For those of you who have just arrived, you might want to check out yesterday’s posts. Clicky clicky. Otherwise this will make no sense at all.
We all on the same page? Peachy.
So, here we are at the final part of my epic quest to…
Return the ring to Mount Doom?
Save the seven kingdoms from the Night King?
Nope. Just head to a pub and meet some people.
With my bag over my shoulder, laden with D&D essentials, I stepped into the pub. It was…a pub. Like any other. No harpies attacked me on the doorstep, the barman was (probably) human although possibly a vampire. Either way, he didn’t attack, but informed me that the room where the group played was upstairs. A narrow staircase, but no rocks fell from above, no giant spider caught me in its web. The door was open. I stepped into the frame…
What a dick. I actually knocked on the open door in the upstairs room of a pub. As soon as I’d done it, I felt like a fool. CONFIDENCE. I was supposed to be coming across as confident dammit.
Faces swivelled my way. Nice faces. Well, smiling ones at least.
“Hi, I’m Craig. From, urm…” what the hell was I saying? “…from the Meetup thing?”
Someone bailed me out and said, “hi”, introduced themselves which kicked off a few other doing so which must have removed the forcefield from the door because I felt like I could go in now.
I asked if anyone had specific seats, and was told to drag a stool wherever I liked. People were mid conversation and there was a little chatter. I said I was sorry for being late and it turned out that a few of the regulars were, too. I was in the clear. No slap on the wrist or bad impression made (if we ignore the shitty introduction and door-knocking).
The rest actually got a little easier. I listened as people talked about the latest Game of Thrones episodes (getting carried away with myself and making a joke about spoilers). One of the players, and organiser of the event, filled me in that they were pretty new to the whole D&D scene and didn’t really know how to play, as such. They were winging it.
Bloody hell, I was one of the most experienced gamers there. I hadn’t expected that. It should have made me feel better. More confident. Hell, I actually knew what I was doing. I might even be USEFUL. But I went straight to worry, taking the tube from Yay Street to Panic Lane and skipping a nice walk through I-Can-Do-This Park. My mind went straight to how not come across as a know-it-all. No one likes that guy. This was another hurdle. Don’t come across as a jackass.
What the hell is wrong with me? Seriously. Answers on a postcard.
The rest of the players arrived, plus the DM (Dungeon Master), and to cut a long story short we started to play. We had fun. Jokes were made. I even made a few myself which were met favourably. A text from my wife dropped about half way through to see if I was “having fun” which translates to “still breathing” in these situations, I think. She knows exactly how hard this stuff is for me.
The whole evening seemed to be a success. I relaxed as time went on, had some laughs, taught the group a few things (I think). Good times. I came away feeling good, albeit exhausted as these kinds of things always drain pretty much everything I have emotionally and mentally. And, by the mighty Cthulhu, I’m going back. They play every two weeks.
Now if I can just keep up the façade of normality…
Thanks for reading, guys. I know it’s been a long one this time.
I hope you’re all well. Feel free to comment with what hurdles you’ve overcome yourself. Let’s share some positive experiences!