My 1st D&D game was about 5 years ago in the mountains. It was a one-off. I was anxious & confused. Everyone knew what they were doing. I didn’t know how to play. I don’t learn well that way. So I came out of it no more inclined to want to play D&D or understand those who do.
I’ve always been a person willing to play games but I always ask if I could watch one first. Many people are disinclined to allow this. That whole “throw them in and let em learn on the job” mentality. People say you should learn D&D like that. It didn’t work for me.
But, see, Carlos has been playing D&D for decades. A lot of my friends play. My brother & his wife DM 3 games a week. People kept saying I would love D&D, being a professional actor & writer myself. I said, right, well it sounds more like work than play to me.
Enter Critical Role last fall. Watching terrifically smart voice actors (they do a lot of video games & cartoons; I do almost exclusively audiobooks, but we’re all actors!) gave me a sense of the mechanics, fun, love & potential of this mind-blowing collaborative medium.
Anyway, I’m so damn grateful. It took me almost six months of watching before I shyly asked Carlos to DM a solo campaign for me.
Now, after 3 months of that, I am playing it with another person FOR THE 1st TIME TODAY (a memoirist/musical theatre composer/professor).
Later this month, I play with a group of at least 5–all family members.
And in August, at GenCon, I’ll play in front of a live audience with people who’ve loved D&D for as many decades as Carlos has.
That’s the difference a year makes. And that’s a story about how everyone learns things differently. And how a fantasy writer and voice actor came, at last, to play D&D at age 40.
I’m sorry it took me so long.
But also, it’s the perfect time.