“Legend has it that a legendary group of heroes started as no more than humble commoners sailing on the open seas. Dashed by a perpetual storm upon an island with no way to go home, they aided a small town in defending from hoards of animals, collected dangerous alchemical ingredients, befriended a wild red dragon, and killed a crazy wizard bent on some nonsense about a young druid and the planes of existence. And then they arrived at Sandbreeze upon the backs of giant eagles. Yes dear children, I am of course talking about the creators of our beautiful city! The defenders of hope.”
Delmon the Bard’s Wondrous Tales of the Defenders of Hope
Bards! The most commonly known storytellers in all of DnD. There’s no reason not to listen to a bard if you want a story, but the problem is finding a bard to tell beautiful stories they’ve heard, participated in, or made up on the spot. However, the most common issue is finding a bard to tell you a story, and you certainly don’t want to run into them when… They’re doing the thing that makes most bards infamous… Anyway, enough about bards, I’m here to help you find the best DnD stories, so let’s get going!
Read the Tubes With Spots Everywhere!
The biggest problem is finding stories to digest. To start these sources, we have sites like Reddit. Specifically, r/dndstories. Now, of course, you might not get long stories, you have to have internet access, and not all of them will be hits (though using the Hot filter helps with that!), but it gives you DnD stories in bulk, and with a wide array that can help you find what you enjoy! Not your style? Alright, I haven’t always been a Reddit person myself. Onward!
Next up! We have streaming services such as Youtube and Spotify. However, other platforms such as TikTok might have good stories; I have not tried to look for them there specifically, so results may vary, and I’ll stick to my examples as I know them better, though you’re welcome to try others. On Youtube, you can find entire campaigns documented in a video format such as Critical Role and… Okay, I only really watched Critical Role. But I promise that there’s more than that, such as Fantasy High, All Things DnD and Waterdeep: Dragon Heist by Arcane Arcade! Plus, on Spotify, there are podcasts for DnD. I have listened to Heroes Rolling Zeros, which is about a tabletop RPG called Masks, so not DnD, but it’s the same genre and the same concept. You have to make a good investigation check with these methods. Not into the length? Fair enough, I had a lot of spare time when I started watching Critical Role, plus you still must have internet access.
Not Time to Book, but Good Time to Read
Now books like the Legend of Drizzt series are an excellent way to go for DnD as they don’t require the internet. You can set them down and return later (provided you find them) without having to worry about those pesky limits, or the charging cable that always disappears or gets unplugged when you need it, or the advertisements that pop upright when it’s getting good! Though, finding them is a bit of a hassle. You can check the local library or bookstore, but even with an advantage, you still have to make the Investigation check, and you might not even be able to succeed.
The Tough and the Obvious
But how about the service that makes an investigation check for you? That’s right. I’m talking about our good old pal, the Search Engine! Now, the key here is using the correct search terms. If you use something like: ‘DnD Books,’ you’re probably going to get rulebooks for DnD, which are only good for telling these stories. But if you search DnD Stories, you might find a list of books like the Crystal Shard (I have this one), and if you change your search, you can find all kinds of stories! Unfortunately, it can get tiresome to scroll through all those search results if it takes a while to find a story you like.
Alternatively, you can make your own. However, if you’re impatient, or your group doesn’t stay together long enough, or you don’t have a group to begin with, that can be not very pleasant. But it’s a lot more satisfying to know you’re changing the story… Unless it’s an r/rpghorrorstory (warning: they can be very triggering even to calm people, search at your own risk). If it’s looking like an RPGHorrorStory, please address the issue and make sure you aren’t it. I don’t care what you like about the campaign; an RPGHorrorStory is never good. But if you find a good DM, then it’s almost always an absolute blast. The quote I gave referred to the beginning of my favorite campaign yet, and I remember those details from over a year ago! Now, if only I could harness that power for good… What was I talking about? Oh right! Bards!
Back for More!
Now, any bard worth their coin can tell you that the secret to the craft is finding which stories are good and which ones aren’t. Looking for stories that somebody else might like is hard so that I won’t cover. Instead, I’m going to help you find stories that you would enjoy. And to that end, I say: ‘Explore.’ Explore different stories, different genres, different methods, and so on, so forth, but be open to new ideas. Just because one book isn’t excellent doesn’t mean none of them are. But if you take and spend some time and serious effort, you can search, learn, reflect and repeat until you find yourself buried in stories that you enjoy.
And yet again, that’s all the advice I have for you this time around, as you’re the one that decides your journey. Not just in DnD, but in your life as well. Don’t let the world define you. Let it build you into the best version of you that is you. That’s why we have trials and tribulations. Covid-19 may still be in force, but that doesn’t mean you can’t play DnD at all. With Roll20, DnD Beyond, Discord, Zoom (yes, this is a valid option), and so on, we can play online. We can learn how to use new sites and (at least in my case) even get better at programming things to make everything just a little better. And to you, my wonderful audience, adieu! Until the morning sun brings me to the Dice Cove again, I depart to spread my bardic tales across the world and learn more to bring to you next time!