Giving Brandon Something to Talk About!

I already volunteered to be Brandon’s DM friend to talk about all the cool stuff in D&D settings but I figured we could have a lil conversation over all of this!

One of the things I see/hear the most for games like D&D specifically is some combination of “I don’t even know where to start”, “There’s so many rules. I’m afraid of messing up” and “I don’t have anyone in my area/friend group/s to play with.” so I want to extend that question to all of you. How many of you are interested in D&D or some other tabletop game but haven’t ever played it? Maybe you really dig Exalted but it’s a niche game so it’s hard to find people who want to play it. Or maybe you’ve just seen tons of stories online about people recounting a particularly great moment from a session but never been able to find a group for yourself.

If you are interested in D&D but never played, how did you get into being part of the TTRPG (TableTop Role Playing Game) community? A lot of people have seemingly joined in from listening/watching a well known online shows like Critical Role or Acquisitions Inc. Did you find out about one of these shows and now you listen to plenty of them? Do you prefer a more roleplay heavy series, a more comedic one, one with lots of combat?

Tell me any and everything you got about TTRPG stuff here! Brandon you’re free to hijack with any topic you want as well. And on that front: Brandon, what’s your current favorite D&D setting? With Ravnica having gotten an official book, there’s a whole new world to explore in the game.


Im not new to TTRPGs but I wanted to put my two cents in here on what my first experience with TTRPGS was like.

I grew up knowing nothing about D&D, I always thought it was some sort of pure strategy game with no roleplaying elements. When my big brother moved out of Puerto Rico and into Ohio for college, the first thing he did was join a science fiction and fantasy club. We were very tight because before that we grew up collecting anime, manga and videogames. When he came back he was engrossed in D&D (it was 3.5 at the time). He came back with the Players handbook and the Dungeon Master’s handbook, as well as like 6 expansions. I remember being intimidated by it and thrown off by “how much reading it would require” to play a single boardgame. Nevertheless I gave it a chance cus my brother and me would always share these things and there was no one else in the family willing to share that kinda stuff with him.

He gave me the Dungeon Master’s guide to read first, he appropriately thought that I might enjoy that book more than the player’s handbook. And boy did he know me. The cool thing is that he wasn’t like, “let’s play this game now!” He was more like: “Just gloss over the book so u understand what it’s about.”

My brother and me have very different approaches to gaming in general:

My brother is by all means a minmaxer. All his life in gaming its always been about finding the correct pattern to make the most broken characters, which is part of why Monster Hunter ranks as his favorite game. He never minded spending hours poring over gamefaqs to create his character. This gave him an analog hobby that he loved. He loved going over the books and finding builds.

But for me it was about narrative. And this is where D&D hit my heartstrings. I remember reading the index and seeing all the chapters on how to craft an adventure. I love fantasy, but I’m not a fan of actually reading fiction. I like exposition, I love data and the narrative it tells. It’s why I love Borges’ literature. And here I found an outlet of creativity that I didn’t know existed. I literally went straight to home-brewing before I knew home-brewing was a thing. I started wondering, what if x anime were a ttrpg? What are the character class stats? I was super engrossed in it all. I tried to get people into it in school to not much success. Im roleplay heavy and to me the less mechanics the better although I love to see some really complex narrative mechanics. I remember reading through all the spells and wondering how that could be roleplayed. I loved just reading through the monster manual. I’ve never gotten to play ready made adventures. And the opportunities to play with others has been cut short due to low traction and commitment.

But im still in love with the mere act of reading how these systems enable narrative.


Hi Varsuuvius!

Thanks so much for #givingbrandonsomethingtotalkabout :slight_smile:

I started playing dungeons and dragons duriny my undergraduate! Sadly, I only got to play a couple games of 4e that were never really consistent. Then, about four years ago, my friends and I started a weekly 5e game. We’ve been playing that, almost weekly, since then! We rotate who is DMing. I most recently DMed Curse of Strahd, which was an absolute blast. I miss DMing a lot! I am currently a player in Storm King’s Thunder, which is also fun.

Currently, I am trying to find ways to combine my training in clinical psychology and my interest in dungeons and dragons into a job :slight_smile: so send me those ideas!