Dungeons and Dragons is one of my favorite hobbies. Every Monday for the last two years, six of my closest friends and I have gathered around a table (now my new kitchen table, which is wicked nice), had a few beers, a ton of laughs, and told some great stories.
D&D has been in the media more frequently in the past year than I can ever remember. Stranger Things highlights the game as a pivotal link to the way the main characters understand the supernatural happenings in their neighborhood, Vin Diesel made a movie based on his old D&D character, courts are ruling that on whether or not prison inmates can play it, and the New York Times (only a slightly more reputable news source than us) actually had an awesome report on a not-so-awesome time when people thought D&D was a beginner’s guide to devil worship.
There’s two different types of people when it comes to talking about D&D. The rational human beings that say “Oh, hey, that sounds like an activity that I may or may not be interested in, but that’s totally cool that you like it either way.” and the people who act like you need to wear cloaks and wave wands around and speak in funny accents in someones basement. The answer is no – you don’t need to do that, but if that is how you play – that’s totally dope and I’ll be expecting an invite next week.
The truth is, D&D is an amazing team building activity, an incredibly fun game, and a great way to connect with friends and tell a story. Here’s a few reasons why – if you haven’t yet – you should give D&D a try.
It’s probably a lot different than you think.
For real, you don’t need to wear a pointy hat, or elf ears, or robes. If you do want to do that, that is completely fine with me (sounds like a blast, tbh) – but you don’t have to. Much like any other activity, everyone plays D&D differently. Some people like to give their characters an accent when they speak, some don’t. Some absolutely refuse to make a decision that their character wouldn’t make, while some apply some real-world rationale to their game. Some people like to play with elaborate maps, figures, and accessories, while others – like the party I play with – are into more theatre of the mind stuff. There might be a scribble to illustrate the type of room we’re standing in, but otherwise – it’s all in our heads.
You don’t need to be a hardcore fan of the fantasy genre.
D&D is based in high-fantasy, yes, but it doesn’t always have to be. Whether you’re looking for something a little more dramatic and less “magicky” (like Game of Thrones), or you’re looking to be a group of high-elf wizards, the sourcebooks for D&D provide options and guidelines for all types of stories. There’s also an infinite number of tabletop games in different genres (like sci-fi, horror, and mystery) that are available out there.
You don’t need much.
The sourcebooks, which you can snag for like 30-50 bucks off Amazon, are the only thing you really need to play D&D. The beginner’s set comes with dice, and you can share those (and the books) if you want. You don’t need a duffel full of books (although we’ve got a guy who has one), but you will need some pens and some loose paper. A few beers helps to get the ideas flowing too, I’ve found.
It’s great for team building.
If you’re reading this, and you make lots of money – give me some of that money. But first, get your team to play D&D. Seriously. If you’ve got a group that needs to work together, and they’re open-minded enough – why not give it a shot? D&D promotes collaboration, cooperation, and another c-word that implies teamwork. Unlike most other board games, all of the players at the D&D table are working towards the same goal, which is to tell an amazing story.
It’s a way to unplug.
This Saturday – what are you up to? If you want, we can all go out to a bar and stare at our phones for a few hours. Word? Sounds good. See you there at 7-ish. Oh, make sure they split the check eight ways. That should only take 45 minutes.
Or, you could try something rooted in pen-and-paper, and get a little creative. I consider myself a pretty creative person, and I’ve gotta say – D&D has helped me think outside the box in tons of scenarios outside the game. If you’re looking for a fun way to connect with your buddies instead of just texting them, D&D is it.
All the cool kids are doing it.
The Hollywood Reporter actually did a pretty solid column earlier this year about how tons of big fancy Hollywood names credit D&D with getting their creative juices flowing. The Rock plays D&D, and I’m pretty sure that’s how he got all those muscles. And if you’re one of those people who likes to stay ahead of the curve on trends, you’ll wanna buy in now before everyone reads my blog and starts their own gaming group.
It’s something to do other than post political memes on Facebook.
…And I think that’s all the reasons you should need. Dungeons & Dragons’ tagline is that it is “the world’s greatest roleplaying game”. However, I tell people that D&D is the world’s greatest drinking game. At the end of the day, it’s just a hell of a lot of fun.
So what’s it gonna be? Wanna give D&D a try? We usually meet up around 7. I made buffalo chicken dip last week, so if you wanna bring a snack or something that’d be dope.
Let us know what snacks you’re bringing to the table on Twitter at @WickedGoodGames.