Article in Find It Frederick

By Hailey Ploski-Sarno
D&D at a B&B
Have you ever played Dungeons & Dragons? If you’ve never played, there’s a good chance that you’ve at least heard of the 44-year-old role-playing board game. Even though I can’t say I’ve rolled the 20-sided-dice, I can say that virtually everyone I know is involved in some kind of D&D game. So, when I heard that a Dungeons & Dragons-themed bed-and-breakfast, called Adventure Away, opened up in Frederick, I was immediately surrounded by gleeful ramblings of friends waiting to run campaigns with other D&D enthusiasts.
Adventure Away, run by gaming experts and long-term Frederick residents Apple Reese and Wayne Denier, is a glorious weekend retreat where you can escape your everyday life by being literally whoever you want in a mythical fantasy world. You can plan a get together with a group of friends, or you can go by yourself and meet some new people, to play a full weekend of D&D.
If you’ve never heard of this game before, you’re in for a treat! I sat down with Wayne before the kickstart of a weekend session and humbly asked him to explain a little bit about why he’s so passionate about D&D. In short, simply because it allows you to be who you want to be and there are no limits on what you can do. In fact, he says that’s the hardest part to convey to someone new to the game. It helps to think of the game as not a game with winners and losers, but a huge story or a movie and the plot is anything you want it to be: from the Battle of Helm’s Deep in “Lord of the Rings”, to “House of Cards”, to “The Italian Job” and everything in between.
As a Dungeon Master, or DM, Wayne has a lot of experience crafting stories and plotlines that will fit with what story you want to tell, he’ll help you create the perfect character and even coach you on thinking and acting as your character to play as during your weekend. Creating a character is not as easy as choosing the top hat charm in Monopoly. Characters in D&D have races, classes, equipment, stats, as well as unique personalities and backstories that can come up throughout the game. If you have a character you like to play already, no problem! Just make sure to bring your costume…or regular troll-killing outfit.
As for the accommodations themselves, Apple and Wayne use a few Airbnb properties around Frederick that have all been carefully selected for comfiness and convenience. They’ve named the rooms after types of characters like “Chaotic Good,” “True Neutral,” and “Lawful Evil.” Throughout your stay, they provide an endless supply of snacks and delicious food from around downtown, which was part of why they thought Frederick would be the perfect spot for their business. Not only is Frederick a cozy town with yummy food and a wonderful downtown to explore, it’s centrally located. Wayne said they’ve had visitors from all over the DMV, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia.
Both of the hosts are involved in the arts community around Frederick. You can catch both of them at the Maryland Ensemble Theatre, Apple with The Fun Company and Wayne with The Comedy Pigs. Also, both are amazing chefs! Apple is an excellent baker and rumor has it that she makes a killer pecan pie and Wayne showcases his culinary masterpieces on Instagram. If they’re as tasty as they look, he just may be the next Alton Brown.
When I asked Wayne what his most memorable experience at Adventure Away was, he picked an example that I felt truly exemplified the game and what it means to those who play. He said that a family booked for a weekend to celebrate a birthday and there were three generations of players at the table. He said this game in particular was amazing to host because it was heartwarming to see everyone being truly present with each other. In a time where there can feel like there is such a divide between generations, grandparents, parents, and siblings alike all worked together to kill bad guys and fulfill quests for a full weekend and had a blast with each other.
Are you chomping at the bit to play some D&D with Apple and Wayne? You can book you room on their website and get into the spirit! They also have special events and packages, like one coming up for Valentines Day where you and your other half can play 12 hours of D&D in a bona-fide castle!
By Hailey Ploski-Sarno
Adventure Away