All Things DnD's Story Dungeon

I used to be THAT GUY, A Confession

October 13, 2020 All Things DnD
All Things DnD's Story Dungeon
I used to be THAT GUY, A Confession
All Things DnD's Story Dungeon
I used to be THAT GUY, A Confession
Oct 13, 2020
All Things DnD

It takes a big person to admit when they were wrong

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Show Notes Transcript

It takes a big person to admit when they were wrong

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I've been playing Tabletop RPGs for around 5 years now, and I am a frequent DM for my local Adventures League group. I consider each member my personal friend and I love hanging out with them. 

I mostly intend to share this story as a means of penance, for me to atone for my past sins. I have been sitting on these memories for my whole D&D career and I feel more guilty about them every day. I am a far better person now, and I felt compelled to come forth and present my misdoings to the community. Let's get right into it.


I had already known about D&D for quite a while before I ever started playing it. I had heard the occasional story about it, seen the odd youtuber play a one-shot, and I eventually grew interested in playing it myself. I never really thought I would be able to, since D&D wasn't very popular compared to what it is now, and I also assumed many people didn't know about it where I lived. But in highschool, I mentioned it to my friends and suggested we play it. Turns out one of my friends had DMed before, but he wanted a chance to be a player and didn't feel like DMing.


Fair enough.


That's where I came in. I, with no experience in D&D, with no knowledge of the rules, and no real point of reference on how the game is meant to be played, I began DM'ing for my party of six.


The game lasted 2 sessions. Mostly ending due to schedule conflicts and also most players not really wanting to play again. My first DMing attempt had all the makings of a first time campaign. Extremely tropey storyline, incredibly unbalanced fights, and INTENSE railroading.

Some 'highlights' of this campaign include:

  • Killing one of the characters during the first combat of the campaign.
  • Player: "He's escaping! I chase after him!"  Me: "No you don't".
  • Trapping my players in an arena and having the lvl 3 Dwarf fighter go 1v1 against a hill giant. (He didn't do great, guys)
  • Introducing a rad as hell group of monster tamers that go out and basically be Pokemon trainers in this magical fantasy realm, and are shocked when my players don't want to kill them.

I'm not saying that my faults in DMing were inexcusable. Things such as not understanding combat balancing are natural for a new DM to do. I have even reused some story concepts in my home games.


What WASN'T okay was the fact that as a DM, I cared more about my story then about my players. I had written a whole multi-part epic I planned on taking the players on, but there was literally no player agency whatsoever. Want to barricade this city against an attack? Ok, roll some dice. It doesn't matter what you get, cause they're still going to get in anyway. Want to rescue the king from the animated statues that captured him? Don't worry, my DMPCs got it covered. The DMPCs fail to save him as well.


I still have the original notebook where I wrote all my campaign notes. It mentioned the players twice through the whole thing.


I don't talk to that group of friends as much as I used to since I've moved cities, but I still try to invite them to play a game sometimes. Almost all of them are reluctant to give it a shot again and I feel like that's my fault. I worry I've driven them away from an activity that I get so much joy out of.


After that I didn't play D&D until I joined University. They were having an event that let other students meet up and arrange groups. I was part of a group of 8, and got to be a player this time. We were all fairly new to the game, but we were keen. The plan was to run through Lost Mines of Phandelver.


Jacob, if you're listening to this...I'm sorry.


Let me explain the thought process on how I made this character. At the time, I didn't have anyone to play D&D with, so the main way I was engaging with the community was through memes and greentext. I loved stories like Sir Bearington and the cactus that one-shot the BBEG; and through those stories, I was under the impression that D&D was meant to be played in that way. I wanted to create a character whose sole purpose was to make a great greentext. And thus was born Sebastian Sebastian, Human bard. His alignment was true neutral, since "he didn't care what happened, as long as it made a good story".


Here's some of the "Great Stories" Sebastian told:

  • Left the party during an important plot moment to go haggle a shopkeeper.
  • Antagonized a bandit squad, taunted them into a fight, dealing the first shot, and then leaving the party behind during combat to go haggle the same shopkeeper.
  • Cast Sleep on the fighter since I messed up my introduction and wanted a fresh start. Then did it again...
  • Tied 9 spears to my back and argued with the DM that I should get full cover when I had my back to an enemy.
  • Argued that if I rammed myself into an enemy with the 9 spears, I should be allowed to deal 9d6 damage.
  • would CONSTANTLY talk about my grand plans and ideas on scenarios he's waiting to get trapped in so that he can get a chance in the spotlight.
  • Gave bardic inspiration to an enemy because "even with this buff, you could not land a hit on my friend"
  • Interrupted a party member's negotiations with a powerful enemy cause I thought I could do it better.
  • Became furious when it didn't work and lashed out against the DM and players.
  • Just considered myself the Protagonist in general. After all, he's the one writing the story.

Sebastian Sebastian was my first, and my worst, character I have ever played. Anytime I was not the center of attention, was a time I was not playing Dungeons and Dragons. Instead I would doodle on the Whiteboard, play games on my phone, or think about other 'wacky antics' I could get myself into. 


I also wasn't exactly the greatest guy back then, I was into some dark stuff and was about as close-minded as you could get. The party eventually disbanded once playing at University was no longer an option. Travel to and from the DMs house simply cost too much money for teenage students, and the game stopped happening.


Thinking back on it, I'm glad it got cancelled when it did, cause Sebastian Sebastian was not finished with his antics, and if things kept going, I'm not sure to what lengths I would have gone to.

I have since played a lot more games, with random people via roll20, and through my local Adventure League  group; and slowly , over the course of time, the behaviours I exhibited in my first few games were snuffed out. People calling me out for hogging the spotlight from others, and holding me to the rules when I would try to do something unreasonable. I have a much more diverse group of friends now, and I feel physically repulsed by my previous views.


There are many moments in one's life where someone wishes they had a time machine and could change their past, but if given the opportunity; I don't know if I would change it. The lessons I've learned as a result of this is a defining moment for who I am now as a player, and as a person. Sebastian Sebastian will sit in a plaque as a shining example of how far I've come. The only way I can truly repent for my actions is to come clean with them, and stray others from the path I had taken.