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Dungeon Master

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If you're going to sit in your basement pretending you are an elf, at least invite some friends to help.

"That's how the saying goes," notes 25-year-old Colorado Springs real estate title clerk John-Matthew DeFoggi, who over the years has become acquainted with a charming, and occasionally disgusting, array of elves, dwarves, halflings, gnomes and half-orks.

Since he was 11 years old, DeFoggi has thrown the dice in a quest called Dungeons & Dragons.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, between 10:30 a.m. and 4 p.m., DeFoggi and up to 40 of his fellow gamers will descend on Compleat Games & Hobbies at 326 N. Tejon St. to take part in Worldwide D&D Day. Some are certain to vanquish the wicked and foil the fiendish, while others are destined to be snatched by winged, fire-snorting beasts or to fall into a slimy pit.

"It's called heroic fantasy for a reason," he says. "You're there to kill the dragon, save the princess and so on."

DeFoggi often advocates for the villains by playing Dungeon Master. As DM, he takes players through pre-written stories with plots that turn success upside-down in the roll of a die. Some games can last years, he says.

A promotion by Wizards of the Coast Inc., the Washington state-based subsidiary of Hasbro Inc. that sells the game, describes D&D lovers as "geek chic."

Does DeFoggi agree?

"Well, there's the stereotypical gamer geek, if you will," he concedes.

But he notes the men and women who play with him come from so many different backgrounds that it is unfair to try to make the label stick.

-- Michael de Yoanna

Photo by Collan Fitzpatrick

  • Dungeon Master

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