Like many people during the pandemic looking for a social (and Zoomable) escape from reality, writer Tony Ho Tran dove into the classic roleplaying game Dungeons & Dragons. Unlike most everyone else though, he eventually decided to take his game into the real world by going camping as his Dungeons & Dragons character—"Zaddy D. Vito, halfling bard and adventurer extraordinaire"—carrying only the equipment the character totes around in the game: backpack, mess kit, tinderbox, ten torches, ten days' worth of rations, a waterskin, and 50 feet of hempen rope. "Zaddy also carries a rapier and a lute," Tran writes. "My substitutes: a fake sword from Craigslist and my girlfriend's ukulele." From Outside:
I looked up and noticed a dark shape walking toward me. In my mind, I saw a wolf ready to pounce. In a panic, I grabbed the hilt of my sword, ready to cut down my foe. But before I could do anything, it was already at my feet… sniffing. It was the dog from the camp nearby.
Relieved, I looked at [my camping partner] Tanner to tell him about it—and saw the silhouette of a man next to him. I could imagine the headlines already: "Man with Sword and Inedible Bread Found Murdered."
"You boys have any cigarettes?" he asked. Tanner shook his head. I fished out a pack from my pocket and gave him one. The man lit it and stood there for a moment before walking away.
"That was weird," Tanner said.