I have never understood why there aren’t more women old and young playing role playing games. Specially because the ones I have met who do play, make for fantastic players and great company.
Actually, no.. scrap that. I understand it perfectly now. I am going to venture saying that women didn’t join games at the same time men did when RPGs were invented, because they were invented by men and they were very focused in combat.
Let’s face it, the average man playing D&D twenty or thirty years ago was of a different kind. At that time, we had a lot less social skills, we were more into our own “macho” beings and more than a few would say “ewwwwww!!!!!” at the thought of kissing a girl.
Now fast forward to the near future, or even the present. We’ve changed… a lot. And yet there are still an overwhelming minority of women in our hobby, despite the fact that some incredible authors are women, and that one of the most successful RPG settings ever, Dragonlance, was co-created by a woman.
When I saw Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress at the bookshop, I thought it was a girly novel. It caught my eye because it was in the Role Playing Games shelf of Barnes & Noble and it stuck out like a sore thumb. What on Earth was a book with a title more likely to fit with the “Vampire Diaries” or the Twilight saga doing beside the D&D and Warhammer Deathwatch books?
I was really happy to see it wasn’t. A book that promises to give me tips and hints to help me introduce RPGs and D&D in particular to women?… I’ll have that please!
The book basically covers from the description of what a RPG is, to what D&D is. I could go into the details of each chapter, but if you’re a regular reader of this website, you’re more than acquainted with RPGs to need those details. If you aren’t, welcome to G*M*S Magazine!
Oh.. ok… so you want a few more details. Fine!
The book covers the basic classes you can play and the rule basics. Worth mentioning, though, that this book was published in 2007, before 4th Edition D&D was published and thus the rules covered are those of 3.5 Edition. The only thing I didn’t like about the book is that it goes into describing the alignments, only neutral and good alignments are mentioned. Not a sausage about evil ones. Tutt, tutt!
What I liked the most about the book is that it is so feminine. It is extremely refreshing to read reasons to be into the game that are like none I’ve ever heard from any of my male friends.
The insets that populate the book on what accessories to have, the commandment of RPG Etiquette and many others will give you a perspective about issues you maybe never thought about and should have. It will also make you laugh while you think “why didn’t I think about that before!” (because you’re a man, that’s why!).
Shelly Mazzanoble is truly funny. For starters she proves beyond a doubt that Americans can do sarcasm and laugh at themselves. Yep, that myth is now busted, friends!
From her description about how she got into the hobby, the sessions at work with colleagues, the likes and dislikes of her friends, how she introduced some of her friends to the game… The whole thing is truly funny to read and it’ll have you chuckling during your commute to work on the bus or the train (trust me!).
Oh, and how to introduce fashion into your D&D game will increase the fun exponentially. How abut “Stilettos of Swarm Piercing”, or “High Heels of Enchantment”? Yep… that’s the sort of thing that you’ll think about when you read this book. And your friends will love it.
Light-hearted, irreverent at times, and very, very entertaining, this book should be read by every man out there. It will teach you a lot about what women find important in the game, how they see things and, most important, what it takes for them to have fun and enjoy the game too.
So, now that you know, get out there and get that game. You’ll thank Shelley before you’ve finished reading it!
Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress is available from: