by Comet Ziemer
Dungeons and Dragons, also called D&D, is a beloved game franchise that has been around for decades, and has a large devoted fan base of players that constantly push the limits of creativity and imagination inside a fictional world. To many outsiders, D&D can seem confusing and even intimidating. Many people don’t even dip their toes into the game because of the amount of time and effort that is put into creating characters and worldbuilding. Just last weekend, I threw myself into the crazy pool of Dungeons and Dragons players and participated in my first ever session. And I’ll say this: it wasn’t what I expected.
I have been interested in starting D&D for roughly 4 years, it was always something that looked super fun. This year, I finally had a good group of friends who were into D&D that were more than willing to help me get the basics down and get started. Last week, they invited me to join my first ever One Shot. A One Shot is a campaign that typically only lasts for one or two sessions. Met with this amazing opportunity, I loaded up a character creator and got to work.
At first, a lot of the D&D character sheets looked very confusing and intimidating. There were a bunch of different slots for things like “Dexterity” and “Charisma”. I was really confused and had absolutely no idea what most of the slots meant, and what was supposed to go in them. But this was when my first really positive experience with the community came into play: There were tons of videos online that were able to teach me some basics and walk me through creating the character sheet. After I got the more technical stuff figured out, I moved onto actually creating my character.
I chose to be a Wood Elf Bard. And the next thing I found out that I came to love about D&D is that you get a lot of freedom when it comes to actually creating your character. I was able to have full freedom over how I wanted my character to look, her backstory, her actions, and every aspect that made her the person she is. It was really fun just sitting down and spending hours typing up a proper backstory, figuring out her strengths and weaknesses, describing her personality, and just describing what she looked like. I love how in depth the details are. Most people kind of stick to basics when it comes to making characters, but I went well off the deep end and figured out so much of her appearance. From the color and cut of her hair to the amount of scars she had on her ears and why she had them.
I quickly got attached to my new character, who I named Wirenth Morra. I adored all of the different things you get to figure out about your characters. I was able to do things like figure out any items that your character might start out with, and it was super fun trying to figure out what items would help her the most and what items fit her character. All of it was an amazing workout for my creativity and I adored every moment of it. And the great thing about D&D is that if you are playing it, that means that you have friends that are more than willing to help you if you get stuck. My friend was able to take a look at my sheet and help me figure out things that I was stuck on, like spell slots and different skills.
Finally, Sunday came and I was ready to play. And I would be lying if I said that I didn’t have the most fun role playing experience in my life. I really got to figure out Wirenth’s attitude and voice as the session went on, and I loved everyone else finding out about her. We ended up not being able to finish the session that day, but it was the most fun I had ever had with my friends.
I can’t wait to play D&D more. And for anyone else who might want to start playing D&D but don’t know where to start, I can assure you that there are many people all over the world that are more than willing to give you a hand with helping you get started. That’s one of the great things about D&D. To play it, you need to have other people by your side. And having those other people makes the experience so much more enjoyable.