I began playing Dungeons and Dragons in 2013 when a few friends said they needed one more person to join their group to round it out. They needed a healer and they knew I am typically drawn to playing support and tank classes from our time together in World of Warcraft. I was a college student at the time, working a third shift job to make ends meet, but I agreed anyway. With some help, I was able to roll a Dwarven Cleric with a background as a sailor. It was a brief campaign, lasting only 5 sessions, but I was desperate for more D&D action. However, I swiftly ran into a problem: the Dungeon Master that ran my first campaign wasn’t able to continue bearing the mantle of responsibility that comes with the role due to how much it conflicted with his personal life. No one else wanted to fill his position. I was inexperienced, but confident that I could run a game that my friends would enjoy (even if it took a few sessions to get my bearings).
For my first campaign, I ran a module: The Lost Mines of Phandelver. a simple campaign that pitted level 1 characters against a hidden crime organization that had taken over the town of Phandelin. Although a brief campaign (only running from levels 1-5), it was still quite enjoyable and proved instrumental in learning the tricks of the trade for running a campaign.
I have since walked with many different players through numerous and varied stories, including modules from Wizards of the Coast, such as the Curse of Strahd, and campaigns of my own design. At present, I am running a campaign with my own story for a few friends I made while in college. Running a custom game has proved challenging, but exercises some of the same mental muscles that I use in my professional life as a Game Designer. Admittedly, this is part of the appeal: I am able to make very small games for my friends in a world that they enjoy with the liberty to experiment without a notable risk. It is because of this that I love D&D and foresee it being a major part of my life for quite some time.