Dungeons and Dragons: Applying Fantasy to Real Life

Over the last few years, Dungeons & Dragons has grown in popularity. People from all walks of life have started to come together to enjoy the hobby and tell stories. Other than the good times you have playing, how else could you benefit from playing the game? Well, grab your beer and pretzels and find out.

Dungeons and Dragons, at its core, is a game that is played through story-telling and being creative. This, in turn, helps stimulate your creative juices and story-telling ability. There are many hobbyists and entrepreneurs who thrive on the creative freedom the game gives you. Anything from writing your own modules, creating cosplays, or just creating awesome artwork based around the game. You can find whole communities based around creating content for the game online. While playing I’ve even written a whole background story about my character outside of the game I was playing.

We all have busy lives. We wake up, go to work or school, run our errands, come home, then go to bed only to do it again the next day. This is the formula for an otherwise boring life, unless you hate excitement and fun. Kudos to you. I know I sometimes need a break from reality, so I immerse myself in the game. There is no better way to delve into escapism than being a spell-slinging elf trying to fight a dragon. If you get the right group with you, you can sink hours into the fantasy world living a life you could only dream about.

The role-playing aspect of the game really helps to get you sucked in. You can be a charming and devilishly handsome bard or a dark and brooding thief with a chip on their shoulder. The game will only be as good as what you put into it so be sure to put the effort in to really get the full experience.

The game gives you the unique opportunity to converse with NPCs (non-player characters) without having the game give you preset dialogue. This means you actually need to think of what you have to say. Depending on the Dungeon Master what you say can really affect the way the game plays out. Insult the wrong king and you’ve made a powerful enemy for life. All the NPCs can have different personalities, which makes navigating social interactions that much more challenging. You may even encounter situations where you must mediate between two NPCs, and the way you navigate the conversation could start a feud or broker a peace. With these social mechanics of the game, you will have plenty of time to practice your conversation skills and boost your confidence when talking to other people.

The part of the game I love the most, other than making new characters, is the strategy game mechanics. You have to come together with your party and find the best way to handle any number of situations you may encounter. One mistake can mean failing the mission or getting the entire party killed outright leaving you to deal with the ridicule from your party for months to come.

Combat is a turn-based style with the outcomes based on the dice rolls you get. Slaying your foes can get pretty complicated, especially when every enemy in the game has a unique set of abilities and gear. Not to mention whatever else the dungeon master wants to throw at you. You have to worry about the environment you’re in and manage your gear. You also need to worry about making sure you don’t run out of spells to use and that they will be effective against the target you’re using them on. There a lot of things you can do to help give you an advantage though as well. You can buff a party member by giving him better roles or debuff the enemy to make their roles harder to succeed. You can use the environment to your advantage as well, like taking cover or pushing your enemies off ledges. You have to be mindful and strategic, especially when there is more than one monster around.

You never know what kind of encounter you will have, so make sure you plan accordingly. You could run head-on trying to end it in a hurry or have an Oceans Eleven ​type of plan. What you do is completely up to you and what you think is best.

Dungeons and Dragons is a great game to play with friends you've had forever, and some you may have just met. The problem solving and people skills aspects of the game can help boost your real-world confidence as well. You may even get a pretty cool story out of it too.

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In the comments, tell us some things about D&D that interest you. If you’ve played before what is a cool experience you’ve had?