With Paladin on sabbatical, we figured it was high time we filled his spot on the Anti-Party. Choosing the replacement would be no easy task, so it seemed like a good idea to ask our Quest Givers over on Patreon for help. We’ve got a pretty big roster of unaffiliated heroes after all. Everyone from Cavalier to Horsepower to Alchemist was on the list, so somebody had to fit the bill. Unfortunately, once the voting had ended and the dust had died down, our top choice emerged as “some new character we haven’t met yet” (followed closed by a certain gun-toting non-starter). Oof.

While the Anti-Party settle into their follow-up interviews, what do you say the rest of us talk about confidence? Just look at Assassin‘s smug fetchling mug. That shady so-and-so is absolutely sure that his brilliant plan is going to work. This despite the fact that he’s toying with a barbarian’s best saving throw. It takes chutzpah to maintain that level of self-assurance. And it’s a fine example to all us IRL folk as well.

For me, the nerves tend to jangle worst when I’m settling into a new gaming group. I find myself tempted to retreat to the metaphorical dark corner of the table. I’ll clam up, peer out of my darkened hood at the world beyond my brooding nook, and wait there for the story to come to me. It takes an effort to drop the aloof act and put myself out there as a gamer. That’s because, despite my habitual extroversion, all the neurotic catastrophizing of “what if?” begins to creep in.

What if my British accent is off today? What I don’t gel with the group? What if I say something stupid to an NPC and start a bar fight and get us all TPK’d by the epic level tavern keeper before the game has even started? 

It doesn’t take much to psych myself out. But folks? You can’t stride boldly forth into the land of adventure without the “striding boldly” bit. When you’re part of the ensemble improv performance troupe that is a roleplaying game, you’ve got to stake your claim. You’ve got to grin a cocky grin, Riker maneuver your way into the scene, and declare to the world, Hey, I just poisoned your beer. What the hell are you going to do about it? In other words, when it’s time to establish your character, it’s all about taking the initiative. Make an offer. Chances are that the world will pick it up.

Question of the day then! How do you overcome the nerves, the stage fright, and the awkwardness of the new-game jitters? Do you fake it ’til you make it? Plan out some business ahead of time? Or are you such a gamer paragon that the whole notion of “first game nerves” is a foreign concept? Whatever your style, tell us all about your take on gaming with confidence down in the comments!


GET YOUR SCHWAG ON! Want a piece of Handbook-World to hang on you wall? Then you’ll want to check out the “Hero” reward tier on the The Handbook of Heroes Patreon. Each monthly treasure haul will bring you prints, decals, buttons, bookmarks and more! There’s even talk of a few Handbook-themed mini-dungeons on the horizon. So hit the link, open up that treasure chest, and see what loot awaits!