Dungeons, dragons, and diabetes…one of these things is NOT like the other! And add “drams” into that mix, and you’re likely very confused and wondering what kind of bizarre, alliterated laundry list this is supposed to be – and why on earth I’m talking about it here on Hugging the Cactus.
Well, let me start by saying that one of the hobbies that I started to explore in the early pandemic days is Dungeons and Dragons! Yup, the fantasy role-playing game that’s been a staple of pop culture nerd-dom since the mid-70s. One day in Fall 2020, my boyfriend (who is extremely well-versed in DnD) invited me to play with a small group of his friends. I agreed to give it a try, though I admit that I went into it knowing nothing about it other than what I’d seen on the television show Stranger Things – which, quite frankly, is a highly stereotypical depiction of how a DnD campaign is run that resulted in me thinking that DnD was super limited in terms of gameplay.
Very quickly, every assumption that I had about DnD, who plays it, and how it works was shattered.
Over the course of the last year and a half or so, I’ve been involved in a handful of different DnD campaigns. All of these campaigns have varied drastically in terms of storyline, characters, and players, and to me, that’s the most exciting part about the game. Besides its ever-changing nature, I also enjoy that DnD allows me to explore my imagination – I get to come up with the entire backstory for original characters, and the creative writer within me is thrilled to be stretching those storytelling muscles that I’d long thought were atrophied.
But the best part of DnD, for me anyways, is how it’s brought me closer to friends and strangers alike. DnD has been a great way to meet new friends for the first time, as it’s something we can automatically talk about and refer to whether or not we’re actively playing a game. It has also strengthened my friendships with some of my coworkers from my last job who, like me, were newbies to DnD but willing to learn how to play during the pandemic because all of us generally like games and fantasy realms, and we were happy to have something to do virtually that wasn’t just another boring Zoom session.
And I can’t neglect to mention that DnD has been a wonderful escape from the reality of our world in the last couple of years. In DnD, the horrors going on in the real world don’t exist (unless you want them to, but nobody’s dared to do that in any of the games I’ve played). This means DnD is a nice mental break from not just the soul-sucking 24/7 news cycle, but it’s also a temporary vacation from diabetes. Any character that I’ve played in a campaign doesn’t have to worry about checking blood sugar or taking insulin injections before slaying bugbears, displacer beasts, or flameskulls. It might seem like an unconventional way to find reprieve from diabetes, but it’s a challenge to find something that can get me to stop thinking about my diabetes for even a short window of time. This is one thing that works for me and that makes me grateful for it.
So, coming full circle here and getting to the point of this blog post: I am participating in a new DnD campaign called Dungeons and Drams! The game runner (called the Dungeon Master) is actually an aforementioned former coworker and good friend of mine who delved deep into the DnD universe over the course of the pandemic. He’s combining his knowledge of the game with his extensive YouTube experience as a whiskey reviewer (hence the “drams” element to our game) to create the ultimate campaign that I’m honored to be part of. I’m joined by a few of his fellow whiskey YouTubers and I’ve got to say (shoving my obvious bias to the side here), the characters we’ve created are a thrilling combination of hilarious, badass, adventurous, and entertaining…so whether you’re a fan of DnD and/or drams of whiskeys, and the diabetes-related content that I feature here on Hugging the Cactus, you’re going to want to check this game and our channel out.
The adventure begins tonight, March 14, 2022 at 9:30 P.M. ET…looking forward to seeing you there.