I typed the address into my GPS and started the drive to my destination: a Dungeons & Dragons game hosted by the aptly named business Adventure Away. Even the journey had a touch of fantasy. My car crossed a stone slab bridge over a small stream onto a farming property, and I imagined how satisfying it would have been to arrive on horseback in full combat regalia. Upon arrival, I was warmly welcomed by one of Adventure Away’s founders, Apple Reese, along with Bryan, the Dungeon Master (DM), and the other players who had spent the previous night at the property. Bryan introduced my character seamlessly into the already ongoing narrative. The players all shook my hand, and we exchanged information about our characters and ourselves. Why? Because the most important part of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) is neither the dungeons nor the dragons—it’s the camaraderie between the players and their characters.
The mission of Adventure Away is in their name—the company provides opportunities to participate in an adventure away from your home. They describe themselves as “a B&B with D&D.” Founded by Apple and Wayne Denier II, the company hosts games at two Maryland properties: a castle in Germantown, available for private parties and, the property where I played—a renovated farmhouse in New Windsor.
Guests can book a two-night stay in private rooms, receive complimentary meals, and are welcome to take part in a well-organized game. The weekend starts on a Friday, typically at around 5:30 p.m., but is flexible given people’s schedules. The games are usually composed of either strangers or a close-knit group of friends. I played with one couple who had played a few times before and an older gentleman who has been playing D&D since the very First Edition.
Bryan set the scene and immediately hooked me into the spooky, Halloween-based narrative (I attended in early November). Past Adventure Away games included a Harry Potter-themed adventure, an Avatar: The Last Airbender game, and a superheroes game.
For the next 8 hours (with breaks), we battled through the horrors of a snowy mountain town that catered to the ultra-wealthy. The daylight outside the large windows faded over time and infected the game room with a sense of unease as our characters traversed through the cold, quiet, and slowly dying town.
As the tale began to close and the plot threads started to convene, our group of characters rose from the table in a united stand to defeat the final villain. We flung spells and attacks in every direction and waited nervously to see the results of the last roll of dice. Then, triumphant cheers and the sighs of relief punctuated the stillness of the house. With the story wrapped, I parted the table emotionally fulfilled and eager to try an experience like this again.
Lead Photo: Adventure Away