My DM Journey
Like most people, I was first introduced to the idea of Dungeons and Dragons through popular TV shows like Big Bang Theory and Stranger things.
When I was 16 I had the opportunity to learn how to play and only after a few games I fell in love. As someone with a bit of a theatre background, I have a passion for telling stories and pretending to be fun characters. D&D created that space where I could do all those things with my friends, whether they were theatre geeks or not.
I played on and off with different groups of friends throughout High School, but unfortunately all that ended when we graduated. Our group split up in our own directions and all of the sudden everyone was too busy to play a weekly game of D&D.
After few months into the year, I was having some serious D&D withdrawal symptoms and really missed playing the game. Something had to be done. Without a current group to play with I knew that I had to take up the role of the Dungeon Master and assemble my own group. I have attempted to be a DM in the past but with very little success. It was just my luck when at this point, I saw that my local game store was hosting an event, a DM Bootcamp! The perfect opportunity to pick up some tips and tricks on improving my Dungeon Mastering skills.
I showed up to the event eager to learn and I was met with the exact same enthusiasm. It was so much fun. Everyone there was so insightful, and it felt like I belonged. I asked a lot of questions and, not only did I get some great advice, but I also ended up winning an Essentials Kit. I left there fully equipped and felling ready to start my journey as a new DM.
I started hosting my own home game and that quickly expanded to hosting One Shots at our local game store. Not long after that, I was asked to be a DM for the DM Bootcamp. I was honoured but also nervous. Though I had a lot of fun playing, I was not too sure in my ability to teach others how to be a DM. I was still pretty new to it myself. But putting my nerves aside, I decided to see it as a learning experience.
Some say the best way to learn is by teaching others and I found that to be very true. Everyone at my table were asking questions, exchanging information, and working through scenarios. I ended up learning more about Dungeon Mastering by teaching others than I did hosting my own games. The Bootcamps were such a joy to run and who knew that talking about D&D could be just as much fun as playing D&D.
Fast forward a year later and I found myself at the holy grail of all geek events, Comic Con Cape Town 2023. I was invited to teach people how to play D&D. Comic Con was a blast! I ended up hosting 20 games and teaching 100 people how to play. It was an experience of a lifetime and such a privilege. When I showed up at my first DM Bootcamp, I would have never dreamt of reaching a point where I would be teaching people from all over South Africa how to play.
I still have lots to learn and I am far from calling myself the best and most knowledgeable DM. But if there is anything I learned from this amazing experience is that you don’t need to know everything about D&D in order to have fun. You just need to start playing.