It’s been a long road

Let’s set the scene here.  I’m a 42 year old guy with a love for all things geeky.  By day, I work as a Project Manager, specialising mainly in IT and I manage a small team of support staff. In the evenings I’m a family guy but, as the kids get older I’m finding I have far more free time than I’ve ever had. In my spare time I play games, I play guitar, I read and I write.

I have few friends locally. I get on with my neighbours but we don’t really socialize.   My office isn’t close to where I live so hanging out with colleagues isn’t something I typically do. Most of my socialising is done online.  This is a blessing really because it means that, during the Covid-19 lockdowns, my life pretty much continues as it always has. I’m really pleased to say that I’m really lucky to have a great group of friends who I game with regularly. Like me they are based in the UK and we’ve been gaming together since we met in World of Warcraft over 15 years ago.

Since we quit WoW we’ve played hundreds of other games. A lot of those have been video games and we’re all fairly active on both PlayStation and PC. Some of them are either tabletop games like Warhammer 40,000 or simpler board games.  Occasionally we cross the streams, playing Blood Bowl both tabletop and online.  We all paint miniatures and are all pretty good at it.

The one thing we’ve never done together is play Dungeons & Dragons and honestly, if you know my group, that’s a bit weird. There just wasn’t anyone that suggested it. The guys have been really good to me over the years and I wanted to do something for them. So, about 2 years ago I decided to rectify this and I went out and bought the D&D Starter Set and that’s how I became the groups de facto Dungeon Master. 

Now there was never any thought process in my mind, with us all painting miniatures as we do, that we wouldn’t build scenery and use tactical combat. There was no way I was going to do this using an online app. So I went about the process of buying miniatures and painting them and I built scenery and 2 years later we still hadn’t played a single session.

So, that’s Rule 1 I’ve learned and I’ll pass it on to you.   Not only should you not expect your first game to be perfect, you shouldn’t even aim for it.

Coronavirus put a damper on any chance of a meetup and eventually I relented and downloaded Fantasy Grounds. I read through the campaign, I spent too much money, I spent too long downloading and organising music but tonight we begin.

One of the things I found out in all my research is that there’s a LOT of useful information out there.  There’s people that give all sorts of advice on how to create epic campaigns and Matt Colville has been my personal spirit guide for the last 2 years.    I did, however, find that the actual minutia was missing. 

Let me give you an example…

The campaign books tell you what loot the monsters are carrying. That’s great. Nobody tells you whether or not you should assume the party looted the corpses of their kills or wait till they tell you.   It’s those little things that I would have liked some advice on.  So I’m going to keep all these little notes together and, if it interests you, we’ll learn them together as the campaign plays out.

This might be the shortest blog ever. Our goal is to play for a few weeks and decide whether we like it or not, but it was £1.20 to run this site for an entire year so what have I got to lose.

More importantly….what have you got to lose. Go and pick up Dungeons and Dragons today!

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