We Interviewed Tom DeCillis

We had the pleasure of chatting with Tom DeCillis all about their work!

1. How long have you been in the dnd space? 

I started playing D&D in May of 2020.  It always was something I wanted to try while growing up dabbling in many aspects of nerd culture. Unfortunately, for many years, time got the better of me, and I was unable to try D&D.  When the pandemic started, I wasn’t working so I pulled together a group that consisted of a long-time friend and D&D player to DM, as well as a few others to play.  A few months after starting, I became obsessed with the game, history, and comradery that comes with D&D and TTRPGs.  It was the perfect combination of gaming and social interactions.

2. What inspired your work? 

The inspiration for You Had To Be There came to me after about six months of playing D&D.  I realized that the more people I talked to about the game, the more people I found out played.  Every interaction I had with a fellow TTRPG player always resulted in the same content, sharing fun stories about our games.  I thought, “Wouldn’t it be cool to have a platform where TTRPG players could share their fun stories for all to hear.”  I figured if I wanted to hear about that time someone tried to seduce the dragon, or how a player rolled 16 natural ones in a row, others would too.  In addition to my love for hearing stories, the second part of my inspiration was education.  Since I started playing these games much later than most, I felt like there was so much I missed, and so much to learn.  This podcast is not only a way to hear fun stories, but to learn about all aspects of the game.  As you listen to the show you will hear side-splitting stories, but you will also learn DM/writing tips, crazy character builds, and more.  I find it fascinating how everyone puts their creative spin on the game, making it the most unique of all gaming experiences.  

3. Tell us all about your podcast? 

The podcast itself is very straightforward.  For each episode, I sit down with a different TTRPG enthusiast while they share how they got started, their fun stories, and their knowledge.  We go live on Twitch while recording, and episodes are released on YouTube and all podcast platforms every other Wednesday.  What I love most about my show is I do not limit who can be a guest.  Anyone can reach out to me via email or Twitter if they want to share some fun stories.

4. What advice would you give to someone who wants to get into podcasting? 

When it comes to podcasting, I do believe anyone can do it.  Before starting You Had To Be There, I had minimal knowledge of audio recording and editing.  I did a lot of research and watched videos on what equipment and programs I needed.  My biggest advice would be don’t get frustrated and have a friend test out the audio/recording setup before launching your show.  Mistakes will be made and even after a year of doing my show, I still learn new things every day on how to make it better.  

5. Goals for 2023?

As I look towards 2023, my main focus is to continue to have fun and interesting guests, but also keep my availability for anyone who wants to be on.  Growing the audience is always the goal but putting out a good quality product that I thoroughly enjoy doing is what comes first.  

6. Where can people support your work?

Supporting the show is easy.  You can find all links to my Twitch, YouTube, audio released, and Twitter at my linktree.  https://linktr.ee/YouHadToBeThere.  If you want to be a guest on the show, you can send me a message on Twitter or email me at [email protected]

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