D&D — The Weekly Ritual

What keeps us all meeting weekly to play a game?

Anthony O'Dugan
3 min readMay 3, 2022
Your footsteps awaken the guards. Roll for initiative. (picture created by author)

There’s a night of my week, every week, that is unlike any other. Every Friday night, a group of intensely dedicated dudes gathers for a game of Dungeon delving debauchery & the occasional disemboweling of Dragons. This is a night that is different in description than in experience. I recently had the pleasure of hosting our weekly D&D night and it happened to be a rare night that our daughter was also back for the weekend visiting from college. No, I couldn’t convince her to play but that does remind me of another story. The point is: it is difficult to accurately understand what keeps us all so dedicated to gathering to play a game. How do our interests not change? How is this game so captivating that we cannot escape thinking about it?

Dungeons & Dragons is a difficult game to explain to someone that has never played it.

Dungeons & Dragons: In a nutshell

Basically, you create a character on a piece of paper and roll a bunch of dice a bunch of times to figure out how good your character is at stuff. Then you roll those dice — 20-sided, 12-sided, 10-sided — a lot of dice, over and over again when you fight stuff or explore or whatever. And there are other people that create characters just like you did and you all play together. There are several books of rules and expansions and everyone needs the Player’s Handbook.

That’s Dungeons & Dragons mechanically understood. Even though it is all of that, it is so much more. I mean, we are nerdy a.f. but it’s not the nerd stuff alone that brings us together. It’s the story-telling — The adventure! The chance to shine, to act, to try out a new voice, to test our luck, to push our limits, to create together! It’s much more than rolling a natural 20 all night long. It’s more about getting as close as we can to having a natural 20 night to remember.

Characters come and go. Dungeons get explored. Treasure is won. Things die. Ale is consumed. Why is it interesting? Why do we remember all of the details? Because in the world of D&D, we get to become our characters. We choose a new persona to stand behind and to show, bravely, to…



Anthony O'Dugan

— agod. Poet. Philosopher. Polymath. Empath. Chefish. Author. Chess lover. D&D fanatic. Love is my religion. 🙏 I don't want to have to explain why I'm famous.