Think of one thing in your life that you are a complete fan of. The thing that brings you the most joy to experience. How did you discover that thing? Did a friend mention it or show it to you? Did you stumble upon it one day while idly surfing the internet? Were you eagerly searching for something to fill that creative void in your heart and struck gold? Most likely, one of those answers fit your situation. When it comes to me discovering D&D, I had an odd and meandering path towards it.
It all started on YouTube, particularly the Recommended Videos section. One day back in 2013 I believe, I was looking for something interesting to watch and I saw a thumbnail of a very cute young lady with blue-green hair smiling at me from the Recommended Videos section. I clicked on the video and proceeded to listen to her drink coffee and talk about her cats for 10 minutes. At the time, this was not what I was looking for entertainment-wise, so I dismissed the video and moved on.
The next day, I signed on to YouTube and discovered that my Recommended Videos box WAS NOW FULL OF THIS BLUE-GREEN HAIRED WOMAN’S VIDEOS. Apparently, she had a series of videos where she drank coffee, talked about her cats, and waxed poetic about nerdy things like video games and anime. I felt compelled (read coerced) to watch another video. That’s when she got her proverbial cat claws in me. Of course, that video series was called Coffeh Time and it starred this lovely human:
I proceeded to watch EVERY COFFEH TIME SHE EVER MADE. I felt I got to know Dodger pretty well after that binge and I became a fan. A while later, she mentioned that she was going to be on a show on a site called Twitch and she was going to play D&D. I knew what D&D was, but I’d never played it. But because I was such a fan of Dodger’s, I’d watch her talk about anime I didn’t watch at all while she washed dishes. So I went to discover what this Twitch thing was all about.
The show she was going to be on was called Rollplay, which was created by a popular Twitch streamer named JP McDaniel, aka itmejp. The particular show Dodger was going to be on was called The West Marches. It’s a style of play in D&D that allows for many players to play in a game in a rotating cast format. Dodger was to play Juliette, a half orc barbarian. This show was my first foray into D&D. I had no idea how the mechanics worked, but the story was compelling and the characters were amazing. I was hooked.
I began watching other Rollplay shows JP offered. To this day, Mirrorshades, the Shadowrun system based show, is still my favorite Rollplay show of all time. But after consuming all the D&D I could from Rollplay, I sought out other shows on Twitch to fulfill my need.
I had been an early adopter of Felicia Day and her Geek & Sundry YouTube channel content and was happy to see her branch out into Twitch. It was there that I discovered they had their own D&D show. It was run by a semi-famous voice actor and starred his voice actor friends. I, being one who hates coming into a show at the midpoint, decided to watch from episode one to catch up. Thus, my addiction to Critical Role began, and it is still going strong.
Further reminiscing about how I got into D&D made me realize that if I had not decided to watch the cute, blue-green haired, cat-owning girl’s videos, I might not have discovered Twitch, Rollplay, itmejp (and all his shows and cohorts, like CohhCarnage and Ezekiel_III), Dodger’s pals Jesse Cox and TotalBiscuit (RIP), and pretty much everything I now consider regular viewing for me. I am forever grateful for Dodger and her content and her roundabout way of introducing me to the game that would earn my undying love.