate worlds through his mainstay loves; reading fantasy and science fiction novels, gaming on his Xbox, role playing, and Lego construction.
Bear has always thrived when immersed within his very active imagination, and through his passion for the fantastical he is life learning in HIS way.