As the name might suggest, this strip is the first page of a brand new storyline exploring Charlotte’s and Michael’s mutual love of tabletop roleplaying games like Dungeons & Dragons.

Part Two shows you what happens ten years later.

My best friend of many years Jason, who I’ve known since I was 9 years old, was the Charlotte to my Michael in that we were friends at school, we’re still friends now, and he got me into roleplaying, games, webcomics and all things geek. Neverwinter Nights was my gateway drug, as it was for many other people at the time, much like Critical Role has been a gateway drug for a new generation of gamers. Because Neverwinter Nights was based on D&D 3.5, starting a pen and paper version of the game was easy because it turned out I had already learnt the rules.

And around about the same time I started making this webcomic, and I had always wanted to write a storyline in which the characters played a TTRPG together. It went through several drafts but I could never quite make it work.

Then, a few years ago, I started learning to run my own games as a Dungeon Master; writing stories, creating characters, designing adventures.

It did not go well.

I’m getting pangs of social anxiety just thinking about it. But whenever you start doing something new you didn’t know how to do before, you will always be bad at it. You just have to keep doing it until you get better.

While I’m much better at being a game master now, the idea of a roleplaying game in which everything — and I mean everything — goes wrong became indelibly scrawled across my brain. So when it came time to dust off this script and rewrite it, it damn near wrote itself. All those awkward hours of trying my best to run a game, trying to do everything right, and not quite hitting the mark have been funnelled into this episode. So turn on the black light in your mother’s basement, grab a bowl of cheesy snacks, put on your favourite fantasy soundtrack or heavy metal album and enjoy.