The DnD Diaries Chapter 0: Let’s get this (DnD) party started

The DnD Diaries is my journal as a Dungeons & Dragons (DnD) newbie testing my wits and skills in my first ever tabletop campaign. Will I prove my worth and become a legendary hero of the Forgotten Realms? Or will I fail and end up as Kobold kibble?

Let’s roll the dice and find out.

Chapter 0: Let’s get this (DnD) party started

I love my games and I love trying out new games, but while I have played plenty of video games, card games and tabletop games there is one type of game that in over 30 years I’ve yet to try; Dungeons & Dragons.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

When a friend of mine — who has hosted a few tabletop sessions — asked me if I wanted to have a crack at some Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition adventuring, my friends and I jumped at the opportunity.

A week later, myself, our Dungeon Master and two friends had assembled in the dining room. Shout-outs to our friend was so kind as to let us borrow his dining room for our nerd-night. Our DM sat at the head of the table, his notes, dice and guidebook all hidden behind a cardboard barrier, elaborately decorated with high-fantasy artwork

On the other side of of this barrier, my two friends and I sat around the table. We had pencils, erasers and empty character sheets laid out in front of us. We were like students preparing for an exam in adventuring and monster-slaying.

Can ya smell what this warlock is cookin?
Can ya smell what this warlock is cookin?

To a newcomer such as myself the character sheet seemed quite imposing, I was confronted with an array of empty fields and boxes, all asking for intricate details. Where in the hell do I start with fields such as armor points, character features, proficiencies, and more. I was lost.

Thankfully our DM, with monk-like patience, guided us through the character creation process, while we asked dumb questions and continually pencilled in character stats in the wrong fields. If you’re new to Dungeons & Dragons I cannot stress the importance having a good Dungeon Master (or DM).

There were so many decisions to make. What race do I choose? What class do I want to play? Should I put stats into wisdom or charisma? What is my character’s back-story? Are they a town hero or a hermit? What does my character act like when he drinks too much at the local tavern? The creative freedom we had was amazing.

Fancy artwork by Tyler Jacobson
Impressive DnD party artwork by Tyler Jacobson

It was up to us to decide our characters’ hopes, their dreams, their vices, their deepest fears and even the noise they make while eating that drives the rest of the party up the wall. We weren’t just creating characters, we were creating our characters.

So after much discussion and creative thinking, we all realised that half the night had gone by already and we still hadn’t even begun the game yet, whoops. When it was time for us to lock in our choices we could finally get to the killing monsters dead part of the game.

We finalised our characters, traits,flaws and all and one by one, around the table, the characters who’d become our avatars for this grand adventure introduced themselves.

Ashward, the Eldritch Tiefling Noble

Ashward is a warlock of tiefling descent;half demon folk, think Hellboy, but with the horns still on. He worships the Eldritch entity Nyarlathotep, however he doesn’t let his arcane influences stop him from having a strikingly dapper dress sense. Born from a noble family, Ashward thinks everybody else are just grubby jerks who are totally beneath him.

His quest to delve deeper into the mysteries of the Eldritch cosmos has forced him to rub shoulders with common folk though. He bitterly resents this, as well as anybody around him that isn’t a pretty lady that he can hit on. He presses on, ready to summon his dark hexes against anybody who stands in his way.

A Tiefling doing her stuff
A Tiefling doing her stuff

Tak, the Punchy Halfling Monk

Tak is a dark-skinned, halfling monk from the desert who likes to enjoy the simple pleasures that life has to offer. Those simple pleasures consist solely of fighting, hitting people in the crotch with his short-staff, and fighting. While technically considered a monk, Tak was actually expelled from the monastery after getting a little too punchy a little too often. That and for his disturbing fondness for hitting his opponents in the crotch.

And finally to round out the party was my character.

Fatoompsh, the Overbearing Paladin Half-Orc

A towering half-orc out to prove that his kind can be more than just dumb brutes, Fatoompsh sought the way of the paladin so he could become an example to others. He’s not quite a shining example just yet, but he tries hard and with his greatsword is a fierce combatant in battle.

Jovial and often putting his foot in his mouth, if there is trouble about it is usually Fatoompsh who is first in line to face it, regardless of whether that is a good idea or not.

The quest begins...
The quest begins…

Our party had been formed; the tiefling, the halfling and the half-orc. We were more a ragtag group of misfits than a well traveled band of heroes, but we all agreed that this mix of characters should make for some interesting stories.

This was going to be fun.

The DM sat behind his board, as both a guide and an opponent. He’d be the one to decide just how much trouble we’d get into along our journey. We were ready to start our big adventure, yet he was ready to throw us all into the meat-grinder.

Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition

We had our characters, we had our sheets filled out and we had our trusty dice; we were all ready to begin our big adventure. This was it, time for our first ever DnD campaign. With a theatrical tone our DM began to speak, he began to tell us the tale of three mismatched adventurers who came across a small town known as Greenest….

Want to find out how our party survives our first DnD campaign? IF we survive that is. Stay tuned for our next segment of the DnD Diaries when the campaign begins in Chapter 1: The grass isn’t always Greenest on the other side.

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James Camilleri
I am a videogame guy. I've been playing games all my life and am an avid fan of games new and old. I'm also a fighting game enthusiast and an arcade tragic.

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