I have been playing Dungeons and Dragons for about four months now and it is the highlight of my week. Every Monday after class I head to our pub and play with friends before I need to catch the last train home.
Without a doubt, my favourite element of the game is the character you make and how they grow and develop.
My character has changed a lot, so let me introduce you to her and what she has been getting up to. I know I talked about her a lot in my Confessions of a D&D Player ramble I wrote back in October but quite a lot has happened to her since then.
Her name is Autumn Breezedream, she is a Half-Elf Arcane Trickster with a bit of a secret. Namely, she (and I know how cliché this will sound but bear with me) is a runaway Princess. You see, her Wood Elf mother is the queen of a medium-sized kingdom called Whispering Willow.
Because Autumn is a Half-Elf her mother sees her as weak and fragile. She was kept under lock and key to ‘keep her safe’ and when she got a small slither of time away from her gilded cage she was heavily guarded.
Her mum is pretty much an Elven version of the Witch from Into the Woods.
Autumn by nature is a curious person and has a hunger for knowledge so she kept running away to explore the world outside of the forest kingdom. She would get caught and dragged back to her mother but from her many attempts and study of magic, she learned she managed to escape and has been on the run for ten years by the time the campaign takes place.
At the start of the campaign, she was a rather down to earth and sensible person despite getting into a bar fight to impress an NPC, but by the end of the first session, she had started to change. She started to take everything around her less seriously and grew very close to a party member, Nishka Hookfang the Kobold and the two developed a brother-sister dynamic rather quickly.
However, she kept the whole being a Princess thing under wraps up for a good while. In the meanwhile, her personality changed again, with her now carrying mead around to deal with the antics of the party.
She is also a lot more aggressive now than she used to be. At first, she would try to talk her way out of trouble or at least find the most subtle way to get around a problem but now she is the first to cast Magic Missile directly into the face of anyone in her way.
She only revealed her heritage after her home was attacked and she was confronting the noble responsible, informing her that she had attempted to take the life of the Princess of Whispering Willow and threatened her that if that got out then she would be in serious trouble.
Needless to say, the party was just as shocked as the noble, if not more. The Half-Elf who had repeatedly gotten drunk, acted like a well-spoken thug and got flustered asking out her crush was a Princess? Jaws hit the floor.
Turned out that whole dramatic reveal wasn’t necessary as a party member ended up not only killing the noble but burned the place to the ground. At least Autumn didn’t need to worry about the noble spreading the word about the Princess living among them.
The following adventure saw her panicking when Nishka insisted they lock themselves inside their tavern, all sleep in the same room and he would watch over them. This, for lack of a better phrase, triggered Autumn into remembering the hellish caged life she ran from. She protested but after getting shut down she snuck out.
Long story short, they tracked her down to a local park/graveyard having a panic attack up a tall tree and as they tried to drag her home she just kept jumping from tree to tree (two nat 20s in a row!) while Nishka on stilts fell out of the one he was climbing.
After collecting herself she explained why she reacted so badly and had a real heart-to-heart with the party. It was a big character growth moment for everyone.
I only really noticed how much she changed when we were found and entrance into a Mind Flayer’s lair. The original Autumn would only go in after weeks of preparation and research, while the current one kept popping in and out as soon as she found it, panicking poor Nishka and had to get pulled away.
Over the course of her adventure, she has learned how to trust others, how to live a free life and a fair bit about what she is capable of but not how to hold down a drink, while she consumes a lot of mead she is still a lightweight.
I love how she has developed so far. She has gone from, frankly, a rather dull basic character to a fully realized creation. She is sarcastic but honest, considerate but cautious and intelligent but keen to learn.
This is why I love D&D so much! You create not only one character but help craft a story. Everyone involved shapes the story as you play. I think I have even gotten a bit more creative since I started playing myself.
Speaking of playing, tomorrow is Monday so I’m off to double check I have all my gear ready to go!