Role Playing as a Hobby—A Newbie’s Account

When I first tried role playing I was way too shy. I didn’t understand how the games work, and I struggled to make sense of why it was fun. About a year after this experience, I tried it again for charity. This time, I got to play a role playing game for 24 hours for a charity. Now it made sense. Because this 24 hour session was a game two of the players created in college, it did not come with a book of rules, and it was fairly easy to comprehend—and if you didn’t understand, everyone was patient while you figured it out. Because the system was not established in writing, all of us newbies were able to ask plenty of questions and get through it together.

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This opportunity gave me a chance to see that these games are fun, and that there is a way to learn them by doing. The key part is to be playing with patient players who understand where you’re at as far as the hobby. It also means you can explore different games, and even self-made games, and homebrews.

As a hobby this has taught me a lot about myself. For one, role playing games require you to be creative with your character build. You can make something be tank-y that isn’t real a tank character, you can create a cool backstory, you can build a magical character with many talents if you want to. There are so many cool things to do with a character that you could create pretty much whatever you want to be, right down to the character traits and history.

You also need to be perspective to puzzles and various traps your party might fall into. What makes a good DnD game without a plot twist? Your DM will set up various kinds of things for your party to get themselves into, and you’ll have to find your way out one way or another. In one of the games I played, we had to destroy a dam and wipe out a town. We didn’t want to kill people, so we illusioned ourselves as the person ordering it (they were owed money by the town), and used three party members to usher the townspeople out. Then we used druid magic to raise the water and warp the wood of the dam, ending in a somewhat safe flooding. Creative!

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Role playing enables you to spend time with friends, doing puzzling scenarios, and creating a character you want to play by outside of normal life. It is a step away from life, like any hobby, and it gives you a chance to enjoy something different. It was hard for me to adapt to at first because I was especially shy with the groups I tried playing with, but to be honest with you, gaming like this teaches you that people are patient if you’re open about learning something new, and that you need some pointers for what you are doing. And there aren’t just Dungeons and Dragons to play. You could also play several other games, and games that are interchangeable with role playing and other types.

The way that many people describe many campaigns is in relation to Bethesda’s Skyrim. You can create a character, pick your motives as your playing, and even change your physical features. You have the same freedoms with role playing. It’s just not in front of you on a screen.

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I really would like to see more people embrace this, and treat players with respect. Very often, people make fun of DnD players or gamers who are just having a good time spending time doing what they like to do. And by the way, folks, Fantasy Football Leagues are a type of gaming that requires similar elements. It’s a fake team you made to play other teams. It’s a fun hobby that most of us might do once or twice a week. It is a “don’t knock it ‘til you tried it,” situation.

I’d like to see more people trying new things their friends and family do before saying things about it. I’d like us shy people to be able to play without scrutiny. It is such a fun thing to do, and if you find you like it, you should be able to do it. I highly recommend it to anyone who wants to try something new and with friends.

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About Jenn Kilgallon

I am a millennial professional seeking out good, healthy habits while still committing to my geek life. I am a proud life optimizer, and a spiritual person of many practices. I want to share that with you! "Always maintain the attitude of a student. If you think you've done learning, bitterness sets in, but if you have more to achieve every day, in any arena, that makes each morning's awakening full of potential and cheery portent."-Nick Offerman Geek. Writer. Artist. Genius. Tea Drinker.

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