Wednesday, April 14, 2010

5 ways to make your girlfriend play D&D

Dungeons and Dragons is a very misunderstood game. Many people see it as the domain of the truly geeky, or criminally deranged. It is widely viewed as the epitome of uncool by the uninitiated. Many gamers have to explain why they play D&D when confronted by parents and peers. And it is especially dangerous around the girlfriend. Many a D&D gamer has come face to face with the dilemma of telling their girlfriend they are the ultimate geek. We don't always agree with the stigma that surrounds D&D gaming, but we know it is there.

I started dating my girlfriend Ashley about 6 years ago. When I told her that I played D&D she laughed and told me a story about how she and her friends would find players on her campus and mock them behind their backs while watching them. The gamers were oblivious to her presence, but she was joyfully perpetrating the belief that D&D is really nerdy. It has taken me six years but now she's interested in giving the game a try.

So how did I change her mind? I didn't use all 5 of these tricks on her. A couple is usually all you will need. But any combination of the 10 things below will get your girl to at least give it a try. And if none of these will do it, and you're a gamer in your blood and bones, then it may be time to find a new girlfriend. You may be giving up sex, but that's why we have internet porn.

5. Promise her character a pseudo-dragon familiar at level 1 or 2. Pseudo-dragon familiars are not unheard of and if you make it really cute it can be a big help. Just don't do something stupid like kill the dragon.
4. Bribe her. Tell her that for every game she plays with you you will watch one of her movies or TV shows she likes that you can't stand. I used this trick on Ashley. I promised her I would watch one of her snooty foreign films, or a horror film (I don't care much for horror) if she would give the game a try.
3. Take her shopping. Don't freak out guys. This isn't as bad as it sounds. What you do is take her shopping for her own dice. This will get her into the game by making her feel involved right away. Any experienced D&D player knows the importance of having your own dice. Initiate her into the cult of D&D by teaching her how important dice are and how they have to reflect you. Ashley got a pair of pink and black dice, and it made her really excited to use them.
2. Ease her into it. If you invite her to hang out with you during a game she may take you up on it out of morbid curiosity. This is a chance to show her that D&D is a social event and that it is fun. If you have a player who likes to wear sweat pants and eat Cheetos, apologize for him and beat up his character later.

Take the opporunity to show her how the role playing is fun and how it lets you express emotions and be heroic. But make sure that none of your players are trying to have sex with the hot elf chick at the tavern.
1. Do a weird game. By a weird game I mean do something that is less traditional D&D and something really off the wall. If you can incorporate My Little Pony figurines it will do a lot. I know I love smashing enemies with My Little Pony. Ponies rock. I'm getting sidetracked again.

I got an idea for a dungeon from Something Positive, one of my favorite web-comics. The dungeon involved the High Priestess Cadbury raising the dark god Caw'tn Tayle from his hibernation inside a giant egg. When the party is exploring the cave they get attacked by giant Peeps and have to fight the mini-bosses Russel and Stover. It's really corny, but it is a fun way to get your girlfriend excited about the variety of dungeons that D&D can have.

I hope these ideas work for you. They worked well for me. It is important, for the rest of your players, that if you get your girlfriend to play she doesn't abuse the power of being the Dungeon Master's girl. Be fair to her and don't hold back so that your players don't think you're treating her special. Also be careful not to be too harsh on her and overcompensate the wrong way. This will get her to quit faster than anything else you could do. With a little practice and a little time, you can turn your girlfriend into a hot gamer chick.


  1. You really didn't talk enough about how hot I am :P

    Incorporating My Little Ponies is a BRILLIANT MOVE.

  2. Of course it is brilliant. Who doesn't love ponies?

  3. Number 5 really works. And the advice on NOT killing the dragon is very important.

  4. I'd just like to say that I found this article particularly amusing, as I'm currently playing a campaign with some of my friends, and my boyfriend is the ONLY guy in the entire group. :)