Baldur’s Gate DSA – Building Solidarity, One Dragon at a Time
The garish sun fell down upon the bustling market in the small hamlet of Steidir. A person screams for help from down the road. A wizard, a vagabond, a monk, and a sleepy gnome rush towards the cry. Olga Brightwood’s children have been kidnapped! A band of cloaked thieves stole her children and rushed them away to the north. The vagabond quickly asked if Olga had, “any reward for my trouble?” The monk hurried over to the market to trade some knives to gain some food and fire starter. The gnome heads to the inn to get a beer, or seven.
Thus began BuxMont DSA’s inaugural Dungeons & Dragons campaign. Over the next few weeks, a few members of Philly DSA’s suburban branch gathered at a private home to fight magical creatures, discover pirates’ treasure, and climb a massive mountain range. The quest is ongoing, but the experience has been embraced by BuxMont DSA as a great way to get to know each other, solve problems outside of organizing a Medicare For All canvass, and to build comradery while slaying dragons.
We set forth on our quest to create a Dungeons & Dragons DSA campaign when we at BuxMont realized many of our members where under the drinking age, but still wanted to attend non-organizing DSA events. Many folks who were not underage did not associate alcohol with fun! We already hosted monthly happy hours at local breweries and bars (some with food!), but we decided to create some sort of game night. Early on in our Slack and at our meetings we planned to sojourn on a Dungeons & Dragons campaign, mainly as a joke. Only a few of us had even played a tabletop RPG; most were only familiar with RPGs in the video game form, such as Skyrim, Final Fantasy or World of Warcraft. Luckily, our DM (Dungeon Master/Gamemaster) was very forgiving of wrong choices and clumsy questions. My character was only stuck in the first town for three game sessions — a bit excessive.
We highly recommend to other small chapters to embark on a quest of your own, maybe not with Dungeons & Dragons, but perhaps Settlers of Catan, or Magic: The Gathering. If board games are not your chapter’s thing, create a kickball team — like our comrades in the Socialist Kickball Club in North Carolina. Non-drinking events are essential to work with your local YDSA organizers; putting them in touch with the chapter or branch and building an accessible environment for friendship and solidarity. Dungeons & Dragons is also physically accessible to a wide range of people and is augmentable for most needs. Finally, most people have never played the game and almost everyone is a ‘noob’.
In some ways, beating the final boss in Dungeons & Dragons, usually a dragon or floating eyeball, is like fighting capitalism. It seems impossible; you may have to overcome countless smaller obstacles. Someone, the Dungeon Master, knows more than you do. But, when we work together, build solidarity, and ‘level up’ our organizing, the dragon may be closer to defeat than we think.
To learn more about BuxMont DSA’s work, contact the chapter at email@example.com. You can also follow them on Twitter @BuxMontDSA.