What Role Playing Games Have To Do With Your Real Life

And Why Love Is At The Center Of It All

Sophie Lucido Johnson


Let’s get this out of the way: I’m a polyamorous person, and I got married. (Here’s an article about why I did it, in case you point your nose up at this idea. Please come back once your nose is back in my direction!)

When my husband and I got married, we said our vows while our family sat in a circle in a park we loved. (Some footage of that is here.) But (and this is embarrassing) I’ve always been so proud about my vows, that I haven’t thought too much about Luke’s.

That is, until recently, when we were driving, and I can’t really remember exactly what I was ranting about (2023 has been The Year of The Rant for me), but Luke said, “Well, you know, it’s like I said in my vows.”

“Right,” I said. And paused. “What part of your vows exactly?”

“The thing about the 20-sided dice,” he said.

Oh, yes. The thing about the 20-sided dice.

The 20-sided dice are at the center of Luke’s life philosophy, which he talked about during our vows, which I’ll return to in a little while.

In case you don’t play Dungeons and Dragons (I respect this choice, and all choices surrounding D&D, a game that I deem, after much deep consideration, to be truly morally neutral), a quick primer of tabletop role-playing games is necessary here. I am not qualified to give one. But, basically: in an RPG, you play a character, you play the game as the character, you make choices (such as, “I want to throw an apple at that donkey”), you tell the game master about your choices, and then the game master has you roll a die to determine to what degree you succeed or fail. Typically, you roll a 20-sided die, with the numbers one through 20 on it, and the higher you roll, the better you do. So, if you roll a 16 while trying to throw an apple at the donkey — that’s pretty good! The game master would say something like, “You hit the donkey right in his torso and the donkey is annoyed.”