As I have mentioned in previous posts, I started dabbling in tabletop roleplaying in college. It started freshman year with some Dungeons and Dragons and an attempted Vampire campaign. This dabbling spanned the semesters from Fall 2000 to Spring 2001. As is typical, these things fall apart over summer break when everyone goes back home and you eventually lose track of them when we all come back for the next semester.
This brings me to the next time I dabbled in Dungeons and Dragons, which lead to another crack in my shell. Through a mutual friend, I heard about a one-off D&D session taking place at his house with his DM (Dungeon Master). This friend has played in a handful of campaigns with said DM and has a lot of fun in them. He asked if I would like to play and I said “yes.” The one-off was a lot of fun, and I really enjoyed playing the crazy Halfling Rogue I made. In the process of playing, I met some of my friend’s D&D friends and I quickly made friends with them.
However, the great thing that occurred because of this one-off is that one of the other players was thinking about starting a campaign with a different group, he liked how I played my character, and he asked if I would be interested in joining his campaign. I was a bit nervous about it because I wouldn’t really know anyone. Sure, I had met who was going to be my new DM and one other player in the one-off I had played, but that was it, I had only just met them. But, since I was really starting to get into D&D, and when you start getting into something like that you want to play constantly, I said “yes” again.
This experience helped me come out of my shell even more as now I was playing in a campaign with six other people, counting the DM, and I barely even knew two of them. Since we were all there to play D&D, there wasn’t much in the way of awkwardness in getting to know each other; D&D was our icebreaker. I quickly got to know everyone at the table and we all became friends, though I only really keep up with two of them from time to time.
This experience was also the first time roleplaying was actively encouraged and rewarded. Before, I would try to get into character, which is difficult for those just starting out, but there was no reward or punishment for staying in character throughout a session. However, this DM implemented a couple rules that really helped with my roleplaying: 1) extra experience points were rewarded to those that roleplayed well and stayed in character (this was handled by secretly providing everyone at the table their own experience for the night) and 2) you will be penalized for using incorrect terms like “dollars” or “bucks,” as the currency in D&D is gold. This provided an incentive to remain in character, because we all want to level up as soon as possible, and to only use terms appropriate for the system. To this day I correct people who talk in terms of dollars instead of gold when they should, much to the annoyance of my friends.
This was my first, real headfirst dive into the world of tabletop roleplaying. It was my first full on campaign where we actively worked on a team towards to team’s goals while working for a larger organization. It was the first time I was part of a regularly scheduled session. It definitely built the foundation for my roleplaying. My only regret was that it didn’t last past the first college break, cannot remember if it was winter or summer break, we encountered during the campaign as a key player switched to a different school and some others had different work schedules. However, it was still a great experience and remains a very fond memory.
What was your very first tabletop roleplaying campaign like? How long did it last? Leave a comment below and/or share on Twitter.