Forget the Edition Wars… What do you love about D&D?

I’m not looking for a nostalgic romp through the days you discovered and learned to love D&D

I’m asking what is it about D&D that draws people to it, that make people wish to play D&D rather than creating a new WoW character.


Here’s a few…

A sense of accomplishment- battling through the minions till you get to and kill the boss monster. Barely survive to take away a legendary magic item in a story that will be sung by the heralds and the other gamers around the dining room table for the rest of time.

Cinematic fantasy- no CGI movie will ever come close to the ability of my own imagination to create fantastic scenes and vistas. D&D allows me to escape into a world which causes the real world to pale in comparison

"The secret we should never let the gamemasters know is that they don't need any rules." Gygax
Telling a story together: having cooked up a setting and a story, and viewing how PCs change it and interact with that story creating a whole new one gives me a sense of satisfaction unlike anything else. It's like being Sylar a clockmaker and watching carefully laid out pieces get back into a whole.
Are you interested in an online 4E game on Sunday? Contact me with a PM!
Reflavoring: the change of flavor without changing any mechanical part of the game, no matter how small, in order to fit the mechanics to an otherwise unsupported concept. Retexturing: the change of flavor (with at most minor mechanical adaptations) in order to effortlessly create support for a concept without inventing anything new. Houseruling: the change, either minor or major, of the mechanics in order to better reflect a certain aspect of the game, including adapting the rules to fit an otherwise unsupported concept. Homebrewing: the complete invention of something new that fits within the system in order to reflect an unsupported concept.
Ideas for 5E
The spirit of team. Each character has got strong and weak points, and they get the victory because help themself.

I like the rich mythology: races, classes, monsters. You can make lots of worlds and stories.

D&D is like a old friend of your childhood. The ultimate boargame I wanted to have had got.

"Say me what you're showing off for, and I'll say you what you lack!" (Spanish saying)


Book 13 Anaclet 23 Confucius said: "The Superior Man is in harmony but does not follow the crowd. The inferior man follows the crowd, but is not in harmony"


"In a country well governed, poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed, wealth is something to be ashamed of." - Confucius 

From a Players perspective: Experiencing the story of a team of heroic fantasy/legendary and mythic characters from the inside making my characters choices being the lead(s) in this movie of the mind. And having my choices be significant to the action and make ongoing changes to the world and influence the plot of the larger story. Feeling like my character is a part of this other world (I want to have an idea of the game world I am building the character for it really improves the feel) so having some defined setting helps.

From a DMS perspect I love building the world by exploiting character hooks and making the players ideas a part of it. Its awesome so I like to have my world be initially flexible. Player choices can blow me away proactive players are awesome. Even watching players do there thing can be fun.
  Creative Character Build Collection and The Magic of King's and Heros  also Can Martial Characters Fly? 

Improvisation in 4e: Fave 4E Improvisations - also Wrecans Guides to improvisation beyond page 42
The Non-combatant Adventurer (aka Princess build Warlord or LazyLord)
Reality is unrealistic - and even monkeys protest unfairness
Reflavoring the Fighter : The Wizard : The Swordmage - Creative Character Collection: Bloodwright (Darksun Character) 

At full hit points and still wounded to incapacitation? you are playing 1e.
By virtue of being a player your characters are the protagonists in a heroic fantasy game even at level one
"Wizards and Warriors need abilities with explicit effects for opposite reasons. With the wizard its because you need to create artificial limits on them, they have no natural ones and for the Warrior you need to grant permission to do awesome."


I really enjoy gaming with my buddies.  That's not necessarily D&D specific though; we've played several different RPGs over the last few years.  

What I love most about D&D is the lore of the game (i.e. the fluff).  I enjoy following it from edition to edition, seeing how things change, how they might be re-imagined.  

For instance, it was revealed in 3E Forgotten Realms preview articles in Dragon Magazine that the Simbul was actually a Sorcerer (not a pure Wizard); 3E just brought it into focus ;) (so to speak).  

I like the World Axis cosmology of 4e.  It feels *fantastic* to me where the Great Wheel (from 3E and earlier) felt very SF.  The Great Wheel is still an option for those who like it.  I like how Aasimar (from 3E and 2E) have been re-imagined as Deva.

= = =

I occassionally 'name drop' in my settings.   Vecna is originally from Greyhawk but his story is also a part of my v3.5 homebrew setting.  He's a fiend (not a deity as in core), and a warlock (not a wizard).

= = =

In my mind, lore transcends editions and even settings in some cases.  More than mechanics (which come and go), lore is what makes D&D for me.  If Tiamat werent around to confound Bahamut, I don't know what I'd do ;).
/\ Art
For me it's the human element - the reliable, weekly fellowship with my friends.  We get together once a week to share in creating a great story. 

As a player, I love the challenge of fights, the mysteries and twists of a well laid plot, and watching my character grow and change and develop over the course of the story.

As a GM I love finding that storyline that really hooks my players, and providing the backdrop for them to tell the stories of their characters.

I suppose those are things I love about RPGs in general.  Specific to D&D, I love the fantasy of it.  Wizards and trolls and cursed magical swords.  I have always enjoyed the genre, and it's always been a real pleasure to play a game that lets us as a group tell great stories in it.  Our D&D campaigns have, moreso than other campaigns in other systems, tended to be the most robust in terms of depth of storytelling, quality of characters, and interesting themes like alignment, morality, heroism, love, loyalty, etc.  There's a pathos in Fantasy that I just don't feel in other genres.  D&D and the fantasy genre are inextricably intertwined in my head.  I read novels and automatically filter things into D&D terms, and when I play the game I draw on all the great (and terrible) fiction I've read or written in order to enrich my game experience.

I like the familiarity of the system after 20 years of playing it (2nd Ed).  It's like pulling on a favorite old pair of boots.  Sure, the mechanics have flaws and challenges, but when you know it like the back of your hand, you get very comfortable with figuring it out.  I love the settings (i'm a Forgotten Realms junkie from as far back as I can remember).
Creating a story and setting collobaratively with friends. The setting may be the product of one person or all of them, but the story is certainly the product of everyone. Which produces some amazingly memorable moments.
Yes! Let us keep this good spirits! We should focus on what we love of the game we love.

For me is basically what TableTop is all about. Spending quality time with my friends, throwing some dice, indulging in some amateur acting and narration, and having fun.

Why D&D? Honestly because it popped our cherries. We have played many other games, but my group and me like Heroic Fantasy better, and D&D is the game that brings that feel the best in our opinion.

As Player of D&D I really liked the roleplaying aspect of everything. Videogames are always limited in choice making and plot twisting and turning. So, the idea of a game were my choices truly mattered... it was enough enjoyment for me. So I always entered the game as having a character concept in my mind and then skiming through the books to see how I could translate that concept better in gaming terms. Or which Player Options resembled the character I wanted to play better.

As a DM I really like the world building. And again, the roleplaying aspect of everything. Now, it is my turn to see where things go. If a Player decides to go and take that turn, breaking the locks on the cementery and going down the Mausoleum, then let's forget about that dangling Plot Advancement, at least for the moment. I could even turn the campaign around depending on what happened next. Sometimes, I would take the Player hook and reel them into the story. I see the DM as the Player that, instead of fleshing out one character, is fleshing out the world around the PCs. Which is every thing that happens, from the urgency and stifness of the Plot to the own lack of importance in an over all Plot, instead resolving adventures as stand alone, or the common Dungeoun Crawl.

3.X Psionics. I dunno, something about an equivalent mana system seemed to click better for me than spells per day. I loved the old Psionics
Like minded friends who enjoy the same activities sitting around the table lobbing spells, swinging the sword, getting the loot, and saving the town. Nothings better than having a great roll at a critical moment that changes the tide of the battle. Or having an expert completly botch a roll and have all at the table shout and throw stuff at the offender (dice excluded) It takes a special kind of game to make a guy who's not a role player, to sit patiently make his skill roles but keep quiet until the group comes upon a monster/villan. Then watch him sit up straight, give the war cry and watch the action as he goes in swinging to help the group. At that moment he is that fighter. AWESOME!

I have to say that I agree with most everyone here that the main reason is the shared experience of telling a story that you can influence and being able to hang out with friends. The set gaming time gets us away from the business of daily life that does not allow us to see each other as often as we would like.

Specifically about D&D, it is definitely because it is the first RPG I ever played.

D&D has always been the heroic story. The epic fantasy to save the world, get the girl and slay the dragon. More than I think any other RPG out there the presentation of D&D has always been the heroic journey. Gaining experience and the benefits is your tangible reward, but knowing that today you saved a village, next week you are going to save the city and then the continent and then... I think you get the idea.

Mechanics have always been the thing that created the common vocabulary so we could all talk to each other, but the use was always to create that epic story and take the hero's mythic journey and D&D, I think more so than any game gives the chance to do that. Whatever else happens with this new edition, that is one thing that has been true since the earliest editions, is true to today, and hope continues to be true tomorrow.

Great Topic Ballbamouth. Thanks for Starting it.

I enjoy both D&D and WoW, but for very different reasons. D&D is not a limited semi-sandbox that will be nearly identical every time I play a new character. In D&D I can climb walls, a minor quibble but it goes to the heart of the differences and why D&D should not in any real way try to emulate video games.

In D&D you can climb walls and go off the rails of the story. The DM can create side adventures into the planes and have you visit Sigil if that's where their imagination is sparked for that game. The DM can take the written module and add those glorious twists to it, making your third time through Keep on the Borderlands fresh and exciting, in video games it is identical each and every time. Always will be until we get holodecks. In vgs I can't go off the map, ever. And once I've explored the map all I can do is "rediscover" the map on a new toon. In D&D the map doesn't ever have to be the same from session to session. It's the face to face act of engaging our shared imaginations and seeing where we want to go. Something you simply can't do in a vg.

Note that's not specifically about D&D but RPGs in general. I haven't enjoyed D&D in a while, not since the books started dictating how to play in their heavy handed way. I'm hopeful the modular design will reverse this.

"And why the simple mechanics? Two reasons: First, complex mechanics invariably channel and limit the imagination; second, my neurons have better things to do than calculate numbers and refer to charts all evening." -Over the Edge

I have always sort of liked D&D as a go to rules system for fantasy gaming.  In first edition, I would add rules to cover the odd things I wanted to do the game did not cover.  Either I would make them, or I would get them out of a dragon magazine.(anyone remember the article about bringing your pc's to the modern world?)

I second edition, I did this again. And then they started introducing things like kits and optional powers to further those tweaks.  I could run games where everyone was a viking, or a noble, or a pirate crew, and the game was simple enough that if I needed make the rules up I could or someone would have made it for me. 

3rd and 3.5 continued this trend, only more so.   

4th edition seemed to reverse this some, and concentrated on making a game with one style of play.  That said, that style of play was fun and the game rules were excellent for that style of play.  As 4th edition went on, it got better about providing more ways to tweak and tune it.  I also got better at figuring out it's structure and how to get it to do things it was not set up, yet, to do. 

I suppose this all leads to the notion of making stuff.  I like crafting worlds and tales. I like having tools to translate those into a colaborative form with my friends. D&D is, should be a tool/toy box for creative fantasy building and it is why I have always loved it. 

I love the freedom of the medium.  But more than anything, I love collaborating with my friends to make an aweome fantasy world, and then to rock that world's sock off.
Seriously, though, you should check out the PbP Haven. You might also like Real Adventures, IF you're cool.
Knights of W.T.F.- Silver Spur Winner
4enclave, a place where 4e fans can talk 4e in peace.
I’m asking what is it about D&D that draws people to it, that make people wish to play D&D rather than creating a new WoW character.

That, specifically?  Face-to-face interaction, and the adaptability and creativity of a DM rather than an AI.

But what draws people to D&D over other TT RPGs?   Name recognition.  It's easier to find people who have heard of and might be willing to play D&D than it is with any other RPG.  And, really, ultimately, that's all D&D has had going for it since other RPGs started coming out.



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Great idea for a thread. Can't believe it took so long for someone to think of it.

Nostalgia is part of it. It's like social or religious tradition. I want to play the game they played in E.T.

Camaraderie is a big part. Telling stories and creating characters with friends.

Why specifically D&D? It is largely nostalgia and tradition. It's set in my brain as what a game should be, partially because it was the first I played. Even though I've been playing other games instead for 20 years I always wished I could go back to AC, HP, and lots of different shaped dice. No it isn't the most realistic, and in theory I don't like level based games...but lately I've been reminded it is a game, and it doesn't have to be a simulation or realistic. It just has to be fun.

And nostalgia and tradition. Don't under estimate the draw of playing "D&D". When I decided to give it a try last year (running it) after decades of running other games, a twinkle appeared in my Player's eyes. Smiles popped out. I think giddy is the word. Somebody may have giggled (or maybe I imagined that). 
escape into fantasy for an evening, leveling up, being with friends.
A big part is the chance to use my imagination and create something. It is like writing a poem or story, except your friends are having fun while you do it.

When it goes right, you can see the the characters as you drive home in your minds eye brought to life by the players.
The fun of getting together, every week, with my friends and playing a game together. Working as a team to come up with ideas to survive our sometimes fiendish DMs.
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