BYO20SD

(That's "20-sided die")

SAT 11/5

Some people are born great, and some have greatness thrust upon them. Similarly, some people are born Dungeon Masters, and some have the role of Dungeon Master thrust upon them. In either event, the rewards are sweet. Dungeon Masters control entire worlds, shape the destinies of nations and always get to read the stuff at the back of the rule book. It's good to be the Dungeon Master.

Not that we're slighting player characters. Without you little people, the worlds we create would be empty -- they'd still be totally kickass and wicked, but there'd be no one to appreciate our genius. Or our deadly traps, our engaging non-player characters and our sweet magic swords -- it takes a great party of player characters to bring out the best in a Dungeon Master.

So expectations are high for this year's World Wide Dungeons & Dragons Game Day. All across this great nation, wizards, warriors, clerics and thieves of all races and alignments descend upon their neighborhood gaming store to play Dungeons & Dragons as a group. A two- to three-hour-long adventure for fourth-level characters in D&D's Underdark setting is provided, or enterprising Dungeon Masters can write their own (see www.dndgameday.com for more information); all players need to bring is paper, pencil and their lucky dice. Dungeon Masters should bring their A-game.

Participating shops include Clicks at Westfield Shoppingtown-South County Mall (85 South County Center Way, Suite 270; 314-894-2684) and Animagination at St. Louis Mills Mall (5555 St. Louis Mills Mall Boulevard, Suite 353, Hazelwood; 314-227-5757). Check with the stores about available space, start times and a sign-up sheet; there's no cost to play. See you in the tombs, orc-fodder. -- Paul Friswold

Lilias! Still Stretching

THU 11/3

In the late 1970s, yoga didn't swing the cachet it does now. For most people, the only source of yoga knowledge was the PBS program Lilias! Yoga and You, hosted by the long-haired and limber Lilias Forlan. With her soothing voice and fluid movements, Lilias held sway over the living rooms of America, causing even a certain sugar-high li'l-calendar-editor-to-be to join his mother in the lotus position on the floor for a nice sun salutation. Yoga may be more popular now, but it can't ever get better than it was in those shared mornings of yesteryear. Lilias still practices yoga (and she still looks great, probably because of it); she signs copies of her new book, Lilias! Yoga Gets Better with Age, at 7 p.m. at the Brentwood Borders Books and Music (1519 South Brentwood Boulevard; 314-918-8189). Admission is free. -- Paul Friswold

Not Just for the Birds

SUN 11/6

True or false: The only raptors you know are flesh-eating dinosaurs that perished way back with the asteroid. If you answered "true," you may want a good dose of Raptors 101. The World Bird Sanctuary brings "Raptor Awareness" to Cahokia Mounds State Historic Site (30 Ramey Street, Collinsville, Illinois; 618-346-5160) at 2:30 p.m. Real raptors (the birds, not the dinosaurs) such as barn owls and Harris hawks wow audiences with close-up appearances and an over-the-crowd flight (feel the terror a field mouse does, without the final crunch), while expert naturalists tell all -- what the raptors eat, what they do, who they roll with -- and answer any questions. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated. -- Christine Whitney

 
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