Updated: Sep 16, 2022
Publisher: Mad Cave Studios
From the table to the books!
It’s more than obvious that there’s been a major boom in the DND spaces. What was once a genre seemingly only for cis white nerds, has now become a widely known and very popular medium to immerse into. We’ve seen DND re-imagined into shows, podcasts -- and even those podcasts re-imagined into comics (see, The Adventure Zone and Critical Role).
The Last Session brings the medium into a fresh light, spinning the tale into a new focus and embracing an all minority (POC and LGBTQ+) cast. It’s very telling about how times are changing and that the game has become more inclusive. It gives a peek into new perspectives of the DND space, while giving DND players of color representation that they haven’t seen in the medium (a tale as old as time when spaces are dominated by majority white people).
Each character has their own unique issue from identity to what the future holds for them and through an amazing team, Walls, Dozer, and Myers create a fantastic story blend of slice-of-life and fantasy. It goes without saying that people become immersed and intertwined with the characters they create, especially in long campaigns, so it was especially endearing how the worlds “collided” both visually and through the story. And it’s no secret that DND has become an escape for people, so for this story to show just how people use the medium as an outlet to be more self actualized, more confident, more put together, etc, there’s a reason that it is relatable to so many. And if you don’t get the importance of knowing that you can be any size, race, and orientation in DND, it’s because you’ve been represented as the majority and don’t see the lack of diversity the game used to have.
From learning that it’s okay to be a “fat elf” to having to explain to your family that it’s not a “devil game”, there’s a bit of representation for everyone- even the ultimate and main reason for DND: bringing friends together to tell a fun story.
Speaking of those friends, this story also does a very splendid job of showing the passage of time and the connection the group has to each other. It’s not quite linear, showing plot relevant flashbacks rather than showing them from high school up until college, but it’s enough to understand how this group of five met and how deep their relationships run. With this, it also allows us to understand why there’s a rift (a la the main plot) when a new person (Cassandra) comes into the scene to find her place in both the DND party and the friend group.
It’s an overall seamless and lighthearted romp that reminds us all that at the end of the day DND is a game about telling stories with friends and how everyone should be included in that, whether they’re new to the game or have been playing since high school (let’s be honest, even earlier for some!).