An Introduction

For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Tracy Hurley, also known as Sarah Darkmagic in a number of online circles. In terms of playing, I’m a relative newcomer to Dungeons & Dragons. My very first game was about a year and a half ago and my introduction was pretty brutal. Sarah, my character, joined the party right outside of the waterfall in Keep of the Shadowfell, the original print version. My first combat encounter was the one inside the waterfall and, since she was a rogue, she got to go first. Needless to say, poor Sarah was bloodied pretty quickly and if it wasn’t for the paladin, she probably would have died that day. Even more importantly, I was hooked.

However, to call me a complete newcomer is a bit unfair. The D&D brand has been part of my life for as long as I can remember. My first experiences with it came from the Intellivision game, Treasures of Tarmin. My mother, brother and I would play that game for hours, working our way through the dungeon levels and trying to kill the minotaur. I learned a lot from that game and it still informs many of my preferences in terms of D&D.

For instance, I loved the shiver of fear I got when I opened a door and found a monster way above my level. Fortunately, my reflexes often were fast enough to push the close door button before the monster attacked. That game also taught me all about looking for secret passageways and gathering intelligence as I went. Always try to glance around corners people!

The game imparted onto me a love for equipping as I went, especially since the starting equipment was prone to breakage. Besides having a variety of equipment is important. It also told me some magic items are so special, it’s worth searching for them. For instance, we always searched for the tomes that allowed us to see and walk through walls.

As much as I loved that game though, it never convinced me to give the real thing a try. But through the years, lots of my friends loved the game and I loved listening to them enjoy it. My brother is a huge fan 2nd edition and ran games throughout most of our childhood. Many of my college friends also played. When we moved to Boston after getting married, I suggested to my husband that he find a gaming group because I knew he enjoyed it so much in college.

But I never felt the urge to play until I listened to the Penny Arcade and PvP D&D podcasts. They had a mixture of love and irreverence for the game that matched my personality perfectly. I loved the mechanics that allowed the characters to take and dish out a lot of damage.The power system, with all the cool things it allowed a character to do, also caught my attention.

The rest is, as they say, history. I didn’t just drink the kool-aid, I guzzled it. I went from playing Sarah Darkmagic, a half-elf cousin of Jim, to running a campaign in my version of Newham Shire. The whole time I blogged about my experiences and found a great community of D&D players on Twitter. Eventually I branched out and starting writing for other sites including and Temporary Hit Points. I even went to cons for the first time, something I never would have done before. Although I was nervous about the sound of my voice, I got involved in some D&D podcasts including the Tome Show, the DM Round Table and 4 Geeks 4e. In many ways, I finally found a home and an awesome group of friends.

So now that you know a little about me, I’d love to hear from you. What do you love about D&D? How has it changed your life? Also, if you have any questions about 4th edition, feel free to ask here in the comments. I’ll try to answer them in upcoming articles.

[tags]Role Playing Games, Dungeons & Dragons, D&D, rpg, 4th Edition[/tags]

7 thoughts on “An Introduction

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  1. Gaming in general has emerged for me as not just a hobby, but something I love. My deep enjoyment of gaming was driven home for me at Origins when I found myself staying up until 5:30am, playing in a Pathfinder game. I usually don’t stay up so late, and it took something wonderful to keep me going that long.

    Now, writing for TC, planning game sessions, and talking about gaming have all become big, wonderful parts of my life.


  2. @Nundahl I haven’t played any other systems yet. But I’ve read Fiasco and A Song of Ice and Fire rpgs. I have a few other ones on my list too. Recently, I played Pandemic for the first time, which was a real treat for me since I normally don’t play board games. I’m always on the lookout for game suggestions. I love to learn, play and hack with games. I also eventually want to learn Shadowrun well enough to run it for my husband.


  3. Hey there, Sarah! Weird seeing someone on my Twitter list pop up here as a fellow author! 🙂

    Game suggestions for you. Hm. I’m really enjoying reading Legend of the Five Rings, and it looks like it’d be a blast to play. The same with Pathfinder. I want to get a monthly Pathfinder game going online, just haven’t really recruited any players yet…:-)


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