As a newer player to Dungeons & Dragons, I know it can seem overwhelming to learn all the rules and rolls of starting a new game, and even more overwhelming to conquer the anxiety of being “the noob” around all your super cool nerdy friends, so I want to add some advice from the extensive noob experience I have just waiting to be shared! The great thing about D&D is ultimately you realize that no matter what you are feeling or thinking, this is indeed just a game! One to be thoroughly enjoyed at that! When you can finally get yourself to that table or that online group and just start playing, you will find things get easier from there, especially with your friends close by to guide you.
Each player adds something to the game, and while you may just want to watch and listen while sitting in the corner feeling nooby, adding a bit of your own flare to the story is what makes it so much fun! Dungeons & Dragons is much like getting together with artists to make a painting, or a group of authors to write a book! There is endless possibility and untold changes that can carry a story from one place to another in the matter of a single session. So relax! Do whatever it is you need to do to relax before you play or during, if necessary, ie. have a drink, smoke a little, eat a snack, and let your mind get prepared to just watch and learn as you remember how to “play with the moment,” the ultimate hardship of D&D (the luminous moment that is oh so vulnerable and scary! … But seriously, try it out sometime and see how creative you get).
A lot of people tell me they don’t play because of feeling embarrassed or because they have a hard time being the “new person,” but really I think advanced players enjoy the new-comers because we bring so much fresh perspective and awareness to the table. We are ultimately “babes” in a re-introduction to the “original play style,” and I think more advanced players have a lot of fun teaching “the force” to us young padawans, at least the coolest ones do, har har har. 😉 As a “noob player,” I have the opportunity to be honest and give hope to other players by just allowing myself to be open to something different and unknown. We all have to start somewhere, and being new can encourage others to partake in something they might have otherwise feared to try. Try it and see how it makes you feel! Give it a go with some honesty and bravery without the fear of what others are thinking of you, or worse yet, what you are thinking of you. Chances are others are excited for you and enjoy watching you learn! Those that are bullies, well, blow them a kiss and wink an eye, you have time and so do they in learning the art of “play time” and comradery. Learn to listen to your haters and take what advice you can from them; sometimes we need a little boost from those who doubt us as it reminds us to be true to who we are while striving to be our best self. They teach us that without self love and self confidence that anything can bring us down; game for you and only you. Game because it’s fun, social, good for the mind, and good for the soul to just play and let go for a few hours from other stresses of life.
Never be afraid to try something new and never give up what you enjoy doing. There have been times I have thought of quitting, all due to the fact I felt I would never be able to just let loose and play or get over my own fear of my image, and immaturity, or imperfections; but we all have those fears at one time or another. You are not alone, my friends. As we all grow and change from children to adults, there is this endless pressure from everyone around you to “work harder, sacrifice more time for money, you have to do this and that.” We often get lost as to how to “play,” or just be a newbie in a world of something we are unfamiliar with. D&D needs players to be honest and open about not understanding everything. We need players who ask questions and bring to light the answers of questions that others may be seeking themselves. When we are willing to be open and honest about not knowing, the answers come more swiftly and the game becomes much more entertaining and less stressful to play! I know that many times I have a bad memory or a hard time identifying certain things, but I know in time things will change and I will be a better player because it’s something I enjoy and intend to do more often. Unless we are willing to be honest, things can take more time than needed. Unless we are willing to communicate, progress cannot happen. Never be afraid! Just dive in and play! It’s so worth it when all the “gaming jitters” fall away and you find you’re just hanging out with friends, having fun, living life! Remember that life and gaming are so similar. When we can just ride the river of “now” (game time), then we can learn to let go of doubt and insecurity. Even if we are utter noobs, things can get really fun, and what you add to the game will impact the table and your confidence! Get loose, have fun, no worries, be happy!
Good gaming my friends, and Stay Nerdy!