HUGE Thanks and the D&D Community

If you’ve followed this blog at all in the last three weeks, then you know I was running a Kickstarter with Johnn Four of Roleplaying Tips. Thank you so, so much to everyone who donated, helped get the word out, and offered words of wisdom and support! I can’t wait to share more of the Demonplague with you!

The D&D Community

Last week I saw a debate on social media about who is and is not a member of the D&D community. It turned ugly as some folks insisted only gamers could be part of the community and others said that anyone who watched a show like Critical Role or listened to a bunch of dope D&D podcasts were included. I don’t want to get into who said what, since there was a lot of drama and name calling, but I did want to provide context for the rest of this post.

That conversation got me thinking about just how big and amazing the D&D community, and to a greater extent the RPG community, is. Here’s the truth. If you interact with the D&D brand, you are part of the community. If you’re a gamer, a Critter, a The Adventure Zone fan, a reader of the comic books, a person who reads rule books but prefers not to play, someone who loves talking about but not playing the game, a fan of the movies, a D&D miniatures collector, a fan of D&D video games, a reader of D&D novels, a person who watches the one season of the cartoon over and over again, or just my father popping in to read and possibly comment on this blog post, then you are a welcome part of this circle.

If you don’t play the game and decide you want to, let someone know. There’s lots of friendly, awesome gamers in this circle willing to show you that roleplaying games are the greatest pastime ever. If you don’t want to play, that’s cool too! We’re glad as heck to have your voice as part of the conversation. You bring a unique perspective to the table and make things like playing D&D for an audience as a way to make money a reality. You make dreams come true AND you count Lin-Manuel Miranda among your numbers. Thank you for making D&D bigger than it’s ever been, for growing the RPG community, for lessening the stigma of the hobby, and for sharing stories, debates, and discussion. Many of you are personal friends I would not have made had you been barred from this community and my life would be worse for it.

To my fellow gamers who agree, thank you. This debate turned into something so positive because of you. The support you showed to non-gamers in the community was outstanding. You’re growing the hobby by reaching out to others. It’s working! More people are playing D&D than ever before because those non-gamers in our community are dipping their toes in the water and becoming gamers. If they didn’t feel welcome, they’d never have given it a shot. That would mean less awesome people to play with, less amazing ideas coming from a smaller population of players and DMs, and less money in the hobby. It would also mean less people getting into RPGs in general, which would mean less awesome games from smaller publishers. Even when people you welcome into the community don’t pick up dice, they still add nuance, fresh perspectives, jokes, and depth to the conversation about D&D and spread the word about RPGs.

To those who disagree, what gives? What do you gain by not opening your arms to other people who are already here loving some aspect of the D&D brand? You know what happened when Marvel comic book readers welcomed people who didn’t read comics but enjoyed superhero movies and TV into their community? We got movies like The Avengers and Black Panther. We got TV shows like Jessica Jones and Legion. D&D has the same potential. We’re gonna have a movie soon… and if the community is big enough it might actually be a GOOD movie. More people in Hollywood will understand what D&D is and be willing to put money behind the film to get great talent to work on it. There’s endless possibilities for D&D video games, novels, and more that all come true if our community continues to grow. Don’t get in the way of that. Why ruin it for yourself? The D&D brand is larger than the game and that helps us get more awesome content both in and out of our games.

More to the point, don’t ruin it for others. If someone new wants to be part of this community, welcome them with open arms (unless they’re a bigot or a murderer or something). They’re a human being, so treat them as such. You might even make some awesome new friends when you open your mind to the D&D community being larger than just people who play the game. You don’t have anything to gain by shutting them out. They’re here and they’re badass.

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