Hello everyone! Max here for my somewhat irregular Monday post! After my interview with Julia two weeks ago, I thought it might be interesting to get an outsider perspective (more or less) about Dungeons & Dragons and tabletop role-playing games in general. So, Julia, before I showed you D&D, what did you think that scene was about?
To be 10,000% honest, I wasn’t really sure. I vaguely knew what D&D was but I had no idea about any of the mechanics of the game or the type of people that played it. I only knew what I had seen represented in the media (a.k.a. Freaks and Geeks) which was a group of nerdy middle school boys pretending to be wizards. So, I really had no clue what I was getting into.
What made you want to start playing after I showed you?
I initially did it because it was something you loved that I wanted to do with you. I was a little bit terrified of the game because I hadn’t done any sort of RP game before but I wanted to try my hand at something that you enjoy and see if I liked it too.
Did you have any worries or anxieties before you started playing?
Oh, my word. Yes. Yes, I did. I was so scared of being bad at it. I put a lot of pressure on myself to have fun and be an interesting player because you equated it to acting (which I don’t have nearly as much experience with as some think). I was also really scared that I wouldn’t be able to participate in the game well since I had a really hard time coming up with a very fleshed out character. I only had like three personality traits written on my character sheet and a teeny tiny bit of a backstory and I was really scared that would keep me from participating in a way that actually made the game interesting.
What did you find the easiest to pick up on when you started playing? The hardest?
This is a surprisingly tough question. The easiest thing might have been becoming attached to the character once I started to play her. It just kind of came naturally. However, I feel like making my first character was probably the most difficult thing for me. I had no ideas and forcing myself to be creative has never quite worked for me. I had a very difficult time picking a name for her as well. But, that’s just because I’m ridiculous when it comes to names. There were a lot of things that fall into the categories of “easy” and “hard” so it’s very difficult to pick something and label it “the least” or “the most”.
Did you have any particular moment you enjoyed the most since you’ve started playing? Alternatively, what do you like the most about playing Dungeons & Dragons?
I have a feeling you know exactly what I’m going to say here. My favorite moment thus far has been two separate moments from two different sessions. The first, when I beheaded a troglodyte with my short swords. I got really excited about this since I usually prefer to use my bow and stay out of the thick of the fight and, since our barbarian had been kidnapped and she’s usually the one to put herself in the middle of the fight, it gave me a moment to actually see what I could do when determined to rescue a friend. The second moment I loved was when I got my panther companion, Vennala. I actually cried because it was a really sad moment as his mother had just been killed by the creature we were tracking and also because I was so happy that I got my animal friend.
What advice would you give to brand new players who are interested or are about to play Dungeons & Dragons or a tabletop role-playing game for the first time?
Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. Your first game is going to be awkward and weird and a little uncomfortable – especially if you’re playing with a relatively experienced group. But, if you are playing with a group that has played before, they’ll all cut you slack. They’ve been where you are and the aim of the game is to have fun. Basically, just try not to be so scared. I know that’s hard but, it’s worth it to just let go and have a good time.
All great responses, Julia! Thank you for helping me out with this interview, and hopefully this information will be useful to anyone looking to start playing and are searching for a similar perspective. Until next Monday!