The Joy of New Dungeons and Dragons Players

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This coming weekend, the GameZilla Media team is hosting a barbecue for our community, and I have the pleasure of being able to host a Dungeons & Dragons game for a group of guests, who may never have played the game before. It's incredibly exciting for me, because I love being able to see people interact with the game, especially if it's their first time. There's a certain charm to seeing people's eyes light up when given total freedom within a game, and it's great to see that initial awkwardness fade away, as the player gets into their character.

I'd like to share a few of my favorite stories when it comes to running games for new players. Years ago, my home group that's been running for years was short a few players, and so my friend Tank asked if his wife could join us for a session, so she could see what it was like. We didn't have the opportunity to play a regular game that day, so this was a great way to give us the chance to get in some D&D, and also let someone new experience my favorite game of all time. Tank's wife Heidi went through the game, and while she didn't have a chance to play for very long, at the end of the session she asked a question that still resounds within me to this day, “So you got this out of a book?” I told her that all the rules were indeed from an established game system. She shook her head and said “No, the characters I met and the story each of them had.” When I told her that all those people she met, monsters she battled with, and the story were something I came up with myself, she seemed surprised. It was a humbling experience to know that while my campaigns weren't winning Pulitzer prizes, they were at least considered interesting by someone who had never played Dungeons and Dragons before.

Not long after that, a group of my coworkers had found out that I played Dungeons and Dragons, and asked if they could play. While I didn't have the time to run a campaign for them, I offered to run an adventure that I designed for fun, one that would become important years later. I had them over on a summer afternoon, and they all fell in love with the game, and to this day, they get together for their own D&D group. It's a proud feeling, to know that the game I introduced them all to, is still so important.

Years later, I was at my first GameZilla Nerd BBQ, and I had brought along some books, premade characters and dice, since I knew there was some interest in Dungeons and Dragons, but many people admitted that they didn't have the time to play, or didn't now anyone else interested in the game. Later in the evening, I offered to run a sample game that I had made years before, and while we started at around 7:00 in the evening, the game didn't finish until around 2:00 in the morning, with an audience of guests wanting to know what would happen up to the very end, even though they weren't actually playing. It was at the moment that we decided that a D&D podcast would be a great fit for GameZilla Media, and as of right now, we have over 35 hours of content for the show. Every Wednesday we release episodes, and I hope you're all enjoying the show, it's wonderful to know so many people get to experience the world I've built up over the years.

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