One of the things I love is introducing games to new players. I was a Heroclix Judge, I ran VS System demos, I was a Press Ganger for Privateer Press, not just because I loved the games, but also because it’s so incredibly rewarding to introduce nascent nerds to a new hobby, to welcome them into a whole new world of experiences and good hobby times. This is part of why I’m so chuffed to see what Paris Conte’s been up to with the GenU GAMER program back in the old country, and why I was so excited to learn that one of my friend’s wives actually ran a Dungeons and Dragons group for students at her school.
Dungeons & Dragons can be so much more than just a bunch of people sitting around a table. It can help break down social and mental boundaries as players use roleplaying to explore not only the worlds of the game itself, but also to test personal expression and interaction. There’s a reason counselors often use roleplay excercises to help people work through some of the barriers they’re facing.
So when I was asked to paint some custom Heroforge models for some of the players in the school group, I was excited not only because, well, painting is good times, and painting for friends can be even better times, but also because these models were actually tied to a French Language assignment.
Each of the kids was tasked with describing their character in French. The description couldn’t be as basic as “My dude is a dwarf fighter” either, the descriptions included a glimpse of the personalities and backgrounds of the characters, which will only in turn enrich their D&D experience as they put their characters on the table with a better understanding of who the characters themselves are.
NB: The varnish frosted the models to a degree that wasn’t noticeable until I took the photos – darn you, brighter desk light! – but I put a correcting coat on after I took the pics.