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Confessions of a Part-time Sorceress: A Girl's Guide to the D&D Game (Dungeons & Dragons) Paperback – Bargain Price, September 18, 2007

3.3 out of 5 stars 63 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

SHELLY MAZZANOBLE has written short stories and essays for The Seattle Times, Carve, Whetstone, Skirt! and SomeOtherMagazine.com. Her plays have been produced in Seattle and New York City. When not over-editing her collection of short stories, she enjoys watching HGTV, walking dogs, and designing clothes for D&D minis. She lives in Seattle.
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Product Details

  • Series: Dungeons & Dragons
  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Wizards of the Coast; 1st edition (September 18, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786947268
  • ASIN: B004KAB7RQ
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,789,236 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By M. Cloutier on September 20, 2007
Format: Paperback
Are you a woman who's never played Dungeons & Dragons but has always been curious about it? Do you have a friend/husband/boyfriend who plays, and who has maybe invited you to play, but you were intimidated by the stereotypes about nerds and geeks, or thought it would to be too hard, or have too many rules, or take too much time? Well if so, Confessions of a Part-Time Sorceress is the book for you.

Author Shelly Mazzanoble writes from the point of view of an extremely (even hyper-) girly young woman who loves to shop, watch soaps and get mani-pedis- and who also loves participating in the ongoing campaigns of Astrid the elf and her band of adventurers. She wants to convince women that D&D isn't all about smelly geeks in a basement casting arcane spells and speaking with cheesy British accents while dressed in chainmaille and Ren Faire outfits. Her thesis is that it's just about groups of friends coming together on a regular basis for a fun, wholesome activity that fires the imagination, fosters social skills and helps participants gain confidence.

Okay.

Let me just say up front that I am exactly the sort of person towards whom this book is aimed. My husband is an avid D&D player, as have been many of my male friends throughout my life. I always thought it was a boy thing- a little seedy, a little smelly, and just a little weird. I was in college before I knew any women who played, and they weren't, uhm, people I could relate to. So I just thought, this isn't for me, and put it aside. So when this book came along I thought, okay, let's see if this woman can sell me on D&D. Cause if she can sell me, she can sell anyone.

Most of the book consists of a girly primer on the basics of D&D.
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Format: Paperback
I felt the need to put up a defense for this book after reading the multiple 1 and 2 star reviews. Sure, it stereotypes a certain kind of shopaholic girly-girl that would watch E! television as though it was CNN. The pages do have massive amounts of pink ink. And yes, the author does espouse often that math is hard.

But that is all part of a carefully crafted strategy to create a mind-bend for all the women who believe in the "Gamers are all nerdy men who still live in their parents' basement and eat doritos for dinner" stereotype.

She NEVER says that all women are shallow and only think of shoes. She says that SHE is a shallow girly-girl who would rather pick out a handbag than do any math. She is describing entering the world of gaming from HER point of view. You may not be the same type of person the author is, but you do not have to take on the holier than thou feminist attitude that all depictions of girly-girl are creating a world of unempowered women. I will grant that if you do not find it humorous to read page after page of shopping and pop-culture analogies as they apply to D&D, this is not the book for you.

I thought this book did a good job at what it set out to do: break the stereotypes regarding gamers and gaming while providing a breezy and entertaining read. You do not receive any but the most basic of basics regarding the game of D&D, so do not read this book with learning the game as an expectation. But you do receive lots of information about the benefits of gaming as far as social interaction, confidence building, and creativity. And if that's not important to impart to those with a negative view of gaming, I'm not sure what is.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As my husband and I are jumping into the D&D games (accompanied by my best friend and her boyfriend), I figured this would be an excellent intro for me to the game. Mostly, it was. Mazzanoble does a fine job of explaining D&D vernacular and slang, giving advice on weapons, class, fighting and interactions with team members. The writing was humorous at points, even earning an out-loud chuckle a few times. My qualm with the book is two fold, however. 1. The endless pop-culture reference got old. fast. The constant barrage of girly-girl nonsense (Prada-this, Oprah-that, Pedicure-this, High Heels-that) was funny the first few times, but by the second and third chapter, I was done. I wanted more information about the game and less omg-my-magic-boots-are-jimmy-choos! 2. While she breaks the stereotypes for D&D players, she simultaneously builds them for girls! Not every girl is going to interrupt the DM to ask about shopping or bring low-fat granola or whatever. I felt this book had a very narrow target audience, and wasn't for all girls or ever most girls, but a small sliver of girls - the ones who wear Jimmy Choo shoes. For my part, I will recommend it to new girl D&D players, but I will give it a disclaimer due to this 2 facts.
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Format: Paperback
I suggested that my girlfriend check read this book after she went kinda cross-eyed when I was trying to explain D&D to her. She read through the whole thing and now has a much better understanding of the game, and that is the basic point - Guys, if you are having trouble explaining D&D to your wife/girlfriend etc. this is a really nice book to have them read. It might not get them to play, but at least they will better understand your hobby afterward.

The book is written in a light-hearted tone that really carries the reader along. There is a lot of humor and it is interesting to see a "girly-girl's" take on the game. There are plenty of stereotypes in the book that make it easy to draw analogies between a girl's world and D&D. And while most girls are not likely chic as this one is, most could likely understand the world that she is describing.

Also, this book is also for women who have never played the game before and really don't have much of a clue as to what it is about. If you already play the game, then this book is not going to be much more than a quick, fun, light-hearted read that doesn't take itself too seriously.
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