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Dungeons & Dragons pleases fans at Dog Story Theater

Live Dungeons & Dragon campaign combines imagination, acting, and humor for an engaging evening.
Dungeon Master Brooke Heintz

Dungeon Master Brooke Heintz /Dice Tales: Straight Outta The Forgotten Realms

Brad Sytsma and Cari Scholtens

Brad Sytsma and Cari Scholtens /Dice Tales: Straight Outta The Forgotten Realms

"I, too, am disgusted by birds."

The speaker is alarmingly handsome Chuck Fortenbacher, deploying the old man accent appropriate for the character he's playing, whose name, you deserve to know, is Seamus Greyballs. The context of the bird comment is impossible to reconstruct.

I am at Dog Story Theater. Onstage before me are three men and three women, all of them funny and charismatic enough to be actors. Which they are, really; they are here to play Dungeons & Dragons, the classic roleplaying game. There are even accents. 

D&D gets a bad rap, either from people who fear that it's a gateway drug to devil worship--polyhedral dice reeking of sulfur!--or a harmless waste of time clung to by the terminally awkward. (Nota bene: I don't play D&D. I am also the most awkward person present). In truth, it demands creativity, fidelity to character, quick-thinking, and cooperation. 

At its center, literally and figuratively, is Brooke Heintz, Dungeon Master. Dark-haired and expressive, Heintz maintains control of the action while also playing several characters. She smiles more often than not, even as she absorbs arrows or plunges her teeth into necks. How many of us can say the same?

The overall effect is of an improvisatory radio play, scored with atmospheric music and punctuated at times by dice rolls. But radio doesn't have cool lighting effects or a screen onto which various images are proejcted. Plus it doesn't have maps, figurines, or people you can see. Sorry; I did badly on my simile roll.

Although the event I am at is not the first in the campaign, I'm able to follow the story easily enough, as would any new attendee. A synopsis upfront quickly set the scene, and the story is self-contained enough to be satisfying. 

Can I recommend it? Only to D&D fans, or fantasy readers, or people who like acting, or comedy, or imagination, or references to The Wu-Tang Clan, or who want to support Dog Story Theater (all proceeds go to it), or people who like enjoying themselves, which is not everyone, of course, and after all there are only so many seats. But you're one of those people. See you next time. 

Information available at here.

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