So, today’s prompt for #WyrdAndWonder was Goblins, which for me meant Dungeons & Dragons and Critical Role. I had always wanted to play DnD, but I was too shy to approach the groups I knew about, and I had no idea where to start. Then I began to watch Critical Role at the start of Campaign 2, and I fell in love, while it was a game with rules and dice rolls it was the storytelling that caught my attention and got me hooked. A couple of episodes in and I was recommending it to some of my friends. Soon we were all watching it and talking about it, and it seemed like a natural progression when we all went ‘why don’t we play?’ We knew each other, we trusted each other, there was no worry about finding a group where we belonged, we already had that, and so the decision was made almost before the question was asked.
It’s not quite that simple, as while most of us had met at university via the Anime Society, we were now spread out across the UK and for some time the US and the Netherlands. So, we went online – a good thing really considering the current situation – and it has spiralled since then. We now have three campaigns so that we can keep playing even when one of the DMs (as several of us were/are still studying at postgrad), and oneshots where we can experiment with new stories and formats. Some weeks, I am DM and running around as Variant Human Fighter, other weeks I am a Tiefling Wild-Magic Sorcerer/Warlock (who may or may not have taken the party to the Shadowfell and Feywilds, and dropped a Fireball on her own head), or a Drow Rogue in the craziest party of the three. I’ve been a Firbolg Druid/Bard in a Firbolg only one-shot, a Tiefling Draconic-Origin Sorcerer in a Battle Royale which ended with my character trapping herself in a different dimension.
I love being able to create characters -my own and NPCs – and worlds, weaving together backstories and our own chaotic choices. I get to make maps, throw in character cameos – we had Gimli and Legolas running a tavern- and for four hours a week, I get to live in a fantasy. In fact, I love DnD and the material that exists around it so much that I currently have two projects on the go, a LitRPG-esque story, and another ‘secret’ project, which is my escape when I need an escape from more serious projects. As a result, I am hoarding DnD characters alongside my dice. And going back to Goblins – one of the characters for the second writing project is Kelp, a Goblin Paladin out in the world trying to do good.
I’m caught up with Campaign 2 of Critical Role, and I am now working my way through Campaign one – Vax may have stolen my heart – and I am eagerly awaiting the animated series. Each time I watch and rewatch episodes, I learn something new about DnD and storytelling, and every time I come away inspired to create stories that make me feel like Critical Role makes me feel.
Proud Dice Goblin