First Game Post-Mortem

Monday night, from around 8 (I had some trouble finding the place, oops) until around 12:30, I got to hang with the new D&D table and see what that would be like. In reality, I only got to meet one new person – J I’d met before (we’ve been on a few dates), but K is their usual DM but taking a break, so he joined me as a player. J2 (yes, in a group of four players, we have two guys with the same name) had a flat tire and wasn’t able to make it last-minute.

So we spent a few hours shooting the shit, getting to know each other and nerding out together, which was fun and encouraging. I love being around other nerds, because nerds unabashedly, unashamedly LOVE things. (Sometimes this leads to gatekeeping, but these nerds are not like that, and gatekeeping can suck it.) We nerded out about D&D, about druidry and paganism, about the Astros. It was all around a good time.

And then we sat down and rolled some dice. K’s character was a bit of a douchebag, but Annie Mae took him right in stride and – quite frankly – saved him from being a victim of human trafficking, so she figures someday he’ll at least give her some credit. Being an urban ranger is fun too – all sneaky in back alleys and pass without a trace to get away from the bad guys.

Overall, it was grand fun, and I look forward to next week’s continuation.

Things I did notice – this is both an alcohol and a 420 friendly table, which is 100% new to me. I’ve played D&D slightly tipsy, but never with drunk or high people, and it did change the timbre of the game slightly. Not in a bad way, and in fact, it slowed the game down a little, which meant I had more time to think (and meant my quick thinking got us out of some scrapes). Nobody was pushy or anything, and they were all super polite (and due to both politeness and good ventilation I did not go home smelling of cigarettes or MJ).

The table is gorgeous and hand-made – but currently lives in an un-airconditioned garage. They have lights, full music and sound, everything you’d ever want to play D&D… just no A/C. So my planned outfit, which included a pashmina headwrap made of black wool and silk, was a little too warm. Thankfully the night was pretty mild – only about 85 outside – and they have fans running so there’s good circulation.

I will hopefully meet J2 on Monday, but so far the two guys I have met are super excited to have me there – which is flattering. I’m an experienced player, but I’m nothing compared to the folks who stream professionally. Still, I felt warmly welcomed, encouraged to roleplay and take risks with my character, and rewarded for rolling well and thinking quickly.

So yeah. I’m happy with how this turned out. I’m thankful for Critical Role, which brought me to this group, and which has given me so much to learn as a player and even inspired me to think about sitting behind the DM screen sometime in the future.

Here’s hoping things continue to go well.

And so we begin again…

A tan leather tote with two dice bags, a miniature vault, a pencil case, two notebooks, and three 5th Edition D&D books.

I find myself on the brink – a lot has changed since the last post on this blog, when I introduced a new character that I would play, on and off, until I could no longer find it in myself to play with that particular group. For a number of reasons, almost entirely (but not completely) unrelated to D&D, my husband and I have been divorced for a little over 18 months at this point, and the D&D group that I used to be part of went with him in the divorce.

Of course, there’s always been the online campaigns – Dar na Theria and the City of Fangs haven’t gone anywhere, and I still play D&D with them every weekend. But virtual D&D is never quite the same as sitting around a table, playing the game with actual dice, ideally becoming lifelong friends with the folks that you explore pretend worlds and slay imaginary dragons with.

For many reasons, it’s been hard to put myself out there, to try to find new friends to play this game I love with. But in the intervening time, I’ve discovered something new. Critical Role came into my life in January 2017, at the recommendation of a friend, and I was a devoted fan by the end of the first live episode I watched. With rapt attention, I watched through the end of Campaign 1, said my goodbyes to Vox Machina, purchased some fanart to decorate my new apartment with, and have avidly followed the adventure of the Mighty Nein so far as they adventure in Wildemount.

I am, in short, a critter – and a fairly devoted one at that.

And critters are pretty wonderful people. Through a group of them where I had the opportunity to make some new friends, I ran into J, who plays in a long-running campaign that meets about 30 minutes away from where I live. (That’s fairly close by Houston standards.) They’d reached level 20, defeated Orcus, and were taking a short break before starting over again at level 1, and they were looking for new players. J and I struck up a casual friendship on Facebook, and I’ve been invited to join the table for a trial run.

Being that it’s a level 1, 5E campaign, I’ve got two characters created, just in case the lethality of low-level D&D becomes a problem, but of course, I play clerics, so it’s slightly more likely that someone else will die. Still, I’m reusing bits and pieces of other Annas, and I’ll be introducing both characters over the next weeks as I perfect their stories. We’ll be playing in the Forgotten Realms, which is a new campaign setting for me (I’ve played almost exclusively in homebrew D&D), so that’s fun. How I can have played D&D this long and know so little about Faerun is pretty impressive.

And so I begin again.

Two level 1 characters. Scouring the internet for the perfect character portraits. Picking spells and setting up stats (point buy). It’s fun, and exciting, and nervous. If it doesn’t work out, I can always try again, but for now, I’m just going to try to ride the tide of anticipation.

We shall see how this goes.