Rights and Wrongs in DnD

Will is the brainchild of Encounter Roleplay. He runs the livestreams and heads the management team. You can follow him on Twitter @EncounterRP!

I recently published an article on 3 Things I’ve learned as a DM, in which I spoke of “Right” and “Wrong”. These are controversial terms to use in a community where we’re used to hearing that there is “No wrong way to play!” How ridiculous. As an Englishman I feel rather indignant, I might even skip my midday scone. But let’s get into it.

The phrase “No wrong way to play” is clearly flawed. There is a wrong way to do everything. In the same way that attempting to write a song with a guitar with no strings is going to be fruitless, so is running a game with a DM who is intent on punishing his players for out of character disagreements. If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. If a player in your game is having a miserable time then I don’t care who you are, something needs to change!

“But Will, is there a RIGHT way to play D&D?!” No kid, there’s not. That’s why your mother left us and also the reason Donald Trump exists. There can be no single correct way to play D&D because that entirely depends on what you and your players want to get out of the game. Instead, we’re left in a hole of disappointment, where that simple answer you were looking for when you clicked on this article has disappeared into. Don’t despair though, because there are a multitude of “Right” ways to play your favourite RPG games.

Right and Wrong are subjective terms, so let’s take ownership of them. D&D is all about picking the bits that you love nd ignoring the bits you don’t. Don’t listen to those who would have you love every aspect of it; maybe meta-gaming is just so wrong for you! Then again, maybe you just love making an OP build; then that’s the right way to play!

The right way to play, for me, is through heavily roleplay-oriented games and making silly jokes with my friends. Long combats bore me to the point of distraction and character development is essential. But none of that matters to you. You have your own opinions. To me, they might be wrong. But as long as you’re having fun, I can understand.

Right = Having fun with your friends.

Wrong = You/Other Players not having fun

There are wrong ways to play D&D, as with all things in life. Thankfully though, there are many ways to enjoy our hobby, with fun being the main component to “playing right”. Right and wrong are subjective, and its up for you to decide!

Image ©David Revoy

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