With the recent growth in popularity of Dungeons & Dragons, our favorite table top role-playing game is slowly making its way into the mainstream. Have you only just heard of D&D but wondering if you should take the plunge? Or are you a seasoned player looking to expand your group and share your passion with others?
Read on and let me give you 10 reasons to play D&D, the world’s greatest role-playing game.
- Nerd Culture is Cool
The nerds are taking over and we can’t get enough of them! We’re starting to see it more and more with each new blockbuster comic book hero movie, TV shows with a cast of “nerdy” characters becoming crazy popular and video games literally filling stadiums with cheering fans.
D&D specifically is going through a renaissance of sorts with its popularity reaching peak levels. D&D has become so popular that we are seeing it on TV, in shows like Stranger Things and The Big Bang Theory. Some video games have also showcased the game (Borderlands and Life is Strange). Each week thousands of people are tuning into to their favorite streamers on YouTube and Twitch to watch other people play. Not to mention all of the celebrities that play D&D: Vin Diesel, Stephen Colbert, Joe Manganiello, Terry Crews, Wayne Brady and Tim Duncan to name a few.
All the cool kids are playing D&D so why don’t you?
The face Terry Crews makes every time he hears “Roll for initiative” | Image from Nerdist
Escape from reality and live a life you can only imagine. D&D is a game where literally anything is possible and you can live out your greatest heroic fantasies. For video gamers this can be an eye-opening concept because a game like D&D is run by a real human being with a real human imagination. There is no restriction by what was coded/programmed into the game and anything now becomes possible.
Let out some steam with D&D. Did that annoying customer demand to speak to your manager again because you wouldn’t accept her coupon from 1998?
Did Bob from sales take a bite out of your sandwich you clearly labelled in the fridge again?
Instead of swinging your +2 mace and going H.A.M. at your workplace, why not save it for your D&D game and smash some skulls there? Role playing with D&D also lets you live out other wild fantasies you may have. Travel to new and exciting places. Slay the dragon and save the kingdom. Live out your lifelong fantasy of feeling rested after a good night’s sleep.
3. Let Your Imagination Run Wild
D&D allows for players to express themselves creatively in anything that they do. It starts with character creation where you can choose from a multitude of races/classes and customize every detail to your hearts content.
What does your player look like? What kind of personality do they have and how do they interact with others and the world around them? Their backstory, personality and behavior, appearance, and abilities are at your disposal to do with as you please.
The game is called Dungeons and Dragons, but it doesn’t have to be played with swords and knights in shining armor. A Dungeon Master (DM) can homebrew a game to fit you and your players’ needs.
Want an apocalyptic zombie killing game? D&D is for you.
Need a game that lets you release your inner crime lord? D&D is for you.
As a DM the world is literally yours. You have complete creative control of the story, environments and all of the NPC’s you can dream up. As players, you can express your creativity through your character. Everything is possible in D&D and the only limitation is your imagination.
4. Accidental Math
“D&D is basically math disguised as Skyrim”. Why not put all the math you learnt at school to some good use when you play D&D? We always told our teacher that we’d never use math in the real world, so let’s use it in the fantasy world instead.
D&D utilizes simple math to calculate stats, attack and damage. D&D also utilizes dice for variables so you can use this to brush up on your understanding of probability.
Not that you’ll believe in probability after you roll nothing but low numbers all session (better buy a few extra sets of dice so you can find one that isn’t cursed…).
It may be simple, but the math used in D&D is a great way to exercise your thinking muscles and keep you sharp.
Feel smart with D&D | Image from FunnyJunk
5. Exercise Your Brain
Math aside, D&D exercises your brain in other ways.
Let’s say your party walks into a dimly lit hallway and you roll perception, detecting a trap. You can roll to disable the trap, but if you fail, there is a good chance you will trigger it. You can trigger it on purpose with a nearby barrel and hope it is sturdy enough to block the attack the trap will trigger. Or you can cast fireball down the hall and just wipe out everything in your path. Puzzles like this are common in D&D and will help you think outside of the box.
Strategic thinking also becomes important in the many battles you will encounter during play. More often than not, the difference between beating the enemy or getting wiped out is playing smart and fighting with a plan. Effective use of spells/skills, strategic positioning of your characters and working as a team are all things that you can pick up over time.
Problem solving and strategy are a big part of the D&D experience. Evolving these problem-solving skills can help you in everyday life as well. Please note that Fire Ball is always tempting but is rarely the right answer (in game and in real life).
6. All for One, One for All
D&D at its core is a group activity so playing can help you develop skills to work effectively as a team. What better way to learn how to work together than at sword point? Figuratively speaking, of course. Literally if your party goes all out and dresses the part on game night (which we highly recommend).
Over time, your party will learn to work together to solve problems. Once you get to know your teammates, you’ll learn their strengths/weaknesses and can strategize with them to accomplish any goal and vanquish any obstacle your party might encounter.
7. Roll a Charisma Check
It’s time to get talking and socialize. Stereo-typically nerds are introverts who don’t socialize or communicate well with others, but this doesn’t have to be the case! We have all come to the table for the same reason so why not nerd out over shared interests?
Also, let’s be honest. Getting together with a group of friends once every two weeks to crack jokes and slay monsters just feels right. As adults, we tend to forget that we are social creatures and thrive on interaction. D&D fulfils our social needs and lets us have fun as well.
If none of your friends play D&D, head down to your friendly local game store. You’re sure to find interesting, like-minded people who share your interests and would love to have you in their games. Better yet, bring some friends along and convert them into D&D lovers too!
8. Slay Dragons, Make Memories
Every D&D game gives you the opportunity to make unique and lasting memories with your friends and loved ones. Sharing these adventures together will give you fond memories you can look back on and laugh about for years.
You can even share your love of D&D with your children. Just like with adults, introducing kids to D&D helps with reading comprehension, math, problem solving, social skills, critical thinking, and creativity.
D&D can also be the perfect way to bond with your child and help them improve themselves at the same time. Bedtime stories can be made interactive and more interesting since you’ll be able to incorporate your kids’ characters and let them choose how they want to “play” the story.
“No Timmy, I’m not ‘Dad’ anymore. From now on call me Grubax the Human Slayer” | Image from medium.com
9. Never Too Many Dice
It’s a well-known fact that D&D will bring out your inner collector, even if you’re sure you don’t have one. At first you think you only need one set of dice, but then you find a bundle deal online. You just got a shiny metal set but ooohhh look at the pretty colors on that one! Before you know it, you have a horde of magic click-clack math rocks and nowhere to store them.
And the minis! They are all unique and amazing and each character needs their own. This only gets worse if you DM. Minis for the shop keep and tavern owner. All of the villagers and monsters need special paint jobs. Before you know it, you’ll have a collection so large you’ll need a whole room to display them properly.
Embrace it! Revel in your new found love of collecting and display your carefully selected pieces proudly for all to see. Your bank account may not thank you but there’s no harm in enjoying a safe, clean and wholesome hobby.
10. Good Luck, Have Fun
Put simply, D&D is just a game and it’s meant to be fun. Get the most out of your game and let yourself go for a few hours a week. Dive in head first, get into character, use the silly voices and focus on the adventure at hand.
Still not sure if D&D would be right for you? There is only one way to find out. Head down to your local game store or hit up Facebook to locate groups near you. You’ll find that the D&D community is rich in diversity and almost every person you encounter will be willing to give you tips on character creation and play styles. We are a vast, friendly community of players who are always willing to take on new members and teach them.
Trust me, once you start your D&D journey you’ll have the time of your life and wonder why you never picked up a d20 until now.
If you’ve never played Dungeons & Dragons and this article has piqued your interest, enter the Tavern to find out exactly how to begin your journey and what you need to start playing Dungeons and Dragons.