Hi friends! If you follow me on Twitter (and I can’t imagine there are that many people reading this who didn’t come here via Twitter, but you never know) then you probably know that I recently, pretty much out of the blue, decided to get into Dungeons & Dragons. I’ve never played before, never even really played any tabletop RPG before, but I’ve decided that not only am I going to try and get a game going, but I’m going to DM it.
I’m excited about this for three reasons. First and foremost, I think it’ll be fun. My new anti-depressant medication seems to be helping and I’m coming out of my shell a bit as a result, and I once again want to have fun-times with friends. Granted, I don’t have very many friends near where I live (and certainly none who would want to or even are able to commit to a regular D&D game), so this will have to be online friends, via Skype, but it’s still a step in the right direction. Besides, I love my online pals just as much as any meatspace pals, so there.
Two, the storytelling possibilities have me very excited. I already have a rough outline of a story arc planned out, one which would span many adventures and last months or possibly years, and I’m pretty pleased with it. But the collaborative and random elements of D&D storytelling are what have me really excited. I want to tell a story with my friends, and I’ll help provide structure and guide things along, but in the end, random chance will have a say in what happens as well. And all of that is very thrilling to me.
Third, since this will be happening via Skype anyway, I see no reason not to record it, edit it, package it, and release it to the masses as a podcast. Even if people don’t want to play, they can hopefully enjoy the story we tell. And maybe they’ll be inspired to start their own game!
So, that’s the situation. Right now I’m reading the rule books, looking over what modules might work well for the plot I’ve constructed (I anticipate eventually going full homebrew with the adventures, but to start out I’ll likely be borrowing heavily from existing D&D published campaigns, just until I get a feel for how adventures should be structured and paced), and immersing myself in all the DM tip blogs and videos I can find (and also inhaling large quantities of The Adventure Zone and Critical Role).
But I need players! I’ve had one person say they’re probably in, but I’d like a party of 3-4 players if at all possible (that seems like a good number to start with; if more people are interested down the line, I imagine by then I’d be an adept enough DM to juggle more players). I am looking mostly for friends or friends-of-friends, as this is my first time doing this and I’d like to be as comfortable as possible (being less depressed hasn’t made me any less of an introvert, I’m afraid, and new people still terrify me). So for now, I’m going to have to limit the people I invite. If we’ve been mutuals on Twitter for a while, or you’re pals with someone I’ve been mutuals with on Twitter for a while, you’re good. You would also need to be able to commit to a regular schedule (I’m thinking either 2-3 hours weekly or 3-4 hours every other week, depending on what people want/can manage), have your own dice, and come ready to role play and have some fun!
If you’ve never played D&D or an RPG before, don’t worry: neither have I! If you’ve been intimidated in the past by all the rules and the math and whatnot, don’t be. Perhaps it was impenetrable in the past (I wouldn’t know, truthfully), but D&D 5th edition has, by all accounts, been streamlined nicely. Looking over the rules, it’s all pretty easy to pick up. And you won’t need to memorize armor ratings or weapons damage or anything like that; your character sheet will have most of the information you need to refer to often, and for combat or more esoteric stuff, that’s what I’m there for. It won’t be hard and it won’t be boring, I promise. I’m sure I’ll fumble and make mistakes, but those can be fun too, and I promise to keep the game moving. Above all, I don’t foresee myself being some sort of rules monster; I’m willing to play fast and loose when it’s called for. Not always; the rules are important. But at the end of the day the fun and the storytelling are what it’s all about.
Also, you won’t need to invest an arm and a leg; I bought all those fancy books up there because that’s what I do, but you can download the basic rules and a character sheet for free from the D&D website. Of course if you want to get the full Player’s Manual, I’m not gonna stop you. It’s about $30 on Amazon. Those other books up there are for DMs and you wouldn’t need them. The only other thing you’d need to spend money on would be dice, and those can also be had for fairly cheaply (I got these, but there are tons to choose from).
If you’re interested, get at me on Twitter. I’ve been tweeting about this a lot, but I figured laying out my thoughts like this, and having a solitary blog post to refer people to, would be better than constantly replying to my own tweet thread.
Let’s have some fun, friends! I may be a new DM, but you are safe in my hands.