Fear and Nervousness in D&D Las Vegas

2007 October 26
by Stupid Ranger

I love my D&D way of life, but there was a time not so long ago that I didn’t know anything about the game. I was introduced to D&D back in college, and in the beginning, I wasn’t too worried. But then, when I moved out of my comfortable little group into a much bigger group, things changed, and I was a nervous wreck.

Round 1: The Introduction

I started out with just my husband (then fiance) Dante, and our friend, Chuck, who was the DM. Just the three of us… so if I screwed up, I wasn’t too embarrassed. I had a lot of random knowledge from miscellaneous myth systems, folk lore and legends; I figured I could handle the story side of things, though I was a little nervous about the mechanics of it all. After consulting the PHB, I opted to play an elven bard, so the guys helped me roll up my character and place my stats and all those little things that go into creating a character.

Dante & Chuck made things so easy for me in those first couple of session that I was brave enough to accept another friend (Boyle, another long time gamer) into our little group. The very first Evensbrook campaign was my very first campaign, and I had a marvelous time saving the world from the evil Drow.

Round 2: Big Isn’t Always Better

While our little campaign was my only campaign, Dante & Boyle were playing in another campaign that Chuck was running with a bigger group. Both stories ended up about the same time, and they guys encouraged me to join in with the rest of the group for the new campaign. And that’s when the nerves really set in for me.

This group was composed of long-time players from the early days of D&D; I felt like a D&D-infant having just started in the early days of 3.0. And I distinctly remember the fears PM described: I was sure I didn’t know enough of the rules, but I was more sure I didn’t know enough of the everyday-kind of D&D things that we would encounter. I was terribly afraid of embarrassing myself in front of the seven or so guys I didn’t know very well.

The Verdict

In the end, I didn’t make a huge fool of myself, but probably because I’m such a shy person. I played a support character; I stuck to the bard class into which I had already been introduced and offered support in the form of healings and Inspire Courage bonuses. I didn’t put myself in the spotlight, mostly because I was nervous about saying or doing something wrong, but in the end, it didn’t matter.

I came to realize throughout that campaign that all of these guys – most of whom I did not know prior to the campaign – were willing to put up with my inexperience because, in the end, we were all there to enjoy ourselves.

The Moral of the Story

I highly encourage new players to get their feet wet because it was one of the best things that ever happened to me. Stick with it, play more than one session at least, and try to suspend your nervousness. Don’t let the rules scare you; in the end, it’ll be just fine. Have fun, and welcome to the family. 🙂

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