Here’s the best way to play D&D. Today, more so than ever, our collective eyes are opened to the many uncertainties that lie ahead. I think now, is the best time of all to talk about the best way, and in my opinion, the only way to really play D&D and other tabletop role playing games.
Here it is. Gather your friends, sit around a table, have snacks, laugh, be goofy, roll some dice, and have yourselves an adventure. But above all else, have fun. That’s the best way.
I think far too often, we become immersed in what the letter of the rules says. Different players of the game interpret the rules differently. Sure, there is rules as written and rules as interpreted, and those clarifications are given quite frequently in columns like sage advice. But it becomes a major point of contention as does how one group plays the game that’s different from another group. But why?
In cruising through the multiple Dungeons & Dragons groups that I’m a part of I can’t help but notice all of these arguments occurring but these arguments aren’t friendly arguments they can become quite brutal, and people can become rather cruel about what the best way or the right way to play Dungeons & Dragons is.
But the key to playing the game right, or the best way is very simple and, in my opinion, I have already outlined the secret to that in the very beginning of this post.
Gary Gygax himself wrote:
“It Is The Spirit Of The Game and not the letter of the rules which is important”
If one of the creators who invented the game said this, then it’s good enough for me.
Never forget that it is the spirit of the game that is most important, it is the gathering of friends, the stories you tell, the shared food you enjoy as a group. It is communal storytelling which is almost hardwired into us as a people, it is what has bonded us together since the beginnings of our time. It is the one thing that truly matters the most about this game. I do not make such statements lightly, rather I do so because in my 40 years of playing the game, and mind you I am not using these years to illustrate my expertise, because I am certainly not an expert, but because I have been fortunate enough to build very long-lasting, enriching friendships because I never lost sight of the spirit of the game being most important.
We do the best we can with the pandemic to keep our hobby alive, and enjoy the storytelling with one another, and modern technology has helped us a great deal in this endeavor. Please, when the opportunity arises, and it is safe to gather once again around the gaming table and tell stories, do so and always keep in sight that it is the time with your friends, the spirit, that is most important.
Before we end, I’ll leave you with one more quote from Gary Gygax:
“The essence of a role-playing game is that it is a group, cooperative experience. There is no winning or losing, but rather the value is in the experience of imagining yourself as a character in whatever genre you’re involved in, whether it’s a fantasy game, the Wild West, secret agents or whatever else. You get to sort of vicariously experience those things.”
Now go play some games. I don’t care what you play, I don’t care how you play, and you shouldn’t either. Just go play some games, with your friends, and have a good time.
There are many ways in which you can play D&D, but this way is the best way.
See you next time in the dojo.