Demon Worshiping or Tabletop RPG?

Spencer Munshi, Writer

What is D&D? Dungeons and Dragons is a roleplaying game in which the players describe what their characters do and the Dungeon Master referees with the help of some dice.

You create a character with a personality, backstory, and everything, and get together with friends, and roleplay with those characters. It’s not LARPing, Live Action Role Playing, so there is no physical acting or costumes. You sit around a table and let the dice determine, with the help of some stats on your character sheet, what you can and can’t do. D&D is like a choose-your-own-adventure story. 

Other than it being fun, there are other benefits to playing Dungeons and Dragons. Some therapists have seen its usefulness with children in therapy. For example, Dr. Raffael Boccamazzo, the Clinical Director of Take This, uses “D&D to help teens who are struggling to adapt solid social skills.” This ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education ) article describes how educators can use the game to engage students. Players can also learn leadership skills. There are even TED talks describing how the game made people more “connected, creative, and compassionate.” In addition to improving one’s storytelling, playing Dungeons and Dragons can also help reinforce math skills from basic addition and subtraction to more advanced probability theory.

If you haven’t played before, you should give it a try. Hesitant? I understand.

For some reason, D&D is often aligned with demon worshiping. Uh, what? It’s a storytelling game. It’s pretend. While there are some in-game demon references, it is primarily the bad guys, and it is only a plot device.

Sometimes it’s considered a game only nerds play (this is kind of true, but you don’t have to be one).

It’s also sometimes written off as a child’s game. This isn’t true. My dad is the best DM I have ever played with, and I am in a fantastic campaign made up of mostly adults.

Another common misconception is that it takes a lot of work to set up. There are a lot of great websites that help you with rules. I have noticed around school that a lot of people know what D&D is, but few people play. Of the 40 students I interviewed, only four others had played the game before. I blame the lack of communication, hence this article.

If you’re interested, there is a game at the Huntsville STEAM Works every Thursday from 6 to 9, no experience necessary. It’s an open table, so you don’t need to show up every time. Just bring a character, and ask for Gamers Guild.

Good luck, and may the dice be ever in your favor. (See what I did there? D&D pun… Ok, I’ll stop.)