12 Most Advantageous Life Lessons from Playing Dungeons & Dragons

Suzza Silver  

Republished with permission, courtesy of 12 Most.

I have only been playing Dungeons & Dragons for a short time. My learning was greatly accelerated by a family member who owns 1st edition books.

Once you learn the basic rules then you can feel free to jump into any imaginary world. There is a great deal to learn from games of this type where the focus is on cooperation and not competition. The following is how I have applied those lessons to my life.

1. Teamwork

This is the hallmark of the game; working as a team to accomplish a goal. Our motley crew has to work together to make it to the end. It is paramount that we find ways to use differences to press our advantage.

2. Looks are deceiving

Innocent looking creatures are sometimes powerful combatants. Never look down on someone who seems to have a disadvantage. They may have put their points into a different skill set.

3. Conflict is not a bad thing

If you have played D&D then you know characters have goals that do not always align within the group. We need to realize that we have different motivations, but can still get together to do something for the greater good.

4. Random chance is real

When I joined the 12 Most tribe I found out that one member went to college with my cousin, a random happenstance. They say that 6 degrees of separation are now 5 because of technology. Who knows what you have in common with a fellow employee? Ask!

5. More numbers than 10

Spinal Tap told us that their amps went to 11. I have seen dice with 100 sides. There is a great diversity out there in the world to embrace.

6. Everything has a use

Much of the humor in a campaign comes from awkward uses of everyday items. In a pinch, a cold spell and a bag of holding become a refrigerator. Mundane objects are sometimes the most extraordinary when we apply some creative thinking.

7. Sometimes failing is entertaining

Popular websites Failblog and FML almost prove this statement. I once played a game where three characters rolled 1, a critical failure, in a row. We almost died in-game. It is one of my favorite stories to tell because our mutual failure bonded us as a group.

8. It only takes one good roll

The luckiest role in D&D is called a “Natural (NAT) 20.” This is an instance when it becomes impossible to fail and your character truly does something epic. Similarly, one good idea is all it takes to start a movement.

9. Stupid can be brilliant

Twice I have played characters that were impetuous. Each one took a risk that made them the most powerful character in the party. The next time someone tells you that you made the wrong decision, tell them to wait and see what happens.

10. Charisma helps

Charisma is one of the most important character traits in-game. It governs abilities like diplomacy, bluffing, and anything to do with social skills. You don’t need a perfect multiplier to get by in life, but it doesn’t hurt to spread a little cheer where ever you go.

11. Leadership is a skill

Literally in D&D, leadership is a skill that you can acquire. It is never too late in life to work on building this trait. You can take classes and learn how to bring out your skills and improve.

12. Games are not just for kids

I truly believe that games like D&D help round out our social skills and encourage creativity. David Gray has trained those in business to use games for the same reasons. He calls it “gamestorming,” derived from his observations of how creative people work.

What games do you play and what is your favorite? Do you play them with your children?