I’ve been playing D&D (Dungeons and Dragons) for over a year now, and despite the fact that I still feel like a total newb a lot of the time, I have actually learned a lot about the game and how people like to play it. There may be endless character combinations, but when it comes to the players themselves, I firmly believe everyone fits into one of five stereotypes:
1. The Min-Maxxer
The Min-Maxxer is the person who ramps up their stats for one, mayyybe two abilities and completely neglects the other ones. This is your hyper-charismatic bard who literally can’t lift a pencil without losing hitpoints, or your borderline-indestructible barbarian who is a straight-up idiot. These people are both fun and painfully obnoxious to play with, because they are incredibly amazing for one specific purpose, but when you aren’t engaging in their Thing, they tend to zone out. Their role play is usually either incredible or completely non-existent. They’re either devoted to this painfully min-maxed character and the completely whack creature they would actually be, or they’re just trying to make their character as overpowered as possible to get lots of HP and keep leveling up to become even more overpowered.
2. The Disaster
Hi, it’s me. The Disaster player is not necessarily a disaster themselves (though we often are), but they are irrationally dedicated to making their character as disastrous as possible. They say playing up your character’s flaws makes gameplay more interesting, but Disaster players take this bit of advice a little too seriously. And by that I mean that we seem to exclusively play to our character’s flaws and utterly abandon their better qualities. Disaster players are both a DM’s (Dungeon Master’s) dream and their worst nightmare, because they bring a ton of variety but they can also completely derail a campaign with their utterly boneheaded choices. For instance, I insisted on touching a weird gate because my character is supposed to be impulsive, and accidentally got teleported out of the dungeon, along with our rogue who was trying to grapple me to stop me, leaving our party two members short to fight the big bad Boss. Oops. Our DM spent hours on the phone with another DM friend trying to figure out how to avoid a TPK (Total Party Kill) due to my stupidity. But hey, some super cool story stuff came from it, so, y’know, you’re welcome.
3. The DM Wannabe
The DM Wannabe is both your greatest frustration and your greatest asset as a player in D&D. These people go head to head with your DM more often than two charging bulls both covered in red paint. The DM Wannabe is convinced that they know better than the DM, and they will prove it, dammit. They know the rules inside out and backwards, but the thing is, most D&D campaigns are homebrewed to some extent, so what might seem, at first glance, to be a rule violation on the part of your DM, may actually just be a rule modification to make the game more fun for you and your fellow players. But this player will set themselves on fire before they let the party get screwed over by any mistakes or unannounced rule changes on the part of the DM. Sometimes they completely save your ass when the DM does make a mistake, but other times they just make things vaguely uncomfortable as they challenge the power dynamics, yet again, for literally no reason other than their own ego.
4. The Amnesiac
It does not matter how long this person has actually played D&D, the moment they show up for a session, all of their prior knowledge immediately flies out the window. You can have intelligent, detailed discussion with them about the game at work or at a bar, but as soon as the time comes to actually play, the Amnesiac forgets everything from what triggers an opportunity attack to how to do basic addition. This is the player who has to look up their Perception modifier every. damn. time. even if they’ve rolled for it 80 times in the last two hours. If your Amnesiac is particularly bad, they may even forget which one is the d20 (the dice you roll 99% of the time in D&D). Everyone both loves and loathes the Amnesiac. You love them because they take the game seriously, they don’t want to accidentally mix up a single number or function, so they look everything up when they forget. But you loathe them because they dramatically slow down the game, and you desperately want to blurt out “Your initiative bonus is +4! Just…add 4!!!!!” while tearing out your hair. But they are a grown-ass adult and you need to let them do this by themselves, even if you have their entire character sheet basically memorized at this point.
5. The Accessorizor
This player is low-key only in the game to satisfy their goblin instincts for hoarding. They have at least 10 sets of dice, every player book published in recent memory, and hundreds of minis, including like 40 iterations of their character in different badass poses. They are the most likely to have a bag of “dead dice” that have betrayed them and will never return from the personalized leather pouch to which they have been banished. Playing with an Accessorizor is usually amazing, because they’re often pretty generous. They’ll probably bring you all kinds of cool D&D accessories, and you can bet all of your birthday/Hanukkah/baby shower gifts from here on out are going to be D&D themed as well.