3 life lessons I learned from playing Dungeons & Dragons.

Dear patrons, this blog is going to be a mix of D&D and TTRPG thoughts, ideas, lists and so on.

One of the very first things I wanted to write about in this is just how much discovering D&D at the age of 20 taught me some super valuable life lessons.
For context, I was completely socially introverted before I rolled my first dnd dice but right now I can really consider myself an outgoing, confident, almost even extroverted person (Not that you should change if you are introverted, you're amazing being you, but I was lacking serious social skills that were holding back my own self development and if we don't look after ourselves, we are simply doomed to fail)

1. Never be presumptive. 

I got into D&D not all that long ago, about 3/4 years but that could easily be a year longer had I not resisted for so long because of my own assumptions. 
I assumed my imagination had been and gone years ago. Which, was odd to begin with as my entire working life has been creative roles. It was my co worker, Chris, who has recently joined the Frog & Flute creative content team as High Wizard, Mobius Garyon, who encouraged me for a long time to start playing D&D. He tried to entice me with dice, stories of his great times playing the game but for so long I was having none of it. I've always been a typical pop culture nerd, but D&D seemed to exist in a different realm entirely, that was only ever what I told myself. One easter bank holiday in the Tap n Barrel pub in Wigan (my homeland) Mobius & I had one too many ales and whiskies and found we had the entire top room of the pub to ourselves... Mobius unveiled his D20 and character sheet (That I half heartedly threw together with him purely to waste time at work once) and I said, yes. 

The next 90 minutes, despite the worst Shrek film being on the TV behind my DM. I played my first ever game of D&D. I shan't say too much on the story, as this will be released by The Frog & Flute later this year, let us just say that it changed the way I saw D&D. I was hooked. I became the first one in my newly formed D&D group to own a full set of dice and the 5E players handbook.
Aspects of my imagination I'd otherwise considered grounded were unleashed and opened my mind again, I felt like a child playing Star Wars in the street again, but this time I'm a grown man sat in a bar rolling dice and pretending to be a basic Dragonborn Han Solo with a cutlass. And that fulfilled me. 

2. The importance of Lateral Thinking.

Thinking outside of the box was one of those super dull corpy buzz phrases I'd always been to impulsive to actually consider. In my life, personal and professional, I used to believe there was a basic linear path from every A to B, when that didn't work out for me I blamed the process, refusing to be accountable for failures and not looking at situations from different perspectives.

A summer night in 2018, I'm at my buddy Ben's house. We're in his newly designated D&D room (I think it was his family dining room, but our group decided it was to be the D&D room, and I have many stories to tell that came out of that room over my time publishing this blog. I'm playing as my Sun Elf Rogue Assassin, Deadeye, and we're having to sneak aboard a ship and defeat an evil prince. Now at this point I've been playing for three months and I've not deepened my knowledge of game mechanics, abilities, spells etc. I've used a traditional martial approach in particular to combat situations and never fully realised the extent of class abilities.

In this particular session something switched me on more than ever before, I actually sneaked around the ship and used my assassin traits perfectly. Surprise attacks, you know it. Why had I never done this before? I was shooting minions out of trees with my Ebony Longbow all while my ol' mate Belphegor was waiting at the bottom of the trees to bang heads together. Pure indulgent chaos and I loved it. 

Since then in my life, in particular when presented with difficult situations I have remembered that base layer awareness of the situation simply isn't enough. 
To truly find the right solution to the problems, you really do have to think deeper, and outside of the box (silver in the jargon jar.)

3. Confidence in ones own actions/decisions.

This one to me feels like a summary of those first two lessons but as I was writing this I began to really think deeper about the above two points and how both of them have manifested themselves to be answers to almost daily struggles that I have, both personal and also running an ever growing global D&D hub. Building a business this way requires a lot of the two above lessons, and playing that amazing tabletop roleplaying game truly has made me confident with the steps I've taken, and prepared me for the steps ahead.

Thank you for reading,
Danny
The Frog & Flute 

 

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