Book: Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress

Confessions of a Part-Time SorceressConfessions of a Part-Time Sorceress: A Girl’s Guide to the Dungeons and Dragons Game
Shelly Mazzanoble
illustrated by Craig Phillips
2007 (Wizards of the Coast)

Full confession: I’ve been a table-top gamer since I was eleven. This is not typical, particularly since I’m a girl. There are many, many women gamers out there. Many more than is typically believed. However, we’re still vastly outnumbered by the guys and we tend not to talk about our hobby because there is a lot of stigma attached to it. Shelly Mazzanoble gets all that. She gets the stereotypes, the typical responses, the dubious reactions to the whole thing typical from non-gamers (especially non-gamer women) when the subject is brought up. But she also gets that gaming is fun and that it has a huge appeal for women in particular (you get to hang out with your friends, hit or blow up people that annoy you, and pretend you’re way cooler than you are with no one laughing at you for it – all in a safe, consequence-free environment – what’s not to like?).

In this very funny, very witty, very readable book Shelly Mazzanoble discusses how she got into playing Dungeons and Dragons, what she thought before she started, the reactions of her friends, and even the basics of how the game works (for those many people who aren’t actually familiar with it). She does a great job of covering all those basics in a way that makes sense and makes the fun of the game really stand out. This is most evident in her descriptions of game sessions, but the fact that she enjoys playing the game comes out on every single page of the book. The best thing about this book is that she explains why gaming is fun.

My husband and I laughed through this entire book. It brought up memories of games, memories of how we got into gaming, and even fostered discussions about all sorts of things (from what “Jimmy Choos” are to why most women say they are “gamers” as opposed to “roleplayers”). This is a book I’ve already found myself recommending to people, both gamers and non-gamers, and a book that I honestly found myself wondering if I should give to my mother, if for no other reason than to explain to her what the appeal of all this gaming stuff is to me. It’s a very entertaining, approachable book. I’d happily give this to a teenage girl, although maybe not to a ten-year-old. It did make me wish that someone would write something similar for that age group though!

I, obviously, very much recommend this book. It’s a fast, fun read. Even if you’ve never played a roleplaying game in your life, I’d recommend checking out at least the first chapter. Games are everywhere. Literally millions of people play World of Warcraft, and that’s really only a poor imitation of what a real tabletop gaming experience with friends and complicated characters you care about can be like. Shelly Mazzanoble clearly gets it and she’s written a fun book that explains the appeal and shows how very easy the game can really be to play. This is a totally fun read. It made me wish there were books like this aimed at kids and families now!

- Publisher’s Description
- The Official Dungeons and Dragons Website
- Shelly Mazzanoble’s Website
- Buy it from Amazon

Post a Comment