Dungeons and Dragons is a game that can be a little bit difficult to get to grips with and, for a lot of us, the idea of finding a group to play with can sound impossible.
But with a very welcoming community of like minded gaming enthusiasts, DND is perhaps the most rewarding game to become a part of. But, as players, we’re always learning new things, developing new adventures and coming up with new ways to keep relaxed and focused throughout the game.
Everyone’s got their own habits and quirks that they’ve amassed over the years, from keeping notes and developing ideas, adding plenty of snacks to the mix and even building drinking games around the standard tabletop RPG.
As a self-professed Dungeons and Dragons lover – I thought it’d be fun to add my favorite things to do while playing the game for newbies to see and know that they’re not weird for the habits they develop while playing.
So, without further ado, here are the 5 things that I personally love to do while playing the game.
1. Reference the book – a lot
One of Dungeon and Dragons biggest misconceptions is that the Game Master doesn’t actually need to know any of the rules.
Similarly, once you’ve started running your adventure you’ll quickly realize that you’re needing to reference the book a lot. That’s absolutely fine and not something to be worried about when kicking things off – after all, nobody expects every spell and monster to be memorized.
I personally use a Dungeon Master’s Screen here as I find it super convenient for hiding notes and die rolls from the players as well as the option to view the stats and rules that are most often used during play.
2. CBD oil to keep calm and relax
One thing that I like to make sure I’m topped up on when I’m playing Dungeons and Dragons is CBD oil to keep me calm, relaxed and keep my anxiety at bay (great article on why that works here).
If you’re not familiar, CBD (or cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid substance found in both hemp and cannabis. Unlike its counterpart, THC (or tetrahydrocannabinol), CBD is not psychoactive, meaning that there’s no risk of “high”, instead, the effects of the compound are purely medicinal and work to treat a wide variety of different conditions.
Whether it’s arthritis, depression and even cancer, no matter the condition an individual may be suffering from, the chances are that there’s some anecdotal evidence kicking around that it’ll be able to help. Although research is coming in thick and thin surrounding the compound, as of current there’s not quite enough for the FDA to release multiple drugs with only one to date making its way to market.
Of the many benefits of CBD, the main one for me comes in the form of relaxation, as is the case with many of my friends using the oils. This is particularly useful when playing Dungeons and Dragons and by keeping topped up with my CBD oil, there’s a noticeable difference with my mood, anxiety, and stress during intense games.
3. Making friends along the way
Dungeons and Dragons wouldn’t be anywhere near as popular as it currently is without the fuel from the fantastic community that formed around the game.
It may take a leap of faith to originally get to grips with the game, but with enough practice with a supportive group environment, you’ll quickly feel more comfortable with both the game and the people around you. The game is just as much about creating friendships as it is battling monsters and that’s something that I absolutely adore about the game.
If you’ve not got the capability to play and chat in person, fear not. The online Dungeons and Dragons community is just as strong with plenty of forums dedicated to helping new players wade their way into the DND world. If Reddit is something that you’re a fan of, head over to r/dnd and r/dndnext for plenty of like-minded individuals all willing to help and chat about the game.
There are so many different walks of life that love that game, that’s what interests me the most!
4. Keep a notepad at the ready
When the conversation is flowing and ideas are rapidly bouncing around, off each of the members at the table, it can often be difficult to remember the next morning.
With the game taking hours at a time, I’ve found it super useful to always have a notepad by my side at all times, especially when talking about future options and ideas for the game. From character creation to adventure story ideas – you’d be surprised what you’ll come up with when there’s good conversation flowing and notes being taken.
An additional benefit of the notepad is doodling, something that I can’t seem to stop myself from doing recently. It’s always good to keep the hands busy and while practicing my sketching skills, I’ve got no complaints.
5. Cosplay in character
Last up on the list is somewhat of a guilty pleasure, but something that I actually really like to do when playing the game, especially when live streaming – cosplay in character for the game.
This might be me going super-nerd for a brief second, but dressing up while playing the game really adds to the experience of an RPG and helps get into character just a little bit more. Naturally, this doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense if the whole group isn’t joining in the dressing up – but with all players on the same wavelength, it really makes the evening a lot more interesting.
There are bonus points for highly detailed and movie-quality costumes, but at the end of the day, it’s just a bit of fun. Combine this with a little bit of improv and you’ve got yourself a party, or y’know, a comedy performance.
Don’t knock it until you try it, who knows – you might just love it as much as me!