The next Dungeons & Dragons movie, titled Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves, is set for a March 3, 2023 release, and the movie is likely to introduce an entirely new audience to the classic roleplaying game. After all, by showcasing the type of humor that can come from a D&D game, it will surely create some new and lasting fans.
Yet while many will come to the game with an established perception of how it’s played, many will come to discover that there are many elements of the game that are undersold or not sold at all. Yet many of the most underrated aspects of Dungeons & Dragons are also its best.
While rules lawyers can be pretty unpopular in D&D, they aren’t always the bane of every player’s existence. Reddit user Snowdrift742 says that one underrated aspect is “the one guy who’s actually familiar with the game, and concerned with the balance.”
Fans who pay close attention to the rules of the game can help coordinate cooperation at the table, which is essential to any functioning party. Though it may be tiring to have to work out the issues, having someone step in early can prevent a party from spiraling out of control due to a lack of balance or a willing ignorance of the rules.
The Dungeon Masters
Given that the entire game tends to be run by one player at the table, DMs just aren’t appreciated enough. They help to create the world, organize every fight, clarify rules to players, and bring each NPC to life. “We stan dungeon masters,” says Dlafrferg on Reddit.
Without DMs, a game would never run, let alone as smoothly. A bad Dungeon Master can truly ruin a campaign, but a good DM is what makes it. It’s impossible to overrate their significance to the game, which is why they deserve more appreciation than they get.
Player Character Death
While it can be scary for a first-time player, the death of a player character doesn’t always have to be bad. After all, it provides the chance for an amazing end to a character, and a player doesn’t have to leave the table after. They can always roll a new character.
Besides, there’s nothing better than watching a character go out in style. “Epic deaths are hella dope,” says Redditor Dlafrferg. Players can either live the rest of their lives as retired adventurers, or they can go on to be legends through one amazing ending.
Many underrated items in Dungeons & Dragons can be made better simply by changing a few key details to let them match a character better. Tools like the Weapon of Warning can easily be reflavored into armor or a necklace for characters who may not carry weapons but would still like the benefit of the item. It doesn’t take away from the game, but many players shy away from it.
“Reflavoring is fine and good,” says a now-deleted Reddit user. “You don’t need the core lore of the PHB for every class. Just talk with your DM and reflavor a class, a race, a feat, whatever.” Anything that makes the game more fun for everyone is right for rewriting, but player hesitation has kept it from being a prevailing concept.
Rules As Written
There are some fans who think that many players try to reflavor an element too often. For these players, the common reflavoring of tieflings to be blue or purple is fine, but reflavoring an entire class is too much. “Player’s handbook class flavour text is great and 9 times out of 10 more interesting than how its reflavoured,” says Reddit user Right-t-0.
Considering that the game is balanced around the rules as written, it is understandable that some players think the wider fanbase has gone too far with reflavoring and homebrewing elements. Even the best homebrew Dungeons & Dragons classes rarely compare to the classes as written.
Dungeons & Dragons Fourth Edition
While many fans overlook D&D 4e, some continue to appreciate it and consider it largely underrated. “Lots of great ideas from monster roles, tactical combat, minions and skill challenges. But bad math at first plus being too different killed it,” says Reddit user Ianoren.
Letting Fighters have powers was a brilliant move, as it helped keep Fighters from falling behind, compared to other players. Considering how often they can be overlooked or ignored entirely, it made them relevant. Character creation was also incredibly fun, even if 5e helped to simplify the game.
While most pregenerated characters in Dungeons & Dragons can be serious, experienced players tend to default to characters that are complete jokes. Reddit user Metal-Wolf-Enrif says there’s nothing better than “Having players who don’t play meme/trolling characters.”
There’s nothing wrong with a joke character, but many lack the depth required for a long campaign. Serious characters help ground players into the world and make engaging with the plot an absolute breathe. Otherwise, it can absolutely feel like pulling teeth or herding cats to get a party aligned towards a goal.
Often an underrated class, halflings have an extraordinary racial ability that makes major elements of the game an absolute breeze. After all, it’s almost impossible to roll a natural 1, as halflings can reroll when they do. “Rolling a one on a d20 and just shrugging it off is so nice!” says Reddit user HilmNotABot001. “Rolling a 2 feels worse then before though.”
While failure is definitely fun in D&D, knowing that a character isn’t going to critically fail in a life-or-death instance can be reassuring to an entire party. After all, no one wants the cleric to roll a 1 on a healing check, or else it can mean some misplaced bandages or a life-threatening situation.
While some Dungeons & Dragons rangers can be overpowered, the vast majority of the class is fairly weak, compared to other classes, which has made it entirely underrated. After all, it’s hard to justify carrying a bow and arrows into a life-or-death situation when the rest of the party has magic or a giant hammer.
”Bad features don’t make a class bad. A lack of good features does, and Rangers don’t lack good features,” argues Reddit user BeerPanda95. Volley is a brilliant feature that lends the class a lot of firepower, and healing magic can ensure that rangers can play both offensively and as a support class, making them incredibly versatile.
It’s easy to overlook the tools that players select at the start of the game. From artisan tools to gear to dice or playing cards, it can all seem absolutely useless. Yet it doesn’t take much to make them absolutely essential to the progression of a campaign.
“Artisans tools are great for adding depth to any character in downtime, and the DM can create situations where these proficiencies have a lot of utility,” says Reddit user CilantroLad. All it takes is a little creativity to ensure that everyone can have fun and enjoy the game however they want to play it. Even mundane tools can be helpful, especially if a gambling player character manages to get a noble king to agree to a game.
Next: 10 Memes That Perfectly Sum Up Playing A Level 1 Dungeons & Dragons Character