Column: The Resurgence of Dungeons & Dragons
There are many reasons to try Dungeons & Dragons, but the best reason is the friendships you will forge along the way. Also, it’s free.
Nov. 06, 2018
The opinions expressed by The Maneater columnists do not represent the opinions of The Maneater editorial board.
Joshua Waitsman is a junior English and sociology major at MU. He is an opinion columnist who writes about sports and other miscellaneous topics for The Maneater.
It seems odd that Dungeons & Dragons has been stereotyped as game for nerds, geeks and others who may have subpar social skills. In reality, DnD is a game about role playing and interacting with other people on a regular basis. Without a good imagination it would be very hard to act out all of the role play scenarios that come along during the game. Especially when they have to be played out as a character that might have a drastically different personality than your own. When it comes down to it, DnD is just acting with your friends.
By definition DnD is a tabletop role playing game. At its core, DnD is a game where you design a character and go on adventures. There are many different types of characters to play, from magic users, to sword fighters, thieves or whatever your mind can come up with.
However, it’s not always about the characters. Every game is ran by a dungeon master, who is in charge of creating the world, the story and controlling all of the non-player characters. It may seem daunting to try to play with an inexperienced dungeon master, but don’t worry-- there are many premade adventures to choose from.
Over the past couple years, DnD has experienced a surge of new players, and is starting become more popular than it has ever been before.
Just go to Reddit and take a look at the DnD Subreddit, which has over 700,000 members, and is growing every day. That makes it the 189th most popular subreddit out of the over a million different subreddits. Even celebrities have begun to take up DnD with notable figures like Terry Crews and also Vin Diesel joining the game.
One thing that's already been touched on is the multitude of different characters you can be. Do you like to charge straight into battle? Then play a barbarian. Do you want to think more tactically, and control the flow of what's going on? Play a wizard or a sorcerer. Do you want to take a pacifist route? Play a cleric and heal your allies from the back. Would you rather just sneak around and steal stuff? Play a rogue.
However, these are just a taste of some of classes available to play as. The point is that no matter what way you want to play the game there is always a character that fits your style.
Probably the best reason to start playing is that it is all completely free. All you need is a pen, paper and internet access. There are free PDFs of all the guidebooks online. You can find them for the Players Handbook, the Dungeon Masters Guide and the Monster Manual. There are also many free adventures made by other players that have been posted to various websites such as DnDbeyond. In addition to all the homemade adventures and content, there is also new, official content that is released for free every month in what is called “Unearthed Arcana.” There is always more stuff to try out.
There is nothing stopping you from playing, so grab a few friends and start a group. If you know someone who plays, chances are they would be happy to show you the ropes. Overall, DnD is a great game that allows you to enter a world of fantasy where you can be anyone you want and go on grand adventures. It also will help you forge new and stronger bonds with your friends as you vanquish enemies and fight alongside one another. What other game will even give you and your friends a chance to go on mystical adventures together?