“The Dungeon Master”

The New Yorker on Dungeons and Dragons:

“Guys,” I say. “Stop it. Come on. Let’s decide about the dragon. You really want to bail?”

“Better safe than sorry,” Marco says.

“Is that an old paladin saying?”

“You’re outvoted,” Cherninsky says to me. “Fine.” “O.K.,” Cherninsky says to the Dungeon Master. “We’ll just scoop up what’s near our feet and not rile the dragon. Can you roll for not riling the dragon?”

“Sure you want to do this?” the Dungeon Master asks. “This moment might never come again.”

“We’re sure.”

“Listen,” the Dungeon Master says. “I know I’ve been hard on all of you. I want to be more easygoing from now on. I want you to have fun.”

“This is fun,” Brendan says. “Really. Thank you. This is so exciting. But I think right now we should just grab a little gold and leave the cave.”

“This is pathetic,” I say. “It’s weenis.”

“You don’t know anything about real violence,” Brendan says.

“What?”

“You heard.”

“It’s a dragon, man!”

I remember having this exact experience. Instead of taking the GM’s lead and ATTACKING THE OVERWHELMING NUMBER OF BAD GUYS we picked flowers and ate virtual corn.