D&D Players and DMs, Be Thankful

It’s Wednesday night. The party are faced with a decision: continue toward the lair of one of their vile foes through cramped kobold tunnels, try to enter through a broken lightning rail, or turn back and face the enemies behind them. If they choose correctly, they’ll reach their destination before the mysterious Vaxilidan can complete the domination of those they hold dear. If they choose incorrectly, their loved ones will become horrific husks twisted by aberrant minds and incurable darkness. Of course, they choose the quickest and safest path: through the kobold tunnels! In single file, they crawl and slip their way down the wet passages until they arrive at a hole that leads into an ancient and flooded crypt.

Dragon murals line the walls, kobold packs float in the murky water, and the cracks in the ground remind the party of a defeated foe. Their path forward muddied, they decide to delve into the crypt and a wild night of roleplaying and mad speculation ensues: kobold sarcasm and malice, leaps to the plane of dreams, the possibility of more time travel, interactions with the most important NPC in the campaign thus far, glimpses of a big bad evil guy, and kuo-toa bringing statues of Bahamut and Tiamat to life! At the session’s end, I was giddy; and as always, I thanked my players for being there and making my Wednesday a night to remember.

Dungeons & Dragons is a game that has a huge impact on many of our lives. Through the lens of D&D, all of us folk of countless backgrounds and ages are able to speak a common language and live in a world where anything is possible. We slay demon lords, uncover ancient secrets, and construct artifacts of unimaginable power. But that’s not all. Whenever we sit down at a table or computer desk, dice by our side and pencil or keyboard ready, we let the weight of the world slide off our shoulders and are free for a few hours.

We’re free to leap into a 10,000-feet deep chasm and use a bed sheet to navigate past broken pipes and shards of stone.

We’re free to be someone completely different than who we are in real life: a shady elf with a poufy hat; a single-minded warforged with a distinct goal in life; an awakened potted plant able to conjure spells.

We’re free to build worlds of pure imagination: mile-high flying islands immersed in wispy clouds; jungles littered with gold and silver temples of feline deities; cities with towers that touch the sky and whose people come from numerous worlds.

And who do we have to thank for that? The other people at our virtual, wood, or plastic table.

D&D players and DMs across the world, be thankful we have each other. Even during the times when we bicker and squabble over new expansions to our favorite game’s ruleset, how to proceed in a dungeon, or what day would be the best to play, good groups need to remain grateful for their companions.

Even away from the table, I’m continually amazed by my players. I spend hours worldbuilding and preparing for their escapades across Eldar as they continue to stay engaged.

Pattern by Aja Moniz.
  • One of my players crocheted a slain antagonist for another one of my player’s birthday. A stellar creation that honestly made me choke up a little inside; it was the first piece of art done for one of my campaigns.
  • Another player puts a massive amount of thought and work into his character. He writes short stories about him that are excellent. He records voice lines that he plays during sessions to showcase his descent into madness (maybe). He even made a web of most of the NPCs in the campaign, connecting dots I hadn’t even thought possible!
  • A few other players are also DMs and were inspired by my campaign guide’s layout. Basing theirs on mine, they built onto their own worlds and sated my desire to spread my love of DMing and worldbuilding to others.
  • Another player loves to talk about his character’s thoughts and how he’ll slowly evolve. Whenever someone wants to talk to me about their character out of game, I’m joyful; I know I’ve hooked them.
Zooming out further than that, it’s not an exaggeration to say that the internet and social media have done wonders for the world of D&D. If I need inspiration, I can easily head over to a subreddit, Facebook page, or DeviantArt of spectacular fantasy artists. If I need a laugh, D&D memes are in high supply. If I’m eager for advice on an upcoming encounter, I can ask a question and dozens of people will comment to help me.

That’s amazing.

Look no further than the following examples of our community’s greatness.
We need to not only be thankful for the people we play with week after week and month after month, we need to realize we have a stellar community around the world. Of course, there are always buggers, but as a whole, I’m incredibly thankful for our current D&D community—and excited to see it continue to grow. I started participating in online forums when I played Neverwinter Nights and Dungeons & Dragons Online. I never expected outlets for expressing love of D&D to rocket to such immense size and utility. I'm thankful.

Art from Neverwinter Nights.

If you are not a member of these communities and would like to be, here’s a list of my favorites.
And here are a few brilliant content creators I think you should follow!
I know we live in an insane world. We're lucky to have a hobby where we can come together with family, friends, and strangers to jump into a fantasy one that's probably a hell of a lot stranger at times but far more interesting a full of possibilities every week or so. Be thankful.

Until the next encounter, stay creative!

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  1. As players it's also important to appreciate the time and effort that you put in as a DM! You have made a truly deeply enriched and fun world for us and we are grateful for the adventure we are on and the many adventures to come! Keep up the great content and may the dice always roll in your favor (unless it's against me)!

    1. Whoever you are, thank you kindly! I'll always try to keep everything exciting, interesting, and, at times, emotional.