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D&D Blog Hop: Day 28

Written by Darkwarren - Published on March 17, 2014

What is the single most important lesson you’ve learned from playing Dungeons & Dragons?

Teamwork. Teamwork. Teamwork.

As both a player and as a DM I’ve come to realize that Dungeons & Dragons is a wonderful social experience that requires teamwork. Sure, characters need to work together and most parties are made up of various characters that have complementary skills and abilities. But it’s the players’ collaboration that makes D&D so enjoyable. When a player or two are out of sync with the rest of the group it can become an uncomfortable and tedious experience. When everybody shares similar expectations and knowledge of each other person’s roleplaying strengths and weaknesses the table can really come together as a cohesive unit that leads to a more enjoyable experience for everyone to game within.

As a DM I’ve changed my perspective in terms of the DM – Player relationship. It’s not “me vs. them”, it’s “us working together”. The goal is to create an entertaining and epic story together, not for my NPC’s and BBEG’s to thrash the PC’s. That adversarial mindset leads to frustration and bitterness on both sides of the screen. Soon I’m frustrated that the encounter did not go exactly as I had planned and I blame them, the players. Or if the encounter leads to a PC’s death the player might blame me, the DM. I want a player to celebrate a character’s death like she would a victory over the BBEG. Around our gaming table most of us agree that the only way to really “win” Dungeons & Dragons is to do something completely epic. And an epic death is at the top of that list of ways to do something epic.

Besides, in the midst of work, family, and everything else it’s comforting to know that there is a group of people that enjoy the same thing and (hopefully) come to grow in relationship enough to become good caring friends. Roleplaying is a wonderful hobby and D&D has been a great game for these last 40 years, but at the end of the session, when the dice are stored in their bags and the character sheets are put in folders… am I a better person? I believe that the teamwork that D&D inspires and encourages makes me a better husband, father, friend, and person. That is why I wish to share this game with my sons. They may not play into adulthood, but for all the positives that I find in playing D&D – being a good person open to helping and working collaboratively with others is on the top of my hopes for them

Good gaming, and thanks for reading along on this 40th anniversary blog hop.

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Written by Darkwarren

Matt W., aka Darkwarren, has been roleplaying ever since his older brother introduced him to the red box set when he was 7 years old. Since then he has game-mastered SSDC’s Battleords of the Twenty-third Century, WEG’s Shadowrun and Star Wars, and of course Dungeons & Dragons in a variety of forms. At thirty-four years old he takes turns on both sides of the screen with the group that he helped found in 2000 when 3.0 hit the stands and has met every week fairly regularly ever since. Currently they have been running a variety of the Paizo Adventure Path scenarios, so that’s his wheelhouse. He was almost famous when two of his adventures were green-lighted for possible publication right before Paizo relinquished the rights to publish Dungeon magazine.

Matt also has years if experience in improvisational comedy, fiction, and non-fiction writing. He is currently working and studying to attain a master’s degree in theology, to enhance his career as a religious studies teacher. Lastly, his greatest passion is his family, especially the three sons and dog that he shares with his wife in upstate New York.

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