I got into D&D about a year ago, and I liked it after it took me a few hours to really get into it. I did it with a group of friends so we never had a big problem with anything, and the experienced players were super patient and accommodating to the newer players (like me). And most importantly, no one was super strict on how you should or shouldn't be playing, and we did fine on getting on with the story and just having fun.
I will say though, I wasn't prepared for the reading and learning the math on making/distributing stats on characters, so that was kind of overwhelming at first. But making the characters personalities and backstories? I was really into that! Here's a few brief description of some I made for a few campaigns:
Wonka III- The descendant of a well known sweets merchant, but never knew his grandfather. Had a tendency to yell "flame on" anytime he initiated an attack.
Ramsey Armageddon- Imagine the Punisher and Judge Dredd had a love child, and it grew up just like its parents and has a southern accent. I mainly gave him this name so I could do some neat & lame one-liners whenever killing enemies ("This is the end of your world" and other lame stuff like that).
Atticus Bulletknuckles- This one was for a Supernatural inspired one-off. Sincere guy, until he found out you were a vampire. Then he'd get ultra violent and punch you with bullets between his knuckles.
Flintlock- Saul Goodman. But as a bard. Had a coin that would always flips against your favor. DM figured out what I was trying to do with it real quick, so I wasn't able to do a lot of fun things with it for too long :P
Made me realize I have a tendency to start out with jokey stories/characters, and then slowly evolve them into serious ones.
I like to let the dice and the players do the talking for the story
If they wanna mess around during pressing matters or do something just that dumb? They totally can, but they'll need to live with the consequences!
Luckily, I haven't had too much experience with anything like that. My group is pretty respectful about keeping pace and we all hate railroading
Our group once took over this vampire's mansion, and then spent a stupid amount of time debating what we should do with it. Rent it out? Sell the thing whole? Which would give us more money? Did we want to get a long term investment going? In other words, we spent more time talking about real estate than fighting during that session. Wild tangents like that can be pretty fun, though :)
Unfortunately, some of the D&D friends I played with have moved away, and I really don't like the idea of joining a local group of people I don't know. But the idea of an online one sounds interesting, as long as I get a general idea of what the time commitment would be. At most, I don't think I could do sessions that went over 3 hours. What's the general norm, anyway? I know a group that would do it every Saturday for 6 hours, but that always seemed unusual to me.