Everything I need to know I learned from D&D

Chad sez, "Last night I gave a talk at IgniteOKC, Oklahoma City's part of the Ignite series of talking events, called 'All I Need to Know About Life I Learned from Dungeons and Dragons.' I had a ton of fun with it and I think it will be of interest to any fans of roleplaying games in general and D&D specifically. I am especially proud of my slides, which are all hand drawn by me :)"

This was an absolutely sweet little talk -- Chad, you should put your slides online separately, since they're a little hard to make out in the video.

All I need to know about life I learned from Dungeons and Dragons - an IgniteOKC talk (Thanks, Chad!)


  1. All I need to know about life I learned from Pyroto Mountain.

    Lesson 1: Make the effort to write well. People will notice it.

    Lesson 2: Avoid spelling and grammar mistakes. People tend take you more seriously. Or attack you.

    Lesson 3: Research, research, research.

    Lesson 4: Often, you have a good reason for being paranoid. You will get zotted eventually.

    Lesson 5: Don’t complain. It’s inevitable. Just get back up, find out who your friends are, and soldier on.

    Lesson 6: Sometimes, a Seismoros Event can make things interesting again. Even when you’re the one on top.

  2. Lesson #7: Know at least one grammar Nazi, as they do love to proofread stuff for free.

    Honestly, I know it is nitpicky, but the “role your 20” on that slide was painful to the nerd and student in me.

    1. Dang, busted. Chef Oxygen, I did not catch that improper word usage until after I had submitted the slides. In my defense, I was finishing the slides at 2am and really out of it :)

  3. Yeah, great talk. I loved more the first time I heard it 7 years ago when Sherman Alexie did it at the Richard Hugo House.

  4. This video is bookmarked.

    I am often asked just what D&D/RPG is. I think this video is a good thing to steer such questioners as I always have a hard time getting someone to understand the abstract nature of the rules and concepts without actually sitting them down at a table and playing the game.

  5. @1: I was a huge Pyroto obsessive. I used to print out the questions and glue them in alphabetical order to 3×5 cards that I’d take to the library and research. What city did you play in?

    1. Montreal. Mountain 1A (or A1, I can’t remember which is correct). More precisely, Tim’s Campbell’s Pyroto, when he still lived in Cartierville, and when he moved to TMR.

      Aside from actual research, a large part of the Montreal Pyroto Community’s activities was trading question lists at the PWGT (Permanent Weekly Get-Together), every Friday evening at the “lower bar” at The Annex on Bishop street.

      My little cadre of wizards developed SPLIFF: Standard Pyroto List Information File Format. More later…

  6. word! i’d add, from my own experience, that whenever a beholder has you suspended above the ground so that you can’t get to them, don’t be afraid to throw your two handed vorpal sword end over end. the dm will call you crazy, but if you roll a 20 (as I did) they will not be able to deny you.


  7. In high school, I took a Ancient Classics course and simultaneously, and stupidly, took another year of Latin. My teacher accused me of plagiarism in my final paper, because he could not believe such an lazy slacker from his Latin class would have such insight and enthusiasm for the literature and mythology of ancient Greece and Rome. Where did I learn from? AD&D. Thanks TSR, for ruining my experience of academics once and for all. Yours, another chronically unemployed misanthrope.

  8. Everything I needed to know about videotaping my friend’s talk I learned from “Everything I need to know I learned from D&D”: You can videotape your friend or you can hoot and cheer for your friend, but you cannot do both.

  9. That’s a great talk. However, I hate to say it, but some dude who can’t handle the 3.5e grapple rules is a bit suspect– on par with a gnome.

  10. What a fun talk! I came very late to dungeons and dragons, I played my first game in November, but I’m finding it a great framework for storytelling.

    I’ve learned that D&D won’t lead one to demon worship or suicide, which was My mom’s fear in the 80’that prevented me from playing as a kid). But it does teach and understanding of probability distribution, mythology, basic storytelling techniques and economics.

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