Today I would like to cover a fresh perspective as a new D&D player. The question is, have you ever heard of Dungeons & Dragons? Chances are you probably did and that is as far as you went. If that is your situation then we are on the same ground, I heard about it a long time ago but that is as far I went into looking further into it. In my mind this is how I originally conceived the thought of D&D from hearing people talk about it, a few individuals dressed into character have to embark in a fantasy world while acting like someone who timed travelled too far in the future. With that thought I had no interest what so ever of finding out what Dungeons and Dragons really is or was. I myself am more of a gamer who enjoyed games sitting in my chair and fingers on the W,A,D keys with the mouse under my other hand. Well this whole experience changed completely a few months ago when I was asked to participate in ‘Extra Life‘. If you guys have not heard of this charity, google it! In a nutshell it is playing games for 24 hours straight while raising money for ‘Children’s Miracle Network‘. You get to have an excuse to play games for 24 hours for a good cause, that is exactly what went through my mind when I heard about this charity.
Fast forwarding to the marathon day, I brought my full PC setup with the intention of playing ‘Guild Wars 2: Heart of Thorns‘ and we wanted to start at around 4pm to allow people to take care of weekend responsibilities before indulging in the marathon. Since ‘Heart of Thorns’ has just came out and I did not have time to really invest into it, ‘Extra Life’ was a good excuse for getting out of the daily grind, adult responsibilities and just indulge in the content for a full 24 hours, well that was the original intent going in. I was asked prior to the event if I wanted to take part in a D&D play through, a new campaign that would just start on the day of and keep going if enough interest is demonstrated. Here was my thought process, I know I cannot play ‘Guild Wars 2’ for 24 straight hours, so D&D could be played for a few hours as a short break, maybe 2 – 4 hours then back to the PC games. You must know where I am going with this, I totally underestimated how long this pen and paper game was going to take or the commitment I dug myself into. So back to the start of the ‘Extra Life’ day, I set up my PC in the basement of the house together with my girlfriend who by the way was killing it with the donation she accumulated for this event, and went upstairs to get started with the D&D campaign with no knowledge of what I was getting myself into. I was told to create a character before that day but due to the complicated nature of creating a character, I procrastinated to the actual day or should I say I was hoping for help to tackle this matter, which happened. I was helped by the DM as well as another fellow soon to be party member, both with a lot years of D&D experience behind them which made it a breeze. I created a Ranger because I enjoyed playing as one in ‘Guild Wars 2’. I was asked to choose between DEX and STR for my top stat and me going back to ‘Maple Story‘, STR for damage and DEX for critical, I chose STR. At this point veteran D&D players reading this are probably shaking their head or face palming right now but with my inexperience I thought to myself what could go wrong? Next came the race question and I was thrown all these kind of races and had to choose one. The only one that kept my attention was Dragonborns, why you may think, well because dragons that is the only and sole reason. I had no idea of their skills, traits or any other racial abilities until I chose them. I did not do any reading prior as I did not expect it to be so in-depth. Well here I am a STR Dragonborn Ranger, STR was a good stat for Dragonborn so I felt like that was a very good decision and rolled with it. Shortly after we had a few players around the table all set to go. I was handed this weird dice with 20 sides to it, asking myself what could that possibly be used for in this game? Well you know… everything. I then learn the term D4, D6 to D20, it was amazing how I never heard this term before. A little background on my character before we dive into my very first play through. My character is named Draekhill a Dragonborn ranger specialized in STR with the intent to go towards melee(2 weapon fighting), I liked the sound of that. I wanted him to be a Hermit with alignment Chaotic/Good, with the flaw ‘Risk too much to uncover lost knowledge’. Great flaw in my opinion to create an excuse to look for every room in a dungeon for artifacts. Although this flaw almost got our party wiped later in the game, which I will get to that part much much later.
The first campaign was about to get started and we were playing the pre-made module ‘Out of the Abyss‘. Now I am going to put up a spoiler alert for those who have not played this campaign and planning to do so as I will be going through the story and narrate how Draekhill managed to this point survive, due to my poor decision and knowledge of this game. At this point I did not have any background story made for my character but that was my homework which I think came out to be pretty good. We started the campaign captured in a Drow(didn’t know who that was) prison with a few NPC and the other players. Me being new and video game focused asked questions, much silly questions thinking back, as in: is there anything that I can interact with? Can I talk to other players? Can I find anything to break the door? Does the NPC know how to get out of here? Well the DM did not give me the answer I was looking for and from that instance I observed as another player,the veteran, started interacting with the NPCs going into character (I am not going to lie but it sounded almost funny and ridiculous at that point in time and I told myself I am not doing that with my character). After the other players interacted we all had a good idea on who was who and what everybody else did before they got captured by the Drows with the exception of me so I stayed mostly silent and observant. We were only out of the prison to perform prisoners duty, clean, cook etc and this ladies and gentlemen is where I made my first action. I was on kitchen duty together with a now team mate and he wanted to try to stealthily steal a rusty kitchen knife, not a bad idea at all, except… he rolled poorly and had to put it back. I followed his action and tried to do the same thing and succeeded with my roll (very much so happy at this point) and I received a rusty kitchen knife which would act as a dagger. I proceeded with hiding it from the guards and we were escorted back to our cell. And here folks is where I will pause with the story, I will be updating this blog on a weekly basis with our adventure to the best that I can recall but for your knowledge we have barely even spent an hour playing at this point but that hour was an eye opener. My thoughts: ‘I can do anything to anyone? There is more than option A, B, C?’ and here is where I realized the extend of D&D and why it is such a mind blowing game that has come to stay.