The world is a crazy place and we think it’s more important than ever to have hobbies. Hobbies are more than just a way to pass time; they offer many different life enriching benefits, like stress relief, increased happiness, skill development, or even physical fitness. They offer an outlet outside of work and personal relationships to provide personal growth and discovery.
This is why we encourage all of our employees at DiRAD to find the hobby they’re passionate about. This month’s Company Spotlight is focused on Dungeons and Dragons players of DiRAD! A fun tabletop roleplaying game that’s been around for decades.
How long have you been playing Dungeons & Dragons?
Paul B: 4 years on and off.
Emily L: About 4 years on and off.
Addison S: My wife and I have been playing since 2014, when a friend of ours offered to run a game for us.
Brooke S: My husband and I have been playing with our friends since 2017.
Kirsten B: A few years.
Noah C: I played a campaign of dungeons and dragons on the weekends over the course of 3-4 months.
What got you interested in the game?
PB: Seeing it online, watching a couple of my favorite YouTube channels play and then Addison and his wife got Emily and I to play.
EL: The characters and storyline.
AS: I had heard people talk about Dungeons and Dragons growing up and always thought it sounded interesting. The first time I saw it played and really got interested was when I saw YouTube videos of the game designers hosting a game for Penny Arcade starting in 2008.
BS: The storytelling. I loved the idea of making a character from scratch with a fun backstory and little quirks.
KB: I started playing as a way to connect with friends who were out of state and a way to spend time with my husband, who was the GM at the time.
NC: My friends and I would watch Attack on Titan every Sunday. So before we watched the episode we would play an hour or 2 of DnD. Our good friend was a dungeon master, and a couple of our other friends have played before. So they showed us all how to make our characters and write our backstories.
What campaign are you currently playing?
PB: We have a campaign we started about a year ago that is 100% custom based off Addison’s mind and a world map and backstories we all helped build, but life gets in the way sometimes and we haven’t played much since.
EL: We have been playing a custom campaign on and off.
AS: I’m playing two games right now. I’m the dungeon master for a newly started online game every other week for friends and family, and I’m a player in a weekly in-person game. Both campaigns are what is known as “homebrew”, which in this case means the dungeon master is not using any published material to tell a story.
BS: We’re currently playing Icewind Dale: Rime of the Frostmaiden.
KB: Currently checking out the Rick n Morty campaign.
NC: Unfortunately we never beat our campaign. Friends were moving states, so we have not continued our quest. We were tasked with figuring out where a plague was coming from within the city.
Tell us a little about your current character (or favorite NPC if you’re a GM).
PB: My current character is heavily based off of Thor’s abilities, but has set himself on a path of vengeance to avenge his shipmates.
EL: My character is a Tiefling warlock that works as a bounty hunter. She assumes the worst in people and lives by the ideal, “I’m a monster that destroys other monsters, and anything else that gets in my way.”
AS: In the weekly game I’m playing in, I play a character named Malodious P Wraithsbone, a reformed villain inspired by the cartoon villain Snidely Whiplash (from Dudley Do-Right) and Gru(from Despicable Me). Here’s a miniature of my character I 3D printed and painted (pictured right).
BS: I’m currently playing a Changeling Bard/Warlock named Sable Ravenheart. She’s a lovable tavern performer with a proficiency in knife throwing. When performing, she’s a tiefling with shaggy purple hair and a terrible British accent. When adventuring, she wants to blend in, so she changes into a plain human girl.
KB: I’ve always played/acted as a cleric, I love being able to heal. To me a cleric matches my girly, glittery personality.
NC: My character is Nova, the Celestial Jester. He (a human man) was tempted by an evil fairy for more power. Gifted with enormous magical power, Nova lost every part of who they were as a person mentally and physically. They were shapeshifted into a small demon fairy with the appearance of a Jester. They are neutral evil. Subconsciously, Nova gravitates towards finding ancient relics along the way to try and turn themselves back into a human. The character also serves as the creepy comic relief. When the crew wakes up, they will usually find Nova hanging from the ceiling with their eyes wide open as a creepy fairy jester does. Were they awake? Were they asleep? Who knows, just creepy and quirky Nova.
What do you wish more people knew about Dungeons & Dragons?
PB: It’s a great way to keep in touch with friends and have a fun time storytelling. Plus you get to order pizza.
EL: It’s not just for nerds and geeks.
AS: I think a lot of people don’t understand how it works and that’s a huge barrier to being interested in trying it. In the simplest terms, players each create their own character to play and the dungeon master narrates the story based on what actions the players want to take. There are also plenty of videos available on YouTube showing examples of gameplay.
BS: You can start small! The hobby can seem overwhelmingly large with all the knowledge that’s out there and people can be turned off when they hear that some campaigns go on for years (scheduling a group can be hard), but one-shots, or single session games, are a great way to test out gameplay before committing to larger stories.
KB: A LOT of people play, people you wouldn’t really expect to play. But please know it can get expensive the further you go into playing.
NC: That a lot of it is only limited by your imagination. My DM referred to it as “Theater of the Mind”. I never thought I would play the game. But once I did, I found it really cool to have my own character within a world with no limits.
If anyone is curious about playing, where do you think they should start?
PB: The YouTube Channel Critical Role is a great place to take a look at the way it’s played. Local game stores that deal in card games and tabletop RPG gaming. You can even pickup a starter kit for D&D at Walmart.
EL: Check out Critical Role or go to your local card/role playing game store – they’ll be able to help you get started and you might even find a campaign you can join.
AS: Don’t be afraid to show interest in this nerdy game. Go to public places and shout out “I’m looking to play Dungeons and Dragons!” Being serious, though, if your interest is piqued, local board game stores sometimes host events to introduce new players. If you have friends that have mentioned Dungeons and Dragons in the past, they’ll probably be thrilled to help you get into the hobby or even run a game for you. Don’t worry about knowing all the rules if others at the table are familiar with it – Dungeons and Dragons is fairly learn-as-you-go-friendly in these cases.
BS: There are tons of videos on YouTube that go over basic game mechanics. You can even start playing around with character building on DnDBeyond.com. Then, if you’re looking for your own group and can’t convince your friends to play, there are lots of hobby stores that do events for new players. Also, playing in person isn’t your only option. If you have a group that wants to play, but maybe traveling regularly is too difficult, there are lots of resources like Discord and Roll20 that can enable play online.
KB: Do research and find a good group. There are so many different resources out there.
NC: Start by going to the dnd website and building a character and writing a backstory! Its very simple and the website walks you through it. There’s also tons of ways to design your character. With the implementation of AI. You can write what you want your character to look like, and it will generate several images to help you bring your imagination to life.