Ignoring the Stigma: Why You Should Give ‘Dungeons & Dragons’ a Chance

Imagine how much fun 'Dungeons & Dragons' must be if people, despite knowing its nerdy reputation, still choose to play it.
February 23, 2016
9 mins read

If you’re anything like me, the first week of the semester is by far the most intimidating. I mean sure, midterms and finals might be pretty rough, but flashback with me.

It’s the first day of a new semester and you’re eager to meet your new professors, find your labs and sniff out the guide-dog puppies in training that will ruin any semblance of concentration you had.

Earlier than you will for the rest of the semester, you wake up 45 minutes before your bus comes to get ready.

Hopefully you’re more skilled than I am at the female ways, but if not you’ll throw on some eyeliner and mascara, then immediately wipe it way and retry (disadvantaged charisma check), attempt to curl/straighten your hair before deciding that the beanie-bohemian look works for you after all (you lose three hit points for ever moderately sized welt burnt into your neck) and finally, strap on those discount boots that you have yet to break in and stumble out into the collegiate world (that’s got to be an acrobatics check if I’ve ever seen one).

Suddenly, you find yourself surrounded. The square is filled, no, actually, every square INCH is filled with level three club recruiters. Knowing that your noob of a freshman self doesn’t stand a chance against these trained mercenaries, you make several dexterity saving throws as you flee to the nearest academic building. Sadly, you couldn’t move fast enough and, burdened by thousands of colorful flyers and pamphlets, you fall to the ground as the light fades out.


Getting involved on campus does NOT mean having to join the least threatening organization, especially if you were never even really interested in becoming a future sexual education ambassador. (Yes, that was the least intimidating brochure I could find in my collection.)

There are other clubs out there that are less academic but definitely have some redeeming qualities, like being actually entertaining (*cough cough* “Dungeons and Dragons” *cough cough*) And you should give them a shot, even if you’re unsure.

For example, I am an English major. I annotate poetry for fun and enjoy going out and socializing (for the most part), so I never considered for a SECOND that I would enjoy “Dungeons and Dragons.”

But when asked by my brother to join his party, aka the group of guys holed up in our dining room, I conceded and found myself falling in love with my half-elf sorcerer.

So forget the stigma against the “D&D” community for a second, and check out some of my foolproof reasons as to why it might actually be the best thing you can do to get involved at your school.

1. Unparalleled Dating Pool

I promise that the people you meet in these underground societies are some of the most creative, intelligent, dedicated and noteworthy people of our time. I’m not sure you understand the number of man hours a dungeon master puts into his craft.

Please, don’t be mistaken into thinking that I’m trying to set you up with my little brother. But (since we’re on the topic), as a point for evidence, I don’t think I’ve seen him—the reigning dungeon master, btw—leave the game room since the sessions have come into full swing. Not even to go to school.

Normally, his hermitic lifestyle wouldn’t bother me, because a day without seeing my brother is an easy day indeed, but because I’m now emotionally invested in the game, it’s become a little unnerving that the temporary God figure becomes a recluse while deciding my lot in this fictitious universe. Suffice it to say, he’ll be receiving loads of baked goods from me to secure my right to, you know, not die.

And even if the player isn’t fully committed to his/her craft, the game still requires that you problem-solve in tricky situations, which requires a lot of of quick thinking and practice, which — I don’t know about you — is something that I tend to find impressive.

Also, ladies, there is nothing sexier than a rogue who knows how to use their short sword (*winks*). And men, nymphs — am I right?

2. Super Duper Confidence Booster

My crowning moment: Walking up to what used to be their friend and ally, Eurydice laid her hand on his armored shoulder.

“Why are you doing this? Stop, please,” she begs him, looking into his teary eyes.

“I … I can’t. He’s got my family.” His hammer knocks into her chest, crushing her into the ground. Realizing what she has to do, Eurydice stands up and limps to the mansion doors with the last of her hit points, barely escaping a second blow. She shoves the door open, revealing the army of undead and piles of slaughtered civilians, as she casts the spell Daylight onto the necrotic battle field.

“He’s got everyone’s family.” She stares into him as sharpened bones pierce her leather armor and Eurydice falls unconscious. Jorlund drops to his knees in surrender.

This one moment took me a successful charisma check, constitution saving throw and a few natural twenties but I’ll be damned if it wasn’t worth it! Because if that doesn’t give you shivers I don’t know if you’re capable of getting them.

Well, ok, so maybe it was cooler in context. Regardless, I’ve been fangirling myself in my own head for days now and I’ve got to tell you, it’s a feeling of pride that sticks with you, even if it means absolutely nothing to anyone else.

3. You’ll Bust a Rib

What’s better than the fighting, romance, suspense and betrayal that regularly attends these sessions? Well the banter of course.

“D&D” pow-wows are one of those exceptionally rare opportunities that allow you to bash your friends without any negative ramifications, unless your friend is the DM of course, in which case you’re screwed.

How often do opportunities like this come up? Plus, even if the repartee is the only enjoyable aspect for you, it’s still worth your time.

You might not know anyone and be completely new to the game, but you still won’t be able to keep a straight face when two supposedly lawful good characters call each other “ugly twats” in attempt to win over the one chick in the party that (surprise surprise) turns out to be betrothed to a freaking immortal demi-demon. Isn’t that what always happens?

Alright, so maybe I’m a huge dork and I’ve just openly invited the entire internet to mock me relentlessly. But I’ve got a date with a half-orc and several other prospective offers. What are YOU doing this weekend? That’s what I thought. Are you ready to let the dice decide your fate?

Olivia McCoy, University of Georgia

English and French
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