The adventure begins...

So, I finally did it. For about 20 years or so, someone always was trying to convince me to give D&D a try. Before college, that person was my brother who loved to spend hours in the library searching for a new weapon from the books on medieval weaponry. During college, my fraternity brothers (I was in a co-ed house) tried to persuade me to play. But the truth is, I never really felt comfortable playing a character in that world. Sure I grew up reading a lot of myths and legends but many groups really get into the world and kind of expect a greater amount of knowledge than I really have.

But that all changed when I found the D&D podcast done with the PvP and Penny Arcade folks. One of the players was brand new to the game and he decided to name his character Jim Darkmagic. Of course, he got some digs because of the name choice, but in the end, they respected it. He also did the most character development of the group, making up stories about his character as he went along. In addition to the character, the system they were playing (4th edition), seemed so much simpler than what I remember listening to when my friends played. There was slightly less dice rolling and a lot more story. I never really understood the separate spot and listen checks.

After listening through the entire first series and all of the second series ones available (with Wil Wheaton), I figured it might be worth a shot. Plus, my husband's group really needed another player. So one Wednesday after they asked me if I might consider playing a rogue, I decided to give it the old college try.

Of course, I couldn't just give in so easily, so I decided to make it a surprise. The next day I contacted the DM and asked him if he could meet with me to set up a character. I started reading the Player's Handbook during my lunch and breaks and found some online character generators to help me figure out how to fill in a character sheet. I read articles about how to make a good rogue and to prepare myself for how game play went. When the day came to meet with the DM, I was pretty prepared and my husband still had no idea of my plans. The DM and I agreed that it would make sense for the elf ranger in the party to 'find' me.

On the night of the game, I was incredibly nervous. Most of all, I really wanted my husband to be surprised. They took awhile to settle down for the game, but when they finally did, I listened intently for my cue. I heard the DM ask the elf to do a spot check. I was heard (I've got to learn to use stealth more often) and the DM said, "It's Sarah's turn." I enter the dining room and say "Damn, looks like I missed all the action again." My husband looks at me with a look that says, I know you are speaking. Why are you speaking and why doesn't it make sense. I then say, "Where are my manners, my name is Sarah." It takes a few more seconds to sink in and we all have a good time laughing.

Of course, I'm much better of thinking of these scenarios than I am playing the role playing part of the game. But I'm sure I will learn. I just get so self-conscious when speaking in a group of people, particularly about something that I don't know very well. But they seem to be a patient group of guys. We'll see how it goes.

Send feedback using the contact form or through twitter, @sarahdarkmagic.

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