The world of Dungeons and Dragons is an exciting but nonetheless intimidating experience, especially for newcomers. But the adventures that can be had at the table are a worthwhile experience, and something that everyone should try.
Dungeons and Dragons is a Tabletop Roleplaying Game that has surged in popularity over the last few years. Projects such as Critical Role, Baldurs Gate 3 and more have helped or are helping to bring this game to the masses.
I started playing Dungeons and Dragons three years ago, and have been fortunate enough to play in weekly sessions since. Over that time I’ve played many characters in multiple campaigns, but more importantly, I’ve made some lifelong friends.
My first campaign was short lived but memorable. A Half-Elf Monk named Yyendeyr was sent on a infiltration mission by the King of Breezemount. His task was simply to gather any information on the Mad Emperor of the city and report back. Yyendeyr was an experienced spy and confident in his abilities, but he wasn’t counting on baked goods. I rolled a natural one on a wisdom saving throw and spotted a freshly baked cake in the window of a local bakery. Yyendeyr was quickly arrested under harsh loitering laws.
That was my first natural one, the very first roll of my first campaign. But despite that, the adventures that Yyendeyr got into, the friends he made, none of it would have happened without that roll. The campaign may not have lasted much longer, but the good times I had taught me that failure isn’t the end. I learnt a lot about myself from Yyendeyr, and how labels like class or race don’t define a character. Yyendeyr wasn’t a good monk, but he was an amazing friend.
The second campaign I’ve been involved in is currently coming to an end after two years. For most of that time, I have been Elros DuGalle, Artificer Prince of Everforth. Elros was accidentally kidnapped by the group and dragged into Hell. He understandably didn’t trust the group initially and was more or less a captive by his own doing. At the same time it was hard for me to come out of my shell and interact with the other players, who had already known each other for some time.
However, over the next two years Elros and I accomplished so much. We ended the manic spread of a fatal disease, fulfilled a prophecy to kill Tiamat and invented time travel. Now, we come to the end of the campaign and face a Kraken at the gates of the Primal Gods. We’ve travelled across time, started and ended wars and kept each other strong in our demanding character arcs. At the same time, we as players have grown so close and helped each other through trying times outside of the game.
Symphony is a Tiefling Bard, who had spent her entire life on the road. She loved nothing more than performing and inspiring others, but she lacked stories and experience. She eventually joined a group named The Blind and grew fond of them. Thanks to a misused spell she was under a demon’s curse for some time. Over that time she did terrible things under the control of this demonic entity until she was freed by a friend. Now she worries how her friends will react and how she will atone for the things she has done. In any other campaign, I would be against such an uncomfortable situation, but being more familiar with the game and the group makes it better. And I know that my friends will support me as I venture outside my comfort zone.
I am certain that without Dungeons and Dragons, I would not be in the position that I am now. The chance to escape to a fantastical world has become a form of therapy for me. Through this game I have experimented with my creativity and expanded my comfort zone, learning more about myself. Dungeons and Dragons can seem intimidating and at first it might be rough, but the memories and friends it can bring are lifelong and precious.
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