Salutations friends! I thought I would kickstart this new D&D section of my blog with a little bit of how I came into the D&D world.
Several years ago, I saw it spoofed on Community (which is one of the greatest Community episodes ever – go watch it) and I would say that was the beginning of me seeing tabletop RPGs everywhere in pop culture.
In my third year of university, a group of friends told me about their weekly Dungeons and Dragons game and how much fun it was. At first glance, I didn’t give much thought to it. It was just another thing that they all did and enjoyed on Sunday nights but they were so excited about it each week. It was difficult to not feel the excitement in their voices when they talked about it. I thought that perhaps D&D was more than just a bunch of people pretending they were in Lord of the Rings and that “Pierce character” just screwing everybody over (go watch that Community episode… Now).
Fast forward about three years. Now I don’t remember the exact moment that I decided that I wanted to try out D&D, but in early 2015 I began looking into what the heck this game truly is. I started looking into how to play D&D and how I can get a chance to learn the game without letting any of my friends now how much of a closeted nerd I was. I ran into the website roll20.com, a great website that connects players and DMs all over the world to play different RPG systems through an online interface. Unfortunately at the time there was not many openings for players, especially for newbies in the D&D 5e system. So then I tried to find a way to learn the rules myself, but that wasn’t the best way to learn. As much as the rules are laid out in the handbook, the real way to learn how to play D&D was just play.
Without much success on the self-teaching front, I decided to spent some time just ingesting D&D related things. My search led me to Geek & Sundry’s twitch channel and the very first airing of their D&D show Critical Role, “where a bunch of nerdy-ass voice actors play Dungeons and Dragons” in March. At first it was a difficult show to get into. I didn’t know anything about Dungeons and Dragons, so watching a bunch of people I didn’t recognize (except Laura Bailey because I am obsessed with Fruits Basket) sitting around rolling dice wasn’t the most engaging show to watch from 10pm-1am.
I’m going to say it now: anybody who reads my Twitter account knows how much I love Critical Role… but it took a while for me to warm up to it. Like 4-5 months.
I spent several months watching it on and off, eventually just not watching it. Then one day in the summer, after watching a few episodes of LARPs (also done by Geek & Sundry), I decided to watch all of the CR episodes in order on Geek & Sundry’s website. It took me the majority of the summer to catch up, and man am I ever happy that I did that… But Critical Role is for another blog post for another day.
During my Critical Role catch up, I met a bunch of people from my workplace that played D&D during break times (there was a lot of down time at this job). The DM had played with another group before and all of these players were new. They were gracious enough to let me creep on their games, watching them roll dice and pretend to live in this fictional world.
After a few days they asked if I would want to join their game. I was a bit apprehensive at first. I liked using a majority of the downtime at work to catch up on my ever-growing reading list, but I eventually came around and created my first character: a gnome ranger with a crocodile partner (Now just imagine a cute little gnome riding on the back of a crocodile swimming through a swamp. That was my character).
I didn’t get to play too many sessions with them because I joined later on at the end of the summer, but we decided to try playing in a different campaign with brand new characters in a brand new land with its own curious mysteries. I worked with my DM on a backstory that would fit into his world and came up with a basic backstory that left room for discovery in the campaign. It was really exciting. This was the first character I really fleshed out and I wanted to see what my DM came up with as an answer to this mysterious crystal I was left with. Unfortunately life got in the way for a lot of us players and only after a few sessions and reaching level 5, the campaign fell to the wayside.
My D&D itch was growing bigger and bigger with each week now. Critical Role and the amazing Critter community kept adding to that itch to the point of being uncontrollable. I had to scratch it. So I did something that I didn’t think I would ever do. I decided to become a DM.
I asked my current tabletop gaming group if they would be interested in trying out D&D and they were more than happy to agree. It was something that piqued their interest enough to accept the invitation. I thought it was going to be an uphill battle to find players, but now I’m DMing for a larger than average size group (6 PCs) and have a few people here and there asking if they would be able to join in on a game if there is the space.
I am definitely taken aback by the positive response by my IRL friends. I have spent a lot of time and energy keeping what I call “my nerd” a secret from people, or at the very least I have downplayed my interests in fear of looking weird or out of place. I’m ecstatic to see and feel such a positive response towards my love for RPing and D&D and I’m excited to see what adventures we all have next.
Do you play D&D? How did you get into the RPG world? I would love to hear about it!