All of us at Fandible have our niches. Daniel has all of the screens, Billy has the accents, Jesus has snotty children NPCs, and David has David Dice ™. I waffle between two distinct niches: The Adult, and The Fantasy Hater. So no one was more surprised than I was at how freakinâ€™ much Iâ€™ve enjoyed Dungeons & Dragons 5E. Youâ€™ve already heard part 1, with highlights including my poor half-Orc being forced into a pink gingham dress and chasing goblins down because Gwen is the only one allowed to beat up her little brother, and I promise part 2 is going to feature even more fantasy-flavor. But I didnâ€™t dive into this campaign totally gung ho. Youâ€™ve heard of the five stages of grief? Meet the five stages of playing D&D for fantasy skeptics.
Stage 1: Denial
As an RPG player, itâ€™s impossible to entirely ignore D&D. The hobby wouldnâ€™t exist as it does today (for better or for worse) without Gary Gygax. So instead when it comes up in conversation, you make polite excuses to change the subject. â€œA new edition of D&D is coming out? Interesting. But you know whatâ€™s really cool? Dinosaurs! We should play a game where I can train velociraptors to be in my motorcycle gang!â€
Everyone is too distracted by your cool new idea, and the issue of playing D&D has safely been dropped.
Stage 2: Anger
But eventually youâ€™re going to run out of dinosaur-based distractions, leading to the second stage. At this point, revert to your inner two year old and dig in your heels. Despite the temper tantrum youâ€™re throwing, you are technically an adult, and you can do what you want with your precious free time.
Stage 3: Bargaining
Okay, your group tells you. No Dungeons & Dragons. There are issues with the system! Maybe we can ease in with something else. Dungeon World? Pathfinder? Each has advantages over D&D. Maybe there will be something there that you like.
If you play with Fandible, this is a terrible terrible lie.
Stage 4: Depression
Something is wrong with you as a role player, right? Everyone likes D&D! Whatâ€™s wrong with you?! Do you even deserve the title of role player?
Stage 5: Acceptance
After being asked one last time to give fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons a shot, you relent for one more game session, reserving the right to hate it. But eventually you find a character class that isnâ€™t totally hampered by magic. And the lovely DM works out the finer details of your character, finding the gimmick that mostly avoids the murder-hobo tropes for your party that have plagued so many other D&D tales.
And when itâ€™s time to roll the dice…the experience doesnâ€™t entirely suck. And then a goblin tries to fireman carry your fictional little brother into the dangerous outside world and you charge in, blades swinging, and youâ€™re suddenly all-in, accepting that, at least for this story, D&D is okay.
I fully admit, I may be the last person in the RPG community to come around to playing D&D. Youâ€™ll hear the full Fandible review of Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition on Friday (Thursday for some of our Patreon supporters!), but if youâ€™ve listened to part 1 it wonâ€™t be much of a spoiler to say that Iâ€™m all in, at least as far as this story is concerned. If Iâ€™m out at a convention Iâ€™m still going to be seeking out pretty much any other type of game, but at least with my home group, Iâ€™m comfortably in the fifth stage of being a D&D-playing fantasy skeptic.
Are any other fantasy skeptics out there? What got you to play D&D, or how have you managed to continue avoiding it?
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