Joe Manganiello, Deborah Ann Woll, and more on great storylines and life lessons learned from D&D



well I think the thing that makes a great story line is something that resonates with us on a human level I mean it has all the DND elements of swords and Dragons and sorcerers and all that kind of stuff always sort of mixed up in a nun in a unique way but ultimately I find that the most gratifying stories are the ones that people can relate to they want to go on the quest because it's meaningful to them and something like Dungeons and Dragons everything you do will have you know it's the every action has an equal and opposite reaction right like if you save the blacksmith's son then that will lead to something down the road if you guys steal the treasure from the King the Kings not just gonna sit back and let you do that like they're gonna send people after you they're gonna try and get it back and by creating that you create a very real sense of the world you create a big sense of you know this is bigger than just the five of us at this table you know there's other things going on that emotional connection is what makes it a great story no matter the genre yeah okay characters you care about is often how you get that that emotional connection and a good conflict I mean I think if you have a good conflict and and characters who are interesting or funny or scary you already ranked there have the building blocks of a great story the beauty of this interactive storytelling game is that as long as you make you know kind of what the hook is very very clear and you give characters things that they would care about then you can let that story play out around it we see amazing stories on Twitter and through other social media about gaming groups who decide you know rather than killing a group of direwolves let's befriend them and let's you know let's work together and I think that that's such a great part of D&D to is just kind of going off of the you know maybe the intended story and you end up with a story that's even richer and better we really enjoy spending time together and I think that if you could find groups like that then the stories work organically because everybody knows their place in it their voice and how to contribute other than that I think you just tell stories based on what you enjoy everything that I've done in drag friends and I'm the dungeon master is just a mashup of what I'm listening to what I'm playing and what I'm reading and it shows a lot of the audience sometimes can go oh did you just read this book and I'm like maybe over the break shut up I love when there's a mix of you know combat but not too much combat and you know when we get to solve riddles that sort of thing like the problem solving ideas and I also just love it when we you know meet a character along the way who's meant to be incidental and they end up becoming a really big part of the story I'm just happy to come along with us on our adventures being able to tie into an emotion that somebody's feeling even though it's in a fantastical world or atmosphere I think is key to being able to relate to what's going on the way the game is played best in my eyes is that you have to care about the actual outcome you as a player have to invest like if you're just out there screwing around it's not Neely's fun is that these things actually matter to you if everyone buys into that storytelling yeah it's the best way to spend the life as I think things get more popular with shows like critical role there are celebrities now who are coming out as big dandy nerds you guys just talked to one of them there are a few others here but there's also so many more people who finally feel safe admitting that they're there playing D&D secretly and there's something cultural about when a famous person says I do this thing that makes a bunch of people think oh okay it's so it's cool for me to try it or it's cool for me to like it I would say one of the life skills that D&D early on helped me start to hone is actually careful listening as a dungeon master one of your jobs is to try to make sure everyone's having a good time and that requires you not only to listen to your players but to watch them to see what's making them laugh what's scaring them what's moving them I've noticed throughout my life that because of all the years I've spent DMing I'm a little more tuned into those things away from the D&D table I think creating those stories for tabletop role-playing games specifically Dungeons and Dragons when I was a kid we're where I worked out my skills as a producer as a writer as an actor character building it's also just give me better communication skills with other people because you can't really play D&D and not learn how to talk to people it's like learning to just accept the the ruling of the dice in a way it's like you know every time you try and do something sometimes you just can't do it for whatever reason that's outside your control and you got to go okay you know you can't change the dice you gotta just if you had a plan sometimes you got to change them and I think it I think it really encourages you to to be flexible and also you know like another lesson of Dedes that you know you're never doing it by yourself you've always you've always got people around you now to help and support you and and that's a really nice thing to remember too I think like listening and embracing other perspectives is a really important life skill you can get from dnase but and I say that as the dungeon master which is you know it can sit down all you want before a game and decide this is how the adventure is going to play out and it will not survive contact with the players and if you are in a place where you can listen and actually hear it go off the rails that you've carefully prepared and then embrace that and let it take you somewhere else you get better stories and that in if you could do that in life you get better relationships and you make better things because you're collaborating it also really encourages creative problem-solving like when you're at the table yes you can always hit things with the sword or what other other weapon you've got on you but it can be really fun to try and find different ways of resolving your problems especially in stressful situations where I'm like I can't do this I feel like I'm drowning oh my gosh what's going on how would I handle this and dungeon dragons it gives you a voice it tells you that your voice matters yeah that because it's not scripted and it isn't necessarily to predetermined whatever idea you have is encouraged and praised you know and and I love that and there's very little in our world that says that your voice matters no matter who you are

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