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    • Dave Z.

      I am 29 years old and started playing Dungeons and Dragons about a year and a half ago. I was at one of my wife’s friends birthday parties, and while the adults were sitting around a fire the teens were playing a game at a nearby picnic table and seemed to be having a blast. Talking with one of their parents I found out they were playing Pathfinder (a game derived from the D&D 3rd edition ruleset, which wasn’t relayed or grasped by me at the time). I was being told how they were all obsessed with it, but it really brought them together and gave one of the more introverted kids something he loved to do and not only was he not shy about playing, he often led the group and got the others really into it.

      A few weeks later, I was bored and looking for something to do, for a way to meet more people. Making friends as an adult is hard, we’re afraid of wasting others time and afraid of what others might think of is when they learn the things we truly believe in. I remembered this game and began to search online, this is when I found the great “D&D community.”

      There are several websites, forums, streams, discord servers, anything you can think of related to D&D. People from all walks of life partake in this great game and it truly feels like the euphoric “judgement free zone.” Everyone comes together and forgets about their lives outside to pretend they are someone else for 4 hours. The first group I played woth included myself, a systems admin in NY, a University student majoring in music in Vancouver, a politician in Louisiana, and a mechanic in Sydney Australia. We were all so different but we shared thisbone thing, and for 4 hours every week we were the best of friends and nothing else in the world mattered.

      I felt like I was a kid again. I felt like I was one of the kids at the picnic table at the birthday part that night, having the greatest time and completely oblivious to everything around me. D&D gives me and so many others that joy, to feel like a kid as an adult, even if it is just for 4 hours every week or month. It has revitalized me, and given me something I truly look forward to every day.

    • D&D is amazing. I'm a part of 2 weekly TTRPG games and I wouldn't trade it for almost anything. It's the best video game you can imagine, because it is what you imagine. You can be anyone. You can explore things about yourself, and learn about yourself in a sandbox. I've been playing characters before where I'd go "why did I do that?" and it lead to much self discovery. It's almost as much therapy as it is a game.

      Have you checked out Critical Role? It's the premier D&D stream, where the players are all prolific voice actors from many cartoons, anime, and video games so the roleplaying is top notch. Highly recommend.

    • Critical Role is great. I haven’t watched all of C1 (about 30 episodes in) but watch C2 every week. I’m stunned at Matt Mercer’s creativity and ability to ad-hoc on the spot. Same with Laura Bailey, I’m in love with Jester.

      You are right on about it being a therapy session as much as a game. It’s a great way to get feelings out, and also just to disconnect.

    • The new campaign is so good! Totally different feeling than the first season. I've seen the entire C1 twice now, and it will be one of my favorite pieces of media for a long long time. Mercer is the perfect DM as far as I'm concerned (which he will vehemently deny).

    • I have played Pathfinder before as a player and tried to get some games going myself (though I'm am not a very good DM.) I think TTRPGs are an amazing format than has never been translated into videogames due to its loose structure and discretionary rules.

      Some of my best memories are playing an over year long campaign in Deadlands: Hell on Earth in college.

      What are the best places for finding an online group? Part of the appeal to me is getting to know people in real life better by having a shared experience. I keep thinking I'd like to get back into it, but it is tough, as we get older we seem to get more and more commitments :)

    • roll20.net is great for finding groups as well as having a platform to translate the experience to online where the DM can upload maps, people can move their characters around on them, built in character sheets and dice roller as well as built in video and voice chat (although id recommend hangouts or something else for that). If you're looking for a group in person, I've heard meetup.com is good.

    • Dave Z.

      I’ll second roll20.net, that is where I found my group. It’s tough to find an in person group sometimes because while you may have friends who would give it a try, they may not all want to play an ongoing campaign. That’s where something like roll20.net differs, it’s a community of people who want to play, so it’s a bit easier to find.

      Reddit also has a few communities dedicated, like /r/lfg. Dndbeyond is fairly new, it’s not a site to play on but is an active community and a digital toolset to supplement the game. There is an LFG thread there as well.