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11 Things You Learn About Your Friends by Playing D&D

Dungeons & Dragons (D&D for short) is basically one of the cornerstones of nerdiness. Since Gary Gygax, the late patron saint of tabletop gaming, gave the world this game in 1974, people have been clustering around tables to eat Cheetos, drink soda, and yell at their twenty-sided dice for rolling way too low. D&D has built friendships and ruined them, it has been passed from elder to younger siblings and from fathers to daughters and sons. While so many aspects of popular culture have turned out to be fads, Dungeons & Dragons endures.

One theory about why Dungeons & Dragons sticks around because of the human element that you get from the gaming experience. When you peel away all of the elves and orcs, D&D is, at its core, a team-building exercise for you and your friends. Sitting down to go on a dungeon crawl teaches you about the people sitting next to you. Sometimes, what you learn is good; it’s really neat to discover that the only thing stopping your friends from being benevolent superheroes is reality. Unfortunately, sometimes you learn more about your friends than you ever wanted.

Here’s the things you learn about your friends when you play D&D with them, whether it's good or bad.

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    Who's the Strategist

    Photo: Jared Zimmerman / flickr / CC-BY-NC-ND 2.0

    Don’t you love it when a plan comes together? Chances are one of your friends does and you are going to find out which one if you play D&D. Usually, people will be alright going through the game fighting as they come, but not everybody. Some people find that the best part of the game is scouting ahead, planning formations, and setting devious ambushes for unsuspecting opponents. They may or may not say “Just according to plan” in response to everything, even stuff they obviously didn’t plan.

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    Who Wants to Be a Supervillain

    Photo: JD Hancock / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    Of course, with everybody saving villages and lapping up the affection of NPCs, it’s only a matter of time before somebody just wants to watch the world burn. D&D is a safe, harmless place for your mild-mannered friends to indulge in behaviors that would make the Joker blush. Evil laughter is mandatory.

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    Who Wants to Be a Hero

    Photo: David Williss / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    The fantasy that D&D gives people is the opportunity to be a hero. At some level, most people want to be an awesome, amazing person who saves villages by day and vanquishes armies of zombies by night. Some people, probably one of your friends, will really get way more of a kick out of this than other people. This person will go way further out of the way to play the hero than any other character.

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    Who Really Loves Inside Jokes

    Photo: Chris Waits / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Another awesome thing about D&D, every group winds up with their own inside jokes. These jokes will only ever be funny to people who are part of the group. Some groups use the same inside jokes so much that they basically invent their own language that only they can speak. 

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