gaming, music

Dungeons and Dragons and John Darnielle

Once a week a I join a few people at work for a very important meeting: a Dungeons and Dragons session. It’s been going for almost two years now and for most of us it’s our first regular group.

We have an excellent Dungeon Master who’s excellent at creating a fun world. He’s also very patient. We’ve experimented with a few different campaigns and play styles. Our characters have died a lot. Our current band of adventurers has survived one campaign sucessfully and is in the thick of a new adventure. My Fighter, Sargeant Will Sargeant, is Level Four. That’s the highest I’ve gotten.

I would have loved to play D&D in my teenage years but I suspect I would have been laughed at by my friends. I was too chicken to bring it up, in any case. Instead I played few a few Fighting Fantasy books and the like. I read Dragon magazine, borrowed from the local library. Eventually I put it aside and really got into Star Trek. I think 16 year old me would be stoked to hear I’d started playing D&D in his forties.

Late last year I plowed the first season of I Only Listen To The Mountain Goats, a track by track discussion of All Hail West Texas, an album recorded entirely on a boombox. Until this podcast I’d been an occasional listener to John Darnielle’s music. I liked the album with This Year and Up The Wolves on it. I really liked the song Autoclave. The one about the death metal kids was cool.

The idea of a podcast discussing one album track by track sounded right up my alley. And, of course, it was. Like John Roderick, John Darnielle is a perfect podcast host: interesting, funny, educated, full of opinions. So you can imagine my delight when the news of a new D&D themed Mountain Goats album dropped recently.

In League with Dragons drops in April and the first track, Younger, is out now. If you’ve not heard the Mountain Goats before it’s a good place to start. If you’ve not played D&D before it’s not too late!