Dealing with Drama in D&D

There’s no question about it- playing Dungeons and Dragons is one of the most fun, rewarding, and psychologically beneficial games I’ve ever played. I’ve been a part of three separate D&D campaigns now, and there’s a lot of magnificent things to be said of small group table-top role playing in its purest form. However, sometimes real life contentions can sneak their way in to your fantasy realm. In fact, two of the three campaigns I’ve played have given way to out-of-game drama at one point or another.

So in the spirit of realizing every conflict and every party is unique, here are some general pointers on dealing with D&D drama:

1. Realize You’re Not Alone

If you take a look at this D&D reddit you’ll notice that a lot of groups have experienced real-life drama that affected game play. Whether you’re a disrespected DM, or an anxiety-ridden peacekeeper, it’s likely you’ll find a situation similar to yours somewhere on that reddit. While dealing with the uneasy feelings that accompany your inter-party conflict, it’s helpful to know that others have also “been there” and have needed to ask opinions from the greater D&D community.

2. If It’s Player-On-Player Drama, Talk To Your Agitator Directly

Same rules as work apply here- before going to someone’s supervisor to complain, talk to your co-worker directly about what’s bothering you. Jumping over your party-member and immediately lamenting to your DM will only escalate the situation and raise tensions for everyone. Only if that person continues to instigate you, or simply won’t hear you should you go to your DM. Who knows? You might be surprised to find out that your drama was easily fixable simply by speaking your mind.

3. No D&D Is Better Than Bad D&D

At the heart and soul of D&D is this simple rule: fun. If you no longer look forward to your D&D sessions because its too stressful, then long story made short: it’s simply not worth it. You are a free agent, and no one is forcing you to continue on in a miserable state. If you are going to quit your party and/or end a campaign due to drama IRL, it’s of course best to try to do so in a way that communicates your concerns and feelings clearly to everyone involved.
Have you experience D&D drama? How did you handle it? Let us know in the comments!

One thought on “Dealing with Drama in D&D

  1. I’ve experienced conflict in almost every campaign that I’ve been in. The good news is that D&D has been a safe place for me to develop conflict management skills that have proven very valuable elsewhere in life. It’s been rewarding to offer that kind of opportunity to two players with Asperger’s Syndrome in the campaign I’m currently running. It may have caused some awkward moments in the game…but it’s been great to see them improve on compromising, self-awareness, and communication.


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