I’m a gamer but I will be the first to admit that I have very limited ‘tabletop gaming’ experience. If years of playing board games like Monopoly, Life, and Mall Madness counts, then sure. But otherwise, I’m a total noob. Recently a couple of my friends and I have been talking about getting a Dungeons & Dragons group together. It’s my friend’s first foray in being DM (dungeon master, aka the person who ‘runs the game’), so we’re all noobs, which is nice. I’m hoping that my experience playing RPG video games like Pokemon have helped prime me for this new style of battle… but we shall see!
The first thing you have to do before you can play D&D (aside from finding enough people to commit to starting a campaign) is create your character. There are many various races to choose from, and from there you pick a profession or “class” which gives you additional stats, abilities, tools, etc. You must also establish a background and personality traits that will drive your character to act in certain ways, depending on the situation. It can be very overwhelming!
I like to pick the path less traveled, so I decided to choose the Dragonborn race. I always loved dragons because I’m a fantasy nerd. A friend of mine from art school was an amazing dragon illustrator, but he passed away just about a year ago. (His family has kept his web portfolio up in his honor, please check it out if you are interested: www.elasticdragon.com) I’m dedicating my inaugural D&D character to him!
Dragonborn race is cool because you have dragon scales, can unleash a dragon breath, and you can speak the ancient Draconian language. I decided to be cheeky and name my character Danaeryzard Targeleon, which is a combination of Danaerys Targaryen from Game of Thrones and the names of the Pokemon Charizard and Charmeleon. Yes, I’m a dork. That’s why you love me!
As part of the character development, you have to establish a backstory. Here is mine:
Danaeryzard Targeleon is a Dragonborn Sorcerer. She was born into a darkly aligned Gold Dragon Draconian family that prided themselves on their strength and fighting abilities. However, Dany was born smaller than her kin, and with a wildly destructive magical ability that she had no idea how to control. Rather than trying to understand her powers and help her to wield her magic safely, she was ostracized by her family and peers. Throughout her childhood she was bullied and ridiculed by the otherwise proud and loyal Dragonborn village, located in the Plains of Dust in southeast Ansalon of Dragonlance.
In her early teens, just as she was reaching adulthood, Danaeryzard noticed that her magic was becoming increasingly powerful and she was less able to control it. Her dragon breath fire was far stronger than her peers. She felt the power increase when she was emotional, which was most of the time in her teenage years. One fateful day, Dany was at an outdoor market, searching for shiny jewels (her personal favorite). An exceptionally rude Dragonborn from her clan named Krin Antalach decided to antagonize her and tell her to leave the market. Naturally, she became upset and as she turned to leave, she was pushed from behind by one of Krin’s friends and as she fell, she accidentally let out an enormously dangerous and fiery dragon breath. The market booths, built mostly of wood and canvas, were all up in flames within minutes.
Danaeryzard was immediately blamed for the incident. She was deemed a threat to their society, because she could not control her magic. She was told to leave town and never return, upon threat of death! Left with only the supplies on her back, she escaped into the woods and has been ‘on the run’ ever since. Despite constantly being hurt by her Dragonborn kin, she was devastated to be thrown out of their society. She knew the only way to have a chance at a family again would be to control her power. But she didn’t know any other Sorcerers or anyone who was skilled in advanced magic. Her hope was that in exile, she would have the time and concentration to learn to control her powers.
In part she was right, because as she journeyed in the shadows, she came upon a glass orb. It was at the bottom of a stream where she had stopped to fill her water canteen. When she pulled it out of the water, the orb felt hot to the touch and began to glow red. Danaeryzard knew that this was not merely a glass orb, but an arcane focus with which she might better use her powers.
Practicing is not easy when you don’t know what you’re doing. Dany knew that her power was from her Gold Dragon bloodline, which meant she had the strong power of fire within her. In her attempts to ‘practice’ using her orb, she burned down several acres of forest on multiple occasions. This often attracted unwanted attention to her location, including from a certain Tiefling to whom her destiny would ultimately be tied…!
I’m leaving it somewhat as a cliffhanger here because I’m waiting for Ali to write her Tiefling backstory. We will meet and be outcast buddies together!
Welp, you can see how involved this game is already, and we only played a practice battle so far! We went and got fancy d20 dice sets over the weekend, and hopefully will officially begin our campaign soon. I’ll be sure to post more blogs about our progress… assuming we make any! lol
Do you play D&D too? What’s your character like??