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In Which We Talk About… Thanksgiving and Undermountain

There’s not a ton of “behind the screen” action going on today, to be honest. It’s a holiday here in the US, and we’ve spent some time over the last couple weeks getting Amy up to warp speed (yeah, yeah, I know: that’s a different game) on some of our practices in addition to planning out our content for 2019 and early 2020.

I’d like to take a moment say something to each of you:

You mean a lot to me, to the admin team, and to your fellow players. We may not agree on every point (and holy cow would it be boring if we did) but our interactions make this world – be it the world of the Realms, Eberron, or just the plain ‘ol every day world we live in – a more connected, more vibrant place.

Holidays are a fun time for a lot of people, and a not very fun time for a lot of others. We have a great community built up around our shared hobby, and while we’re generally pretty excellent to each other in this regard I’d like to ask you to keep an open mind and an open heart in regards to those around you; you never know what might be bubbling away under the surface of someone’s life. Hold a door open, flash a smile – these small actions can make a huge difference!

But why the picture of the shredded, old boxed set? Well, there’s some history there (I can share the heavy tale if you like, but it’s best not posted here)…

Long ago I acquired The Ruins of Undermountain II: The Deep Levels. This boxed set got me through some extremely hard times. I’d love to say that I ran it, but I didn’t; instead, I read it over and over again. I planned out potential games, I drew new maps, and I dreamed up new things for Halaster to fixate upon. As much as I loved the material, the sheer scope of it was incredibly terrifying for me as a fairly new DM and I was too concerned that I wouldn’t be able to do it justice. It saw me through a life-changing car accident and has been the central piece of my D&D collection for almost 20 years as a result.

But you know what? Time goes on; we level up, we get smarter and wiser, and we learn.

I have been fortunate to have some very potent friends over the years. They’ve been powerful in their own rights, and as a group convinced me to “just do it” and start getting more involved in the games and hobbies that I love. They reminded me that I shouldn’t give up what I was in the pursuit of becoming something more, and made it very clear that our lives are absolutely enriched by embracing the presence of our peers.

I realize that Thanksgiving isn’t celebrated all over the world, at least not like how many Americans celebrate it. But I wanted to share that this year, with everything going on in our worlds (Halaster’s madness! Thayan intrigues! and so much more!) it’s really, really important to hear:

You’re important.

It’s ok to be you.

It’s ok to be here.

You’re one of us, and together we’re stronger because of it.

I’m thankful every day for the impact that this community has had on me, my friends, and my family. I’m thankful for every one of you taking the time to read this article. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my own stories, and EXCEPTIONALLY thankful for the opportunity to facilitate the sharing of stories on a global scale.

Happy Thanksgiving, all, and may your dice roll hot!

PS: also, now I want dinner rolls shaped into d20s

special project Cookie Bag is GO

Alan Patrick

Alan Patrick

Community Manager at D&D Adventurers League
Hailing from the wilds of central Michigan, Alan has provided a warm home to a wife and two cats over the years.Of course, they all have to fight with the ever-expanding collection of beholder-related paraphernalia - and the recent arrival of his son.
Alan Patrick

Author: Alan Patrick

Hailing from the wilds of central Michigan, Alan has provided a warm home to a wife and two cats over the years. Of course, they all have to fight with the ever-expanding collection of beholder-related paraphernalia - and the recent arrival of his son.

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2 Comments

  1. Thank you for the article. It was a reminder of what the live play online community has come to be for me over the last year.. it’s also reinforcement of my desire to play again after so many years have gone b. Thank you…greg

  2. Thank you Alan, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!

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