Today on the blog, I have a guest post by Jeremiah Ukponrefe about the five types of Dungeons & Dragons players. I haven't played D&D in thirty years or more! But I have fond memories of staying up late into the night Boy Scout campouts to give the twentysided die a spin.
The Five Types of D&D Players
Imagine a sunny day where the sky is clear, the birds sing, and spring flowers are budding. It sounds to me like the best time to go inside a dark room and play Dungeons & Dragons. Contradicting popular belief, not all Dungeons & Dragons players are the same nerds who speak in terms that most normies would not know, but that’s not true, here are five subclasses.
To some people, the appeal of dungeons and dragons is the role-playing aspect. You get to be a wise wizard with knowledge you don’t have, or a dashing rouge. For some, it’s a chance to get together with friends with a shared hobby, and for some wild card players, it’s the chance to show the dark side of their personality which makes you realize that you don’t want to share a prison cell with them anytime soon.
Wildcards can either make games or ruin them. Their decisions are often rash, and at times can go against the party, and the justifications for such actions are often not too satisfying (No trying to rob a group of trolls for ten gold when you’re a level two with -2 stealth is not a good decision).
Like salting a dish, a little bit of a wildcard is a good thing, but too much flavor, and watching their actions can make you feel sick (Those trolls were on food stamps leave them alone).
Wildcards at times can make what would have been a simple interaction of buying armor from a shopkeeper, can turn into a murderous bloodbath with only a few words exchanged.
They have the advantage of making games far more interesting than they would have been otherwise.
Who wants to play a dnd game where it’s a straight line between meeting an NPC, befriending them, they tell you about mischievous in the forest, you get, an item or two, and kill the villain.
What’s far more interesting is the scenic route. Bully an NPC for information. Then take a few backroads, maybe find a hidden treasure, and instead of killing the villain, hire a lady of the night to distract him, and then make an assassination (True story).
Wild cards are an essential part of any D&D table. Without them, it can get easy to stuck in an easy safe adventure, which is no adventure story at all without unnecessary side quests that add nothing to the plot.
The Lore Master
Lore Masters understands Dungeons and Dragons inside and out. The rules, the locations, factions, races, what exactly constitutes a Nat 20 roll, and exactly what underpaid factory worker made your D20.
Much like scholars of ancient Rome they can tell the origins of each weapon, and its uses, and are a bit too willing to inform you of the exact attack range that a longbow has. They know the buffs of each class and race far better than you do. Sometimes they can be a know-it-all-all, informing you of the race, and class you picked is not conducive to a strong character such as claiming that a halfling barbarian does not make such (Just like an ancient Roman scholar!).
Like all players, there is a good side and a bad side to lore masters. The good is in the wealth of information that such players have accumulated over time. Often, they act like a human encyclopedia knowing that there is no need to consult elsewhere when stuck and have the personality of a book.
They are often great for aiding new players in joining, teaching them the rules, and can be an introductory course on all things DND, with their knowledge of lore going back to the ancient year of 1974 when D&D was released.
Loremasters may not be the most fun, but they are often the most knowledgeable, turning what would have been a run-out-of-the-mill fantasy adventure into a far deeper world than one could imagine in their head.
Maybe they never made it to Julliard or Hollywood, but they have the theatrical skills that could have at least taken them to a Tylenol commercial.
Their role-playing is unmatched as these players often don’t just have character sheets. They have full-on novels dedicated to their backstory, and lore that’s required to “be in character.
More than any other player they show a great deal of range if playing different characters, managing to portray both a princess who doesn’t need any saving, to a Barbarian elf undergoing the tragedy of divorce.
The problem with actors is sometimes they go method using tactics such as screaming with the rage of a goblin when they discover the last pizza role is gone.
Everybody was a newbie at one point. These players are often on their first or second game of D&D and often want to know how it all works or are looking to leave as soon as possible.
Usually, they try their best, but their character sheets are usually half finished as they have important questions for other players such as what I should name my character.
Often when they arrive at the table sometimes the action must stop, as they search for how to use a broadsword, or need to know what a strength check does, but there is nothing wrong with newbies. We were all there at one point.
While at the midpoint of the game, newbies can sometimes be turned off from the game, making it clear that they don’t want to be there, or they can love it by asking when the next game is.
A lot of the time these players make nonsensical actions and can be rewarded for it (In one of my first games I rolled a 20 to steal some bread), or they can take a page out of a wildcards book, and immediately turn chaotic neutral.
Newbies are endearing, fun, and most importantly chip in on the food budget.
This player is interested only in getting to know you and acts as a jack of all trades. She’s a better role player than the actor as she pretended to be in love with your father for years. She knows more history than the lore master, as she can recall which year you made the effort to honor role. She has more questions than the newbie about if you’re seeing anybody.
Jeremiah Ukponrefe is a Toronto based author. He has been published in The Runner, Gotta Write Network, The Reel Anna, and Envie Magazine. His debut novel Hive released March 2021, the first of The Arcane Volumes Series.