Friday, February 28, 2014

Have You Learned Nothing???

More Marker Experimentation
The D&D 40th Anniversary Blog Hop Challenge

Day 28: What's the single most important lesson you've learned from playing D&D?

I learned that everyone is different.  They have different reasons for coming to the table.  They have different goals for themselves, and their characters, while playing.  Some want to solve problems.  Some want to avoid problems.  Some even want to create problems.

Humanity is a diverse tapestry of personalities - even the very small subset who play D&D.  Before I started playing, I didn't have much experience with people, and figured that everyone was pretty much like me.

Well, I was eleven when I started to play. :)

The gaming table is a little crucible of life.  It's a social game where you are expected to be acting like someone else.  Actually, what happens is most people just act MORE like themselves - more like who they really are without societal constraints.  People get magnified.

Decades of DMing has shown me a lot of interesting interactions.  Friendships were destroyed simply because a player refused to wake his character up for a fight with orcs.  Well, another player did kick his head in multiple times trying to wake him up.  It escalated quickly.  My own relationship with my sister hit a big bump when I refused to let her take a bag she had in the real world into the imaginary game.

Over the years, I've tried to be an arbitrator - a table-top ombudsman - to help settle differences.  But sometimes, people are so different from one another the best thing is to not to keep them in the same crucible.

The differences are not all negative, of course.  I've seen many people far smarter than I play - and been marveled by their ingenuity.  Wittier people as well who have set me off laughing until my stomach muscles hurt.

It was irritating when I was younger, and people were so far from my point of view that I felt like I'd never be able to communicate with them.  But nowadays, I really like it when people are different.  You know, different almost to the point where some type of calamity might happen if we sat in the same room together too long - but not quite passing that line.

Vive la différence.

- Ark

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