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Not Just for Kids

What is it about the dragon\’s lair that attracts people? There are as many answers to this question as there are players themselves. For some, it is just a way to relax. After a day\’s work, they sit down and are transported for a few hours to a mythical world of knights, princesses, and demons. For others, it\’s a great excuse to meet up with friends. While playing, the real issues of the past few days, what happened to whom, and what is on the agenda, are discussed here and there. And then there are those who enjoy the fact that a whole new world has appeared before them, where anything is possible and anyone can be anyone. A frail girl in ordinary life? Here you can be a meter-tall warrior. Or a plain-clothes muscleman that would make Arnold turn pale with envy? Here you can be an ethereal fairy.


It may not look like it, but Dragon\’s Lair has elaborate rules. First, each player creates a character. The available races are usually humans, elves, and dwarves, but depending on the system, players may also play as hobbits or trolls. The character\’s occupation is chosen from those possible in that system, such as warrior, bandit, bard, or mage. A die is then rolled to determine the traits your character possesses: how strong, how fast, how clever, and how vulnerable to magic he or she is. In addition, each race and each profession has its own unique traits; for example, elves automatically add a few points to their speed and agility, dwarves are strong. Thieves are nimble, warriors are resilient, and wizards are …… surprisingly sensitive to magic. Once your character is ready and equipped, it\’s time to start playing.


The game is controlled by the “Lord of the Cave”. He creates the story and decides what you, the player, must deal with. There are books on the market with ready-made stories, but most people take pride in creating their own. In addition, the player generally makes decisions that sooner or later (more often than not) the game master has to improvise. The success or failure of an action is determined by the roll of the dice. Thus, if you want to avoid the mountain troll, a 20 means you danced around the monster while singing a medieval chant; a 1 means you were trampled by the monster. And it is this adrenaline rush, along with the heated debates over the players\’ every move and the never-ending surprises, that make “Dragon\’s Dogma” so much fun.