Of Dice And Men: Script Review
I personally don’t have a lot of experience with role-playing games (I’ve played one session of the Hellboy RPG and just last weekend started playing Call of Cthulhu with a small bunch of friends), much less Dungeons and Dragons. It’s not that I hate RPGs. Quite the contrary. I love the idea, but the opportunity to actually play has just eluded me most of my life.
What this comic book nerd has a lot of experience with is theatre, and it’s from this angle that I stumbled upon a play called Of Dice And Men.
Of Dice And Men is written by a guy named Cameron McNary, who I personally have never even heard of before reading this play. I don’t know if he’s written anything before or if he intends to write anything else in the future (though I hope he does).
Now, I’ve read a lot of plays. I’ve read plays written by professional playwrights and amateur writers alike with various levels of quality from both camps. So I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect when I got my hands on Of Dice And Men and opened the first page.
What I got was a funny, deep, and emotional story that is a snapshot into the lives of some very well-rounded characters who happen to play D&D on a regular basis.
Primarily, the story is told from the point of view of John Francis, a man who struggles with being the stereotype of his hobby. He’s 30 years old, single, and living in the basement of his mom’s house.
We are quickly introduced to his best friend and fellow gamer, John Alex, who he’s known since childhood. From here, one by one, we’re introduced to each of the other players as well as their current game character.
Of Dice And Men starts with fun and games and a lot of laughs, though by the end of Act I all the shenanigans are brought to a screeching halt.
As with any good play, the second half has the characters dealing with the consequences of the end of Act I, and Of Dice And Men truly shines in Act II. We’re given a the raw emotion and confusion of the characters, and I kid you not when I say that even just reading it I was close to tears (Hey! I said CLOSE to tears!).
All in all, Of Dice And Men is very satisfying from opening scene to closing. The play is faultless in its characterization, and you don’t need to be an RPGer to get what’s happening; this play is about real people who just happen to play RPGs.
I cannot recommend this script highly enough. I long for the day that people in my area can stage this. I just know that, with great actors emoting, I’ll be crying like a baby by the end of it.
If you want to get your hands on a copy of Of Dice And Men, buy the ebook for US$9.90. It’s worth every cent.
Now excuse me as I go and spend my kids’ X-Mas money on D&D sourcebooks.