I’m learning how to play Dungeons and Dragons for the first time. I went in with no idea what to expect, or how to prepare. I’m going to document my journey for anyone else who finds themselves in this position. Last night was my second game night. I’m combining the first two nights into one entry since I didn’t think about writing about my experience until now. I apologize in advance if I get the jargon wrong.
Most the people I know who play role playing games got into them in high school or college and are well versed in the ins-and-outs of how the games are played. I missed out on all of that, and started getting an interest a few years ago. Being surrounded by so many people who play, one would think it’d be easy to find a game to join and learn to play. This however, was not the case for me. The groups I knew were well established, and deep into complex games. It really wasn’t the best place for beginner like myself to be introduced to the game. So I was incredibly excited when a friend posted on Facebook that her group had room for anyone who wanted to join a “casual” game.
I showed up having no idea what to expect. The only experience I’ve had with had with role playing games is single player video games. I didn’t even know what I wanted to do within the group (apparently Jedi is not an option). I do know I always play the good guy, and I tend to avoid melee attacks. Based on that our DM assigned me a Psionic character since we didn’t have one, and they matched how I like to play. Specifically, I’m playing as a Shardmind.
The longest part of the process setting up my character. I was given tips on how to set up my strengths based my my class, and then I got to pick out my dailies, utilities, and at will skills. I was bumped up to be level with the people I was playing with so I wouldn’t be instantly killed. After that, we were off!
Our first night we had an encounter with four giants. My character was useless against the giants. I got one hit in when I rolled a natural 20, but other than that, my attacks were worthless against them. The highlight though was that I was able to escape the battle unscathed and level up. It was a long encounter that took the entire night, but we were able to make it to the town we were heading towards.
The second night we started at the gates of the town. We were trying to get the guards to let us in, but we were accused of knowing something about a missing relic. None of us had enough charisma to get them to believe we knew nothing about it. This is where I started understanding how the role playing and story aspect worked. Our first night had been all encounter so I really didn’t have to think too much about how my character, or other characters, would react in any situation other than “don’t get killed.” (Well, after the encounter the rouge cared about nothing but getting the gold from them.) But now I got to see our Lawful Good character try to negotiate with the guard, and then decide that we should all go to find the stolen relic.
We had another night long encounter (where I nearly died several times) but what I’m really starting to think about is how my character should react to things. I was thinking I’d be Chaotic Good, but I’m really not sure how that would work. Or reading up on Shardminds, if that’s really how that race is aligned anyway. They seem more neutral than anything. It will be interesting to see as we interact more with NPCs to find out more how the story works. Personally, I’m finding that way more interesting than encounters.