Dungeons And Dragons And Russians – Oh My!

This piece is an extract from my (draft) memoir The Boy In The Floral Print Frock. It is taken from an account of my first year in High School at the age of twelve. I hope that you will not hold the fact that I played Dungeons and Dragons against me.


At lunch time, I could always be found in one of two places. If I was not in the library hiding from bullies, I was in Room Nineteen, playing Dungeons and Dragons.

Our Dungeon Master was Barney, a boy in Year Nine, who wrote his own campaigns.

During my self imposed lunch time exile to the library, I had discovered Anne McCaffrey’s amazing ‘Dragon Riders of Pern’ novels. Much to Barney’s annoyance, my first Dungeons and Dragons character was a young ranger whom I called Jaxom.

I recall more than one comment about originality.

One item in my character’s arsenal, was an eight foot pole. Not only would Jaxom use this to defend himself, but it also came in handy to reach items. Sadly, I came to rely on the pole too often.

After rolling the relevant dice, Barney would inform me that the eight foot pole would not reach the object in question. I would then ask about the possibility of using a sixteen foot Russian.

The problem with Barney, was that he had no sense of humour. After a few weeks, he warned me that if I attempted to used a Russian again, he would kill Jaxom. I rather liked my character, so I heeded my Dungeon Master’s warning – for a while.

A month or so later, when I thought that Barney had forgotten his threat, I attempted to use my eight foot pole. It was too short. Instantly, I said that I would roll for a sixteen foot Russian.

Before I knew it, Barney sent down a bolt of lighting that hit Jaxom, killing the second level ranger instantly. His companions were unable to revive him.

I never mentioned extremely tall Eastern Europeans during a game of Dungeons and Dragons again!

Copyright © 2018 Bronwyn Joy Hansen. All Rights Reserved.
Image; Dungeons & Dragons dice by Lydia (CC2.0 [via Flikr])

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