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A Game to Gain From: 5 Benefits of Playing Dungeons and Dragons

In the last two months, I have started playing Dungeons and Dragons (also known as D&D or DnD). My Dungeon Master (DM) Joel has been extremely patient and understanding throughout my process of learning how to play. I think his patience and kind energy has played the most crucial role in my gradual love for D&D. That being said, there are many benefits that also add to my increasing love for the game. For the sake of time, I will keep it to the five best benefits.

 

1. Creativity

At the very beginning of the campaign, you need to create a character. Depending on the DM and what realm he is playing in, it may determine the character you create. However, for the most part, creating a character is totally up to you. Once you begin the game, it is basically storytelling the rest of the time. Whether you are basing your decision on another character’s actions or if you have to go with the roll of the dice, creativity is inevitable in D&D.

 

2. Improvisation Skills

When the campaign begins, the DM creates the main points of the story, but the players have to decide what their characters are going to do. For example, if the characters encounter an enemy, the players have to decide if they want their characters to engage in combat, hide in the shadows, try to negotiate with the enemy or more. Depending on what the players choose, the game can branch out way more or less than the DM was expecting.

 

3. Mathematics

D&D isn’t too complicated. In fact, there are many other Role-Playing Games (RPGs) that involve a lot more math and complex situations. However, there is minimal addition, subtraction, multiplication and conversions. I am an English major, so I definitely do not use math on a day-to-day basis. However, D&D has helped refresh my math fluency.

 

4. Teamwork

In RPGs, it is important to get into the mindset of your character and out of your personal, day-to-day thoughts. When this happens, your characters will need to work together to fulfill their mission or goal of the game. Usually, the DM sets out a specific task for the characters to complete. Even though the players are acting and thinking as their character would, it still allows the players to develop the negotiation and sacrifice it takes to maintain a fully-functioning team.

 

5. Friendships

The best thing by far that I’ve gained from playing D&D is friendship. 

 

  • Our DM, Joel, is the most wholesome and empathetic person I’ve ever met. 
  • Mayme, who plays Felicity, was the only person I was friends with in the group prior to playing. 
  • Matt plays a dragonborn named Rhaast. Matt has such a good aura around him that always makes me want to smile. He has a whole-hearted laugh that comes from his gut and makes everyone around him giggle. 
  • Our rogue is played by Emma, a firecracker of independence, strength and beauty. 
  • Cameron is a side-character that only has an off-and-on role in the game, but his importance and positivity that he offers the group doesn’t diminish at all. I call Cameron my “Depression Buddy” outside of the game because he, like myself, has to deal with the imbalance of chemicals in his brain. He gives the best hugs and never ceases to be an honest and helpful friend.
  • Gabe plays the buff character that is always looking for action. Gabe in real life has become a friend I talk to on a daily basis. From happy experiences throughout my day to the sad aspects of my life, he is always willing to lend an ear and a hug. 
  • The latest character to join our campaign was a bard played by Jayda. I knew her prior to her joining our campaign. She is always a sassy, sarcastic person and plays the sarcastic character in our campaign very well. I have nothing but kind words and open arms for all the people with whom I play D&D. 

 

Overall, Dungeons and Dragons is an extremely fun game with many benefits including the five that I mentioned. D&D has the reputation of being geeky and boring, but I can testify that it definitely isn’t boring. The geeky part may be true; however, if I were you, I wouldn’t let that deter you from trying it out sometime because it is truly worth it!

 

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Cheyenne Halberg is a student at Winona State University with a major in Communication Arts and Literature Teaching. She is from the outskirts of St. Cloud, MN. Cheyenne enjoys writing to express herself and empowering others to do what they love. Her hobbies include spending time with friends and family, watching football, spending time outdoors, crafting and writing. Her life goal is to leave an impression on the next generations that allows them to embrace their unique qualities.
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