Can D&D make you win at life?

In his latest video Mike Rugnetta on the PBS Idea Channel, speaks about the impact D&D that could have on your life. He proposes that D&D could make a person more confident, more social and overall more successful at life.

My initial reaction? Yes, absolutely yes. Today in business, I use my skills as a Dungeon Master more than I use my other graduate degrees. What are these skills and how are they applied to real life?

  1. Understanding the motivations of others and how to immerse them in a shared vision.
  2. Understanding the characteristics and personalities of others and how to best work with them collaboratively to achieve team success.
  3. Organizing and scheduling  a large group of people with diverse priorities.
  4. Conflict resolution between two parties to achieve a mutual acceptance of terms.
  5. Attracting and retaining talent (at your table or at work).

Those 5 skills sure sound like a fantastic business read, but in reality they are the everyday duties of a Dungeon Master.

Do I believe that EVERYONE that plays D&D will be successful? No I don’t. I don’t even believe that players will necessarily get as much out of D&D than a Dungeon Master would – after all they are primarily playing one character and while the best players consider the overall group dynamic, most probably don’t 100% of the time. What I do believe though is that D&D is a great outlet to develop social skills such as public speaking, conflict resolution, social interaction, and general socially acceptable behaviours.

While D&D might not make you a CEO overnight, it is certainly not detrimental to one’s social skills by any means.




D&D Systems Reference Document and You

Today Wizards of the Coast (WOTC) released their new Systems Reference Document (SRD). Which simply put allows for third party creations to not only utilize existing rulesets in the creation of new material but the DMs Guild also allows for these creations to be sold on the open market. Let’s take a look at this reference table from the official D&D website and discuss some of my first impressions.


The Good

I would say that overall this is a great thing for the community. Some folks have been waiting for a while to see this come to fruition and to be perfectly honest, I would argue that the OGL was partially responsible for the success of 3.x edition in all its forms and the legacy of which it created for itself.

From the perspective of the creator, it’s amazing. 50% share of profit is very high for the infrastructure required to make this sort of thing work. I do wonder if there will be some form of censorship by WOTC though for the more “adult” oriented stuff that will inevitably show up. That remains to be seen.

Furthermore, the apparent potential inclusion of creator content in future WOTC works is pretty cool – particularly the inclusion in video games and overall marketing. One does wonder what the legal/compensation aspects of that will be.

The Bad

There’s not too much bad to talk about here. I think one of the biggest gripe I have is the limitation of commercialization opportunities to just Forgotten Realms material. I would have liked to see other campaign settings included in the DMs Guild for instance, Dark Sun, Birthright, Ravenloft, and others. Perhaps this is in the works. WOTC needs to understand that not everyone plays in the Forgotten Realms.

Overall, good stuff. Lately there has been some musings that D&D had reached its plateau and just was not putting out enough material. Well I guess this is their response. We will see what the future holds and maybe my thoughts on this revelation may change as I deep dive further into the SRD.

Are We Basement Dwellers?

In my mind, it is clear that the name of our club is a satirical homage to the strongly held belief (by non-gamers) that we’re all basement living slugs that haven’t seen sunlight in weeks. While the early 80’s geek-ploitation did nothing to mend this stereotype, the recent decade has proven this stereotype wrong over and over again. In a recent article by CNET, researchers at North Carolina State University, York University, and the University of Ontario Institute of Technology traveled to more than 20 gaming events in Canada and the UK ranging from 20-player events in bars to 2,500-player competitions in convention centers. After observing thousands of gamers in these settings, the researchers conducted an in-depth survey with nearly 400 of them. And their conclusion? Gamers are social animals.


As it is tradition, every year I stand at the doors of GenCon waiting for it to open and every year it gets more and more crowded. I think this year the crowd stretched back to Will Call. You cannot look at that photo and tell me we are not social creatures by nature. The very essence of roleplaying games is based on collaborative storytelling. GenCon and I’m sure other gaming conventions of that type are utopias for meeting other gamers and friends – everyone WANTS to talk about the latest and greatest.

So why does media keep perpetuating the stereotype? I guess they sell what we (as in the general audience) believe to be true. However, I am quite optimistic for the future. In the mean time, I’m proud of my basement deweller-isms and look forward to proving this stereotype wrong via this website.