Saturday, November 24, 2012

Reasons to play D&D

I like playing D&D and there are many reasons why.

I came across an article on reasons to play D&D.
It mentions imagination, structure, social activity, performance and problem-solving.
I find it an interesting article and I want to add more reasons.


tired victory
"D&D [4/4] - /\ictory" by Peter Keyngnaert on Flickr
I like D&D because of its cooperative nature. Many games are competitive and I don't like that aspect.
Players with different skills should be able to play together without anyone feeling left out.

I reduce any tension between DM and players. A DM provides challenging situations for the PCs but this doesn't mean the DM and the players have opposite goals.

When PCs overcome a challenge, everyone wins. When the PCs fail a challenge it doesn't matter that much, the story goes on.
Even when the entire party is killed.


I love plot twists, complex and intelligent antagonists.
"Oh Crap" moments are priceless when the players discover how much the antagonists planned ahead.
NPCs that the players care about, whether good or bad.

Role playing villains is great, especially bastards.
Villains in my campaigns have a solid background and personality so it's easy to improvise their actions and reactions.

I love planning out situations and just seeing the player's reactions to them.


D&D is about cooperative story telling, there is no win condition except to have fun.
There are other goals like telling a memorable story, interesting characters, strategic combat, etc but having fun trumps them all.

D&D is so much fun, there is a lot to laugh at:
  • Silliness: The longer I play the sillier situations I throw at the PCs.
    Slaads throwing dice to determine what they say, Transformers monsters, using a power named 'Split the Sky' while being devoured, etc.
    For example: There was a fiery chasm the PCs couldn't get across.
    I added catapults to their side of the chasm and hilarity ensued.
  • Sexual Innuendo: Tentacle monsters, Lay on hands, Belts of Gender change, etc.
  • Dices and Numbers: everyone talking about dices and numbers, with dice superstitions and rolling 1's and 20's. I like the enthusiasm about the math.
  • Rules: the crazy and sometimes complex rules which try to model reality.
    They often succeed, but sometimes fall flat on their faces: grappling rules in D&D 3.5, the sheer amount of powers of PCs in 4E.
  • Stupid Monsters


Many skills come up during play:
  • Acting
  • Problem solving
  • Cooperation
  • Out-of-character conflict solving
  • DM managing a group 
  • Math
Some of these things are more fun for me than others.
I delegate as much of the things I don't like doing.
Or automate math using an encounter management tool.


As a DM, I get to be creative and create a fictional setting.
Just starting with a simple idea or unexpected plot twist is so much fun, and then I put layers around this idea.

I like taking D&D concepts and seeing how they would look if they were real.
This deconstruction of D&D concepts is fun for me.

For example: a corrupt wizard guild sells magical protection to people.
The protection isn't optional, if people don't take it, accidents happen.
I draw inspiration from mafia-style organizations.
There was a druid inspired by Mengele and a lot of propaganda against the PCs.
This aspect of the wizard guild drew inspiration from Nazi Germany.

Why do you play D&D? What things excite you about D&D?


  1. Great post! To me, watching the players interact as a team is one of the most successful parts of the game. Better than whatever story a DM could ever plan.

    1. Thanks for commenting.
      You're right, the teamwork is great to watch.
      And a cooperative story is better than a story planned by the DM.


If you want your comment to not be deleted: Stay on topic, and remain polite while arguing your opinion.