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How I got started with TTRPGs

Most people are shocked when I tell them I started playing tabletop role-playing games (TTRPGs) online with complete strangers on Roll20.net. But, I think itโ€™s important to keep in mind that I didnโ€™t have any openly nerdy close friends until ~5 years ago, so no one was inviting me to play fun stuff like D&D. I had to find that all on my own, far later in life than I should have.

At the start of 2018, I saw a recommendation online to listen to Season 1 of a podcast called The Adventure Zone (TAZ). I couldnโ€™t get enough of it, and I even managed to get tickets to see a live recording of the podcast when I lived in the US. Although I stopped listening after Campaign 1, I couldnโ€™t stop thinking about the magic, fun, and creativity of TTRPGs. This original song from the podcast will never fail to make those feelings stir again:

Before I even finished the first arc of Campaign 1 of TAZ, I began scouring my extended friend group for a DM and fellow players. Every bone in my body hummed with excitement at the idea of collaboratively telling a stupid hilarious fantasy story with friends. It took a while to actually get the in-person group running regularly, so, in the meantime, I turned to virtual tabletops to get a feel for RPGs. I swallowed my initial nerves and joined several strangers in a multi-session Blades in the Dark game as well as a D&D one-shot for beginners.

Looking back, I was truly unhinged by how badly I wanted to play any TTRPGs, but I have zero regrets. Despite perpetually being the only female player, I had nothing but great experiences in every beginner-friendly game I joined on Roll20, and I encourage people to keep an open-mind about pursuing this route, especially if you donโ€™t have friends you can play with in-person as regularly as your TTRPG-loving heart may desire.