Dungeons and Dragons (DnD) is a fantasy role-playing game created by Gary Gygax.
It was popular in the 1980s. It gained popularity in recent years, recording its highest number of players at 8.6 million in 2017.
This role-playing game (RPG) is available in different media – book and game format. You can choose to read books by authors who have published fantasy stories. Or you can take part via video game or tabletop RPG.
Players choose characters that fit a fantasy group story. The fantasy stories are based on heroism.
Features of Dungeons and Dragons
- Not too complex
A beginner can understand the rules fairly quickly. You do not need to be a pro gamer to start.
You do not need to cram hundreds of rules. This makes it suitable for first-timers. Once they get the hang of it, they can proceed to other RPGs like Star Wars.
Players operate within a structure. The structure provides a framework for the game. Within each game, you will have an adventure set called a campaign. In each campaign, you have your characters and a fantasy story.
You can use this starter kit to get started. It comes with a campaign, dice, predesigned characters, and a handbook of spells. You can also use ordinary dice. If you want something eccentric and fun, buy customized polyhedral dice on Etsy and Amazon.
The ability to customize DnD enriches your fantasy experience.
- Once you understand how to premade characters are designed, you can design any character on your own.
- You can customize the rules to suit your fantasy story.
- You can remain with the same characters for years so long as nothing happens to them.
- Requires a Dungeon Master (DM)
The DM is the antagonist. He is the referee and narrator of the fantasy story.
As the DM, you can set the scene for the fantasy story or refer to a premade one from a starter kit.
If you are drawing a blank, there are also lots of adventures online that you can choose from. Starter sets such as ‘The Last Mine of Phandelver” have useful tips for creating stories.
To set the scene, the DM describes what is happening and what the characters see. The players give feedback on what they want to do and throw the dice. The DM scores their attempts as a fail or success. Then s/he narrates the consequences of their actions.
- Supportive community
DnD has a large and supportive community of players online. They are available to answer all your questions. You can ask other DMs for help, and they will assist you.
If you are new to RPGs and DnD, the online community is the best resource for knowledge.
You can find links to watch others play the game. It will help you understand storytelling and character formation.
- Even though the DM narrates and referees the fantasy story, players are free to decide their course of action.
- You can rotate your DM between or in between campaigns.
- Because you can continue a campaign for years, you do not need all players to be present at the same time. Some can play and have the DM narrate that the character of an absent player is not needed for that session.
- You can use different characters for each campaign. Each campaign has different characters ranging from low-level to mid and high-level.
- High-level characters do pretty awesome stuff with their heroic powers!
DnD combines the best of two words: friendship and storytelling. Your players are your friends. You conquer enemies and get throw in dungeons together. Navigating these situations and solving problems together builds a friendship beyond the game.
The Atlantic shares a story of 6 friends who have played with each other for 30 years. They have gone through seasons of life together and support each other. They believe that DnD has bonded their friendship.
Benefits of Dungeons and Dragons
- Suitable for all ages and genders.
- Psychologists believe DnD can teach social skills to children with behavioral problems. They argue that character development and role-playing in DnD aligns with cognitive behavior therapy (CBT).
- Grows your creative muscles because you create your own fantasy stories and themes.
- It promotes teamwork and problem-solving. Players have to collaborate, compromise, and solve problems as a team.
- Helps children and teens distinguish right from wrong. It strengthens their moral identity. Choosing a moral alignment (good, evil, or neutral) teaches them to negotiate and work with players with different moral codes.
- Teaches real-world life skills. These include negotiating interests, standing up for your values, and working with allies.
DnD is the ideal RPG for beginners. It is popular because it is simple to learn and play. You can customize to your liking and ask the online community for help when you get stuck. So, gather your friends, get your starter kit, and begin your group fantasy!