Five Lessons I’ve Learned From Role Playing Games

The game that launched a thousand geekdoms, Dungeons and Dragons, turns 40 this year. A buddy posted an article on my Facebook page where the author talked about life lessons he had picked up from RPG’s over the years- I decided to take the blind post approach and come up with five lessons of my own before reading the article. In no particular order, here’s a few things that sprung to mind.

Rule #1- Never let the Rogue handle the gold.
Rule #1- Never let the Rogue handle the loot.

1) No one person can do everything.
Of course there are those that try, but the bottom line is that no one person can do everything. Or rather, can do everything well. Sometimes we need a little help, and there’s nothing wrong with that. No person is truly an island, which leads in nicely to my next point.


This goes for dealing with packs of murderous bandits to completing a project at work. Not only that, but if you can get Elves to get along with Dwarves and Orcs in order to take down a dragon, then dammit, we can get along with our fellow humans regardless of their race, sex or favorite console.

3) Sometimes, you’ve just got to relax.
A lot of moments in gaming are focused on your characters facing down swarms of enemies while wielding massive blades enchanted with enough arcane power to give Merlin an aneurysm. But some of my favorite gaming moments took place outside of the realm of combat. Sometimes, we just have to kick back and enjoy life.

4) There’s always an option that you didn’t consider.
Present a gaming group of five with a problem, and you’ll probably get five different potential solutions to said problem. And then that number’s going to grow once they start bouncing ideas off of each other. Always be willing to listen to a different perspective on things.

5) It’s not important what you’ve got, it’s how you use what you’ve got.
Role Players are a crafty bunch. For example, if you’re a Game Master with a bit of a mean streak and decide to give someone The Wand of Total Suck as a joke, then you better believe that they will find a way to use that wand in the most creative ways possible in order to make you regret not giving them The Sword of Total Awesome like they initially wanted. Be creative. Not every problem can be solved by brute strength alone, even in RPG’s. Often times it pays to be smart and charming, and most importantly, knowing where your natural talents lie.

So, gamers- what are some lessons that you’ve picked up along the way?


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