Let me start things off by saying that I’m, what most would call, a Dungeons & Dragons noob. I only started playing a little over a year ago, after my group of friends concluded their first campaign. You see, the game was always intimidating for me. I’m a naturally shy person, and the idea of learning a completely new thing with a lot of rules and role play was daunting.
My first character was Merric Thorngage (rest his precious soul), a halfling rogue on a quest to avenge the death of his parents. Merric was a little bit of a lone wolf, and a little bit of an edgelord. It’s apparently common to play a character like this for your first time. There wasn’t a lot to him besides this minor revenge plot that saw a conclusion in the first few months of playing. After that happened there wasn’t much for me to work with.
It wasn’t until after Merric got killed off, and I made a new character, that I really started to enjoy myself. I took my mistakes into consideration, and I got my creative juices flowing to make a character that I felt excited to play.
Regis Silverkin is a human monk with a bit of twist: he’s also a werewolf. But he desperately doesn’t want to be. His goal for the adventure is to find a cure for his lycanthropy so he can be a proper father to his daughter again. Yes, he is also a bit of an edgelord, but he actually cares about working together with the rest of the party.
Creativity is something I haven’t felt much of since I was a kid. Once high school started, I stopped dreaming up stories and making up superheroes. I spent my time focusing on other things: friends, music, girls, etc. These aren’t bad things to care about, but until D&D, I always felt like that childlike creativity was missing from my life. Now I’m daydreaming again and it’s amazing. I spend a lot of my free time imagining new characters, and the intricate back stories that go along with them.
I love video games, but I don’t get to flex my creative muscles with them. D&D gives me the opportunity to get lost in my own head. When I was a kid, I’d spend a lot of time making up stupid stories, but as I got older, I stopped my creative writing. The restrictions that Dungeons & Dragons places on you are helpful for narrowing down what you want your character to be. Having a set of rules laid out in front of you makes creating something from scratch a lot less overwhelming.
Even if you intend your character to be a specific way, there’s no knowing what will happen with them until the game starts. The only true way to realize their personality is to play the game and to find out how they interact with the other players.
The role play is half the fun for me. A lot of that fun comes from playing a character so different from myself. The other part is the fact that I get to spend time having a blast with my friends. If it weren’t for Dungeons & Dragons, I wouldn’t see my them as much as I do. We’re all very busy people, but we somehow manage to find the time to play this game twice a week.
My D&D friends are the best friends I have. Some of them, I was close with before, and some of them I wasn’t. But playing this game has brought us all closer together. We share these intense moments, and even though they’re imaginary, the experience is still impactful. People say sharing trauma can help develop strong bonds between friends. Well, we watch each other come close to death almost every week.