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How a Newbie Played D&D- and Why It’s Fun (Part One)

Written by Michael Perry - Published on November 15, 2014


e6pqhWhenever I play Dungeons & Dragons, I always take it seriously, but that doesn’t mean that I never have fun. After all, F-U-N is precisely the whole point of playing this old school game, isn’t it?  Why we’re rolling weirdly shaped dice and why you’re taking time (thank you) to read this.

Believe me, it is quite possible to truly do both at once. By playing your character seriously while getting your hands dirty, you can enjoy the fullness of D&D as an interactive group storytelling.  To demonstrate, I’ll share how this D&D newbie managed to outshine veteran players.  But most importantly having fun while doing it.


Part One: D&D – My Early Days

I had this friend, once, and I would go over to his house on random occasions and hang out. There wasn’t ever much to do, but his wife made some awesome rangoons, so I was always down. One night, however, apparently frustrated from the routine he demanded that I come over for sheet pizza (yuck) and none other than Dungeons & Dragons.

I’d never played D&D, before – as a matter of fact, I knew absolutely nothing about it, but I decided that it couldn’t hurt much to give it a shot. So I showed up and the scene was shocking- sprawled out upon his giant, oaken table were maps, charts, huge stacks of books, playing fields, papers, markers…I felt like we were trying to study for a toy exam.

I took the seat next to him while another guy immediately handed me a blank character sheet and grunted in my general direction. Of course, I just shot him a look of inquiry.  Who would have ever guessed that some gamers can display anti-social tendencies?

My friend, God bless his heart, tried his best to actually help me build a character, but I had no idea what I was doing or the type of world that I was playing in (more of the DM’s fault than mine), so I picked the most, logical choice of character for a fantasy world filled with dwarves, dragons and well, dungeons: John J. Rambo of First Blood fame.

It was brilliant, I thought. I had even figured out a way to emulate Rambo’s explosive arrowheads that he used in First Blood Part II. I decided that, despite a head-first mentality, he should know a bunch of spells and that these spells could be imbued into arrows which could then be shot from a bow. He’d be tough, sneaky like an assassin and deadly – a true credit to the character that would do Sly proud.

This, of course, didn’t turn out like I had planned. I was quickly ostracized from the group and labeled as, “the idiot who actually put Rambo in a fantasy game”.  Again, that anti-social thing rearing it’s Tiamat number of heads.  Like Wil Wheaton says, “Don’t be a dick.”

Yet that was O.K. I was about to teach them a lesson that they’d soon not forget – how to really play a game of D&D, but that will have to wait for Part Two, coming tomorrow.  I have the sudden urge to go watch Cobra and maybe Demolition Man. Eyyyy-yo.

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Written by Michael Perry

Michael Perry

My hobbies include: writing, music composition, singing, and, of course, playing games. I also enjoy reading quite a bit and am very interested in theoretical physics and astronomy.

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6 Responses to “How a Newbie Played D&D- and Why It’s Fun (Part One)”
  1. Sounds like you’re first gaming experience was pretty awkward. I was fortunate and had the opposite experience. The people I met at a game shop when I was a kid were just as socially awkward, but warm and welcoming. I wonder what experiences other people had the first time they played?

  2. Michael Perry says:

    It primarily depends on the DM and how much effort he/she is willing to put into the job, in my honest opinion.

  3. MythicParty says:

    First impressions are definitely key. I’ve talked to people who won’t try D&D after a negative experience- even when that experience was in a different decade.

    Just like when a lot of things, people judge our hobby based on the people they meet who our in the hobby. So listen to Evil Wil Wheaton & don’t be a dick.

  4. MythicParty says:

    Also, as Michael Perry says, if you’re not having fun you’re doing it all wrong.

  5. Freerangegeek says:

    It is all about fun, if you want to be Rambo, go for it, so long as you (and the party) have fun with it.

    Sadly, sounds like a normal tough introduction to a group, so many of those end up like that experience, but waiting to hear how you handled it.

  6. Sean Robert Meaney says:

    I was a terrible player, not in that I didnt know how to play, rather that I went through a dungeon in which all the other players characters would fall into every trap, pit, or possible injury while my cleric tagged along and all I did was spend my time laughing at the accidents befalling every other player character until I had utterly alienated a very frustrated group at which the leader (an antipaladin passing himself off as a paladin – the DM was his long time friend and let him play a designated npc class). The antipaladin evicerated my cleric at the end of the adventure exposing his true nature and I wasnt invited to roll up a pc for the next adventure.

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