Stars. They’re just like us: totally and utterly intrigued by the rising mania that is Dungeons and Dragons.
Although D&D is nothing new, the sudden sex appeal around it is, and ever since bald testicle man Vin Diesel revealed his undying love for the game, everyone and their Pomeranian is brimming with questions about what it is and how to play it. Some questions are basic, like “What’s a D&D?” while others are more in depth … stuff about Lord Gygax and reflex saves and shit.
So, to quell some of the public’s queries, we had some of our favorite artists and performers ask local Dungeon Master Dennis Petlock some of their most pressing questions about D&D. Everyone from Eric Andre to Dan Deacon to A-Trak wrote in, eager to know what advice our boy Dennis has to give.
Dennis is … very qualified. According to his own autobiographical description, “Dennis Petlock is a Dungeon Master designated by Congress as a warrior. He was born on May 17, 1977 with a weird toe just left of the pinky toe that rests slightly higher than the others. This toe has a thick layer of callous that has formed over years of abrasion from societies inability to generate accommodating footwear. He also dislikes the sound of his own recorded voice.”
So, without further adieu, here’s Dennis’ attempts to answer artist’s questions about the D.
Q: Do you like my dice?
A: It’s not the dice that matter. The Dice are a mindless tool subject to the whims of those who wield them. Due to current manufacturing tolerances and laws of probability all die of similar type are rendered minutely different at best. I would suggest rather than questioning you die’s worth, question instead whether or not they have been wielded righteously!
Q: I’m def interested in what Lord Gygax would say about alignment in relation to our modern society – since an absolute Lawful Good is nigh impossible, how do you think one can achieve something closest to true Good today?
A: I could only speak for “The Great One” based on assumptions interpolated or extrapolated from the legacy that he has left behind. Only in the spirit of this exercise I will do so (though some may view this as heresy, I have gigantic brass balls). First I would assume a few things: He had a shorter idea of Maslow’s hierarchy than most (He would probably chop it off at bottom rung of Physiological), he seemed to subscribe to a more tribally aligned definition of good vs. evil, and he was prone to dramatic cheesy events. It would seem that in a modern society, such as ours, he would be of the opinion of Lawful Neutral as a norm; probably leaning towards Lawful Good. As far as the possibility of lawful good in todays society, I would suggest exploring a mental health institution. It is in such places the mind is truly able to manifest in its manifold possibilities. If insanity could generate a guy who wears decomposing vaginas as a necktie then I believe a modern day paladin is likewise possible.
Q: How old is the best age to make my wizard?
A: Make him old as balls. You get bonuses to intelligence for age! I suggest Hapsby as a name. Do the best you can to wrangle an enchanted bowtie from your dungeon master that offsets the drawbacks of Extreme Oldingtons disease.
Q: Make a reflex save RIGHT NOW. did you make it? (be honest, if you didn’t make it then you’re in trouble)
A: I actually did this but then I realized that I have no basis for the base Reflex Save of a Research Engineer (nor is my Dexterity modifier easily quantifiable). Then I noticed I rolled a 20 so the point became moot, gotta love the automatic success!
Q: Were there ever any potential characters that you wish were included in the game? Any funny examples of that?
A: It was always a bummer to have grown up with the D&D animated show preceding my actual gaming experience. When I got to the table there wasn’t a cavalier or acrobat. This of course was nowhere close to the letdown that was had when I realized that the Dungeon Master never actually manifested in-game. So yeah … Conan the barbarian would have been cool.
Q: Who would you rather have sex with? Your Mom or your Dad?
A: Eric… I don’t care how many times you offer to give me heaps of money… you may not pleasure me orally! Honestly … your lamest attempt so far.
Q: What is the one sentence that would convince me to play D&D? Also, are there holographic cards? If so, can I have one?
A: Cards are not necessary for this game. If you need convincing to play this game then I’m not entirely sure that you should. If you are convinced to play at some point you are going to look around yourself and notice you are at a table with a bunch of geeks engaging on hypothetical situations that are resolved by arbitrary roll of the dice. So to answer your question:
“Of course you may be able to pretend you are riding a unicorn… “
Q: What’s D&D?
A: D&D is a game in which you vomit warped troll people at an old lady until she gives out from back issues!
Q: Was D&D inspired by LSD?
A: I find this concept that nothing unusual was ever created prior to the advent of LSD to be slightly played out. I mean have you ever been to a museum? That crap is crazy old and disturbing. That being said, I would have to say yes.
Q: What comics and music inspired the game?
A: I think you have that one reversed. While I would have to admit that nearly everything was inspired from something else (it all goes back to those crazy stick guys throwing spears at moose on the cave walls). Most fantasy pop culture in existence was inspired by D&D and not the other way around. Anyways it was all a huge rip off of Tolkien.
JOHN CASSADY (Illustrator of X-Men w/ Joss Weadon)
Q: When they first conceived D&D, in their wildest dreams did they ever think it would become such a cultural phenomenon?
A: I think not. If they were anything like the current players they probably never thought that they, or anything they created, would be accepted by mainstream society. In many ways it hasn’t. When I was a young child of the 80’s I once got beat up for being a homosexual (I am not by the way) . Could you imagine how much I would have been beat up for something I actually did? The genesis of D&D was prior to even that enlightened era. People of those times were adept at hiding their eccentricities and reflexively dismissed their own good ideas. I imagine that is how they felt about this. They did not let that hold them back however, and I believe this is in part due to the power of the experience. As always the geeks vastly underestimated the size and influence of their brethren.
APRIL O’ NIEL (Adult Actress / DJ)
Q: Which famous author would make the best dungeon master?
A: Obviously everyone would love to have R.A. Salvatore as a dungeon master and this answer is almost obligatory. Another slightly obvious choice would be H.P. Lovecraft. I for one would like Kurt Vonnegut as a dungeon master. I believe this would be an experience I wouldn’t likely survive, as I would die of explosive laughter as he rambled on. I’m actually laughing to myself as I answer this. Thank you for that. Also look up his signature (it’s like mine)! Yay!