Where should I start?
There is no doubt that it is THE dream of every role player being able to play an adventure in a castle, yet no one had ever made it happen in the span of 40 years of Dungeons & Dragons. Not until Tara and Cameron put their heart and soul in that dream, and made it come true, a dream called D&D in a Castle
Upon my arrival, the Château de Challain — one hour off the city of Nantes — welcomed me with a violent thunderstorm during sunset, and the simultaneous downpour of sunlight and rainfall made this immense construction even more awe-inspiring.
If the idea of playing D&D in a castle was crazy enough, I must have been no less insane myself when I accepted to be an English-speaking Dungeon Master (I’m italian), considering that my studies of the English language don’t go further than the eighth grade. Everything I’ve learned after that is the result of my reading and translating D&D books over the years. And even though I was told several times to take English classes, I am aware that I tend to be a lousy student.
However, it’s been a few years now since I’ve taken up the habit of watching films in the original language with English subtitles, and lately I started realizing that I can pretty much understand everything, including the lyrics of the songs!
Now, back to the castle… I played with my first evening group with surprising self-confidence, and at the final game, one of my deepest wishes came true: every player came from a different country, so there was an English, a Swiss, a German, a Sweden, and a Taiwanese (the latter had never played D&D before, and now he’s going crazy for it).
I spent the days listening to Jeremy Crawford and his group. You see, he is one of the masterminds behind this miracle that is becoming popular again. And he had the time of his life making every little detail of the castle work for his story. He led his group around the rooms while describing them in a scary way, made some antique portraits talk, or had the stone gargoyles gnaw the feet of the players. At one point, he even cast a lightning bolt down a corridor, not to mention setting a red dragon free.
Every morning, the players had passionate discussions over breakfast about the deeds of the previous day. Someone had faced Tiamat, the god of dragons, someone else had played level 0 characters fighting on flying ships, and so on and so forth. In my Planescape adventure, they managed to tame Cerberus, and to ask Hades and his wife Persephone to give back the soul of their beloved innkeeper.
My little story of personal pride also includes something regarding my name. Everyone knew me as Zoltar, and it sounded like the players enjoyed shouting my name in the halls of the castle…sZOltAAaRr!!!
And then there was Satine, the queen of the Dungeon Masters, and there was Ruty, who mastered for 48 hours in the most beautiful room of the castle, Elisa Teague, James Introcaso, DM Tim, Jay… and I was even asked to autograph the Player’s Handbook…! And then… Well, you should see the smile on my face right now to get an idea of what it was like to be part of a truly unique experience.
Check the FB page for the next D&D in a Castle event!
This amazing shot was made by Romy Young who played D&D for the first time with me, I was so happy see his smile after my adventure!