You’ve got questions. We’ve got answers! Check out some of the most common things people want to know about D&D and our services below. Also feel free to drop us a line if you’re still feeling confused about anything.
So…What is D&D, exactly?
D&D is a collaborative storytelling game, where each player controls a character. The players work together to play through a scenario created by the Game Master, who provides hooks, challenges and prompts throughout.
Gameplay boils down to three steps:
- The GM tells you what the situation is
- You say what your character wants to do in response
- You roll dice to see how well (or poorly) it goes for you.
There’s more to it, but it’s hard to describe without getting bogged down in the specifics. At a certain point, you’ve just gotta try it.
Are the games super serious?
They can be, but most of the time things get goofy. The first game Walt played featured a farmer using dark magic to win the county fair. The main boss was a pumpkin-zombie. FTATT keeps most of our sessions light on drama and high on fun, but if you’re in the mood for something more gritty, let us know.
Are there a lot of rules and stuff?
We know the rules well enough that you don’t have to: you can come to the game not even really knowing what D&D is, and we’ll still make sure that you have a good time. If you’re curious, though, there’s a basic guide to the game at this site, and we’re always open to questions.
Prepping for Your Game
What computer equipment do I need?
FTATT currently runs all of our games through Zoom, which is free for players to access. Each player should have the basics they’d use for any web conference or meeting:
- A web camera
- A microphone
- A stable internet connection
- Headphones (not required, but recommended to prevent audio looping and feedback)
Do I need a printer?
It depends. FTATT sends out .pdf versions of character sheets ahead of time, and players can have them up on their screen during the game. That said, many players find it easier to use hard copies. If two or more players are joining from the same location and sharing a computer, then we definitely recommend printing the character sheets, so that each player can reference their own without crowding the monitor.
Do I need dice?
You need access to dice, but that’s easy enough: there are all kinds of free online dice-rolling programs. Some of them can be a bit clunky, but two that FTATT has found most user-friendly are The Wizards of the Coast dice rolling table, and The Teal Dice Roller, which is 3D animated and pretty snazzy. You can even just Google “roll d20” in a pinch.
That said, buying physical dice is easy (and addictive!). A basic full set of dice, which can be purchased online or from your local game/hobby shop, will run you about $8. You can also go much, much more upscale, if you’re feeling fancy. But maybe wait until you’re sure you like the game first.
Do I need to create a character for myself?
We provide players with pre-made characters, randomly assigned at the start of the game. But if you’d prefer something more custom, there are a couple of options:
- You can fill out FTATT’s character builder questionnaire, and we’ll build a character to your specifications ($5/player additional cost)
- You can make your own Level 2 character using the basic rules here, and send FTATT a .pdf of the character sheet two days (minimum) before game time.
Playing the Game
Can I eat/drink during the game?
Absolutely! For one thing, it’s your house and it’d be weird to stop you. But also, food and drinking during D&D is a time-honored tradition. You can decide to truly honor the old ways with some Mountain Dew and Doritos, but your favorite charcuterie board and adult beverage is fine, as well. We only ask that if you are indulging in alcohol or other substances during the game, you keep it to a reasonable level and limit yourself to what you’d be doing at any other interactive social event. Games work best when everyone can speak/read/roll dice/not be awful to each other.
Do I have to “perform” while I play? Do I need to use a funny accent?
Not unless you feel like it! Any play style is fine in our games, and it varies widely person-to-person. Some folks prefer to talk in third-person about what their character is doing, and others pound on the table while wielding a prop warhammer and shouting “I DEMAND VINDICATION” with a Welsh dialect. It’s all perfectly fine, as long as you don’t hit anyone with a hammer in real life.
Will there be math? I was told there would be no math.
I don’t know who told you that. That’s a weird thing for someone to tell you. But never fear! Though there is a tiny bit of math, it’s all simple addition and subtraction. No calculus here, which is good news for us English/Drama majors.
Customization & Safety
How customizable are the games?
FTATT has a few standard adventures that we run, but we always love to customize and write new ones to spec! In the past we’ve done birthday sessions themed around a specific player, and we’ve also simply taken requests for location, style of quest, etc. There is an additional fee for these customizations, since they take more time to plan, but let us know your thoughts when booking and we can figure it out.
Whether or not a session is customized, we do have all players fill out a quick survey delineating any topics or content that they absolutely do not want to be a part of the game, and we always adhere to that as part of our safety policy.
A safety policy? For a game?
Games can be serious business, and as a mostly narrative experience, D&D can involve a wide range of subject matter. To make sure that everyone is able to have as much fun as possible while playing, we use both pre-game content surveys and in-game safety tools to make sure we’re all on the same page about what is and isn’t on the table (pun intended).
All such tools are modeled off of the wide array of available Tabletop Support Tools, and we’re immensely grateful to their creators for providing such a great service to the tabletop community.
Are there any topics that are always off-limits?
Yes. FTATT does not use nor allow depictions of sexual violence of any kind during games; we also have a ban on racist/ableist/sexist/homophobic language. The GM can and will intervene if those things come up, with anything from a warning to player expulsion to ending the game, depending on severity and repetition. Remember: D&D is set in a fantasy world, but it’s played in the real one. We keep our table welcoming, and don’t use fiction as an excuse for cruelty.
Do you run games for kids?
We currently have an age cutoff of 14. While we could potentially make exceptions for individual players who are younger, D&D with a group of kids is a different enough experience that we want to make sure we can do it well before we offer it as a service. It also tends to work best in person, which means we probably won’t be able to run kids’ games until the COVID-19 pandemic is over. If it’s something you’d be interested in, please join our mailing list, and let us know why you’re signing up!
Do you offer sessions for games/systems besides D&D?
Not currently, but we hope to expand soon! D&D is currently the system with which we’re familiar enough to ensure satisfaction, so at launch we are only offering it for our games. We’re actively working to learn other systems, though, because there are many amazing other games out there, and folks should be able to choose what’s best for them! Some of the systems and settings we’re toying around with are:
- Lasers & Feelings
- Powered by the Apocalypse
- Call of Cthulu
- Tales from the Loop
If there’s a particular game that you’re dying to play, drop us a line and we may be able to try a session. And if you’re simply curious about what new systems we’re launching next, and potentially being a player for a discounted test-run, be sure to sign up for our mailing list!