A Geek’s Guide: 5 Ways Dungeons and Dragons can Change your Life

I’m relatively new to table-top role play games. I’ve always loved board games, and branched out into some casual strategy games recently with a group of friends. We now meet almost weekly to pursue our Dungeons and Dragons dream! I can see myself playing this for years to come; it’s so addictive and I would go as far to say that it’s actually changed my life for the better. Here’s how…

For those who don’t know, Dungeons and Dragons is a turn based role playing game where you are given a scenario and you play a character in that scenario, and fight whatever the Dungeon Master (DM) throws your way. You do this through rolling dice for different skills and that determines how good you performed in each task (20 being brilliant and 1 being a MASSIVE failure). The success of this world is entirely based on what you make it and how you interact with what’s around you!

Bonding with Friends

My friends (who I have known for a decade this year!) most of the time would plan a trip to the pub, or sometimes we’d only see one another for special occasions. Now, D’n’D has given us an excuse to meet up even more and it’s so nice to see them so often! It also helps that my current DM is brilliant at creating new scenarios and it means we’re all in good spirits!

Creative Boost

I have tried my hand at being a DM and it allows you to be so creative! The game has rules but really, as long as you are fair, the characters control the game and you get to build the foundations. They can be anything you like in any place, space or time so it allows for complete creative control! I particularly love how I feel after I’ve played – I feel super creative and ready to start writing again!

Confidence Building

Sometimes people can feel that they don’t want to look silly in front of one another. You can feel pressured into acting a certain way around people. But in RP (role play) you can be ANYONE you want to be. It takes a little while to lose your inhibitions but the more you build the character the better your confidence will be.ย (You might also find out secret parts of your personality you never knew before!)
For those of you who are interested, my first character was a Rogue Wood Elf called Regan. He’s excellent at stealthy approaches, is almost always the first to react to a threat and doesn’t trust easily so he can be a bit of a bastard! I find it quite refreshing to play him and let myself go! He’s Level 3 now so… he’s got a long way to go!

Helps with Mental Health

Role play helped me so much when I had my depressive bouts this year. It was a form of escapism – I could go somewhere for a night and be an entirely different person. It’s also so therapeutic to laugh with my friends and let some of my humour into the character himself. I even got extra points for inspiration last time I played for being so in-character!

Meeting New Characters (IRL)

If you take a look around your local city or town, you may find more DnD games there than you think! There are so many opportunities to meet new people because of this game. One example in Coventry is Geek.Zoneย who run their own Dungeons and Dragons group at their regular Pint Night every Friday.
So how has Dungeons and Dragons changed your life? Or are you yet to try it?

Ah damn, a Natural 1!

21 thoughts on “A Geek’s Guide: 5 Ways Dungeons and Dragons can Change your Life

  1. What a wonderful way of looking at DnD I definitely know where you’re coming through with the social elements. It’s a great way of developing bonds with people

  2. I LOVE D&D!! I just started playing maybe 2.5 yrs ago and have stuck to playing wizards, but for our next campaign Iโ€™ll be playing a monk. What a great and relatable post! D&D has also changed my life and has helped with some IRL insecurities.

    • I think being comfortable is key! If you can lose yourself in the character then that’s the best. Most of the time when people start out they just take a bit of their personalities and hyperbolise them! Hope you can start up some day!

  3. My husband and I started playing Dungeons and Dragons earlier this year. It’s been a great experience so far! Sadly, we have few people to play with locally and the online group we started up began to drift apart because of conflicting schedules.

    My hope is that once we move to the West Coast next year, we’ll be able to find a new group to play with and I’ll be able to bring Allywick, the level 5 gnome Druid out of retirement ๐Ÿ˜Š

  4. A brilliant post and many good points. I’ve recently discovered D & D and have started a homebrew campaign as a DM. Couldn’t agree more about flexing the creative muscles and ending the session buzzing with ideas. But the session gap is so large with my campaign it always leaves me desperate for more, haha.

    Would love to be a player in somebody else’s campaign. Any tips on how to find a campaign? I find most groups are all one shot styles. I also imagine finding a DM that take a more casual approach (rule of cool for example) to be quite tricky.

    • I know exactly what you mean, Gary! The gaps between the group I DM are too far, but the sessions where my friend is a DM we are always desperate to try to squeeze in more! He’s always bursting with creativity and he’s very flexible as we are all learning together. I think all new groups tend to be one shots just in case people don’t commit but, you might be able to join a local group and then just keep going back for more! Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is a great post! I agree with you wholeheartedly for the most part, and was surprised as I hadn’t even considered the therapeutic value of being someone else for a night but that makes a lot of sense. Having done rp for a long time I am actually less eager to play with new groups (your point 5) as I actually like to know the folks I am playing with as you can then know what sort of game they prefer to play. That’s just me, of course, and I am happy that your experience of meeting new players has been positive. Thanks for sharing

    • Hi John, Thanks so much for sharing your experience with D’n’D! The game I play is with a group of friends I’ve known for years but some people just don’t have the opportunity to play in a familiar circle! I feel quite lucky in that respect! Glad that you’ve had some good experiences in playing!

  6. I’ve never done a DnD campaign before because the whole concept of getting into tabletop games feels super overwhelming. That said, this post makes me want to give it a try!

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