National Dungeons & Dragons Day is almost upon us!
This week, hundreds of adventurers across the country will be thrust into their first fantastical tale sword and sorcery!
If you've somehow missed the news, National Dungeons & Dragons Day is an initiative from the mind of Good Games, sponsored by Wizards of the Coast, to both celebrate the world's best Roleplaying Game, and teach it to a score of new fans.
This Saturday, May 18th, you can head on down to your local Good Games store and get involved.
National D&D Day isn't just about getting the chance to win some extremely sweet D&D themed prizes, -from dice bags, books and starter sets,- there is a whole lot more going on!
So what does National D&D Day entail?
Let's take a closer look!
Free Mini and Painting Session
While you don't strictly need miniatures to play Dungeons & Dragons, it adds a strong visual element to the game, and during combat scenes, makes sure everyone has a very clear idea of where all the characters (and enemies!) are lurking.
At National D&D Day, you'll score a free unpainted miniature to kick-start your collection.
And prior to jumping into your first game, you'll get to paint it!
Painting can certainly be a daunting prospect, particularly if you're just starting out. We've spoken about the world of miniature painting before, and many of you will quickly find out that painting is a contemplative, mindful exercise that is incredibly rewarding- particularly when you then get to use the mini in a game of D&D!
Don't expect to have a pristinely painted mini at National D&D Day. You'll learn the basics- base coating, caring for your brush, applying paint and washing your miniature. You'll get down everything you need to know to start painting at home, and build up a nice collection of minis for D&D.
Free Dungeons & Dragons Demo Session
Once you're the proud owner of a (painted!) D&D mini, you'll be whisked away to a nearby table where you very own Dungeon Master and Gateway To Adventure will await you!
During this session, you'll learn all the basics of D&D- how to perform skill checks, how to kill some monsters, and what all those numbers and words on your character sheet mean!
Our experienced Dungeon Masters cannot wait to weave a fantastical world of adventure for you- and don't take my word for it! I spoke to just a handful of the Dungeon Masters who will be running demo sessions at National D&D Day, asking them what excites them about playing the game, and introducing it to new players.
Dungeon Master Alek had the following to say; 'I love giving people the opportunity to play D&D- whether they never really thought of it before or just didn't have the opportunity.
'It's when they sort of like, start to get a feel of the world and their character.' Alek said of their favourite thing about new players. 'Especially people with no tabletop RPG experience, who really get into it. They get really excited and immerse themselves in what happens and there's just an . . . Innocence about it.' He laughed.
Dungeon Master Jason, on the other hand, was just as excited about a more simple -but rare- prospect: 'Seeing a new player's reaction to their first natural 20 is always uplifting!'
'I grew up in the 80s and 90s when there weren’t many women in the hobby.' Dungeon Master Annie told me. 'I’m super excited to see more women, girls, and LGBTQI people embracing the hobby!
'I try to give inspiration for really good roleplaying and making me laugh.' Annie went on. 'I love the round of laughs we all share when someone does something so out of left field that it’s hilarious. I also like to randomly surprise my tables with fun props! It keeps things fresh and the smiles coming, which is my goal in the end.'
'My favourite thing about teaching someone to play D&D is the first moment it clicks with them that this character isn't limited to what they can or can't do on a character sheet.' Said Dungeon Master Andrew. 'When they realise their character is it's own entity, and they feel comfortable and confident enough stepping into that role- and out of themselves.
'I'm hoping I get to see some people taking the journey from getting a mini in the morning, painting it up, and seeing that mini come to life in the afternoon as they play it.' Andrew added.
'I'm most looking forward to seeing other players who have a little more experience start mentoring new players a little,' said Louis, 'it just proves how wholesome a community we are.'
And with that last statement, Dungeon Master Louis hit the nail on the head.
By taking part in National Dungeons & Dragons Day at your local Good Games store, you'll be taking your first steps into a larger world.
The global D&D community is one of the most fun and welcoming gaming communities that has ever been. You'll be able to enjoy live-play podcasts like I Speak Giant and Critical Roll, you'll be more confidant when joining one-off games at conventions like Arcanacon and PAX.
Perhaps most importantly, through the act of pretending to be someone else for a little while, you'll remember what it was like to play as a kid- even though the subject matter you'll explore at the table is perhaps a little more mature and emotional than what you'd expect from the playground in primary school.
D&D runs regularly at our stores across the country, so if you want to start playing more often, just speak to the friendly staff at Good Games and they'll give you all the info you need to get started!
Be sure to share your journey through National D&D Day on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the hashtag #DnDAU- and we'll see you this weekend at Good Games!