Dungeons & Dragons Clichés New D&D Players Should Always Avoid

While there's no wrong way to play Dungeons and Dragons, some tropes that new players can fall into when creating their characters can cause problems.

While there's no wrong way to play Dungeons & Dragons, players new to the hobby tend to fall into clichés when building their characters, which can have a detrimental effect on the game if not handled properly. Like other board games, DnD is incredibly open-ended, allowing for effectively unlimited unique characters. Still, some of the same stereotypes keep popping up among players, limiting the possibilities of the game.

The origin of these clichés is not always clear, although they readily perpetuate through various gaming groups and online communities. While they certainly won't ruin the game themselves, players should be aware of why they're making certain choices when building their first DnD character. Sticking to a common trope for its own sake is rarely a good idea.

D&D Characters Don't Need Tragic Backstories

There's an old adage about DnD character backstories - "happy people don't make adventurers." While it's snappy, oft-repeated, and does have some truth to it, this statement is largely incorrect of. The motivations that drive risk takers are as varied as the risk takers themselves, and are certainly not necessarily the result of trauma.

A tragic backstory can certainly provide a strong case for taking risks (revenge for a lost loved one is A popular choice for good reason). However, characters can begin their adventurous lives for a variety of less tragic reasons. Maybe they're the latest in a long line of adventurers spanning generations, or a famous hunter seeking to take on the most powerful monsters DnD has to offer. In fact, a little imagination can provide some incredibly compelling backstories.

The character's tragic past also causes some minor complications. If a character ends up with no friends or family, it's very difficult for the DM to bring in friendly NPCs that the character might bond with. While it's certainly not mandatory, doing so makes it easy to attract players to the role. Also, the truly tragic backstory might not match the tone of the rest of the game. Of course, players should communicate with others at the table to make sure their choices are appropriate for what others are doing.

D&D Mistakes - The Adventure Should Be The Spotlight

Another backstory-related bug that players new to the DnD hobby can run into is, surprisingly, overdeveloping their character's history. While a character with zero backstory can be boring and unmotivated, too much backstory can create A whole bunch of other questions. As interesting as a character's past can be, it never takes center stage in current events. Adventure should be the most fun part of your character's life - it's a big part of adventure.

That's not to say that a character's backstory has to be boring, just that it needs to fit with where they are now. A first-level fighter might not have slayed dragons; instead, if the player started higher, their adventurers might be more experienced. It doesn't make sense for a level 8 paladin that she's been keeping the monastery tidy in the past.

Lone Wolf D&D Players Can Cause Larger Party Issues

Whether it's a brash rogue, a reclusive introvert, or the only evil character at a DnD party, many characters in Dungeons & Dragons have a reason to want to be left alone. Ideally, a good DM will facilitate some of these, giving each character a moment to stand out from the main group. However, some players may go too far and create loner characters who really don't want to party.

Fundamentally, DnD is a team-based game - cooperation is often the key to success Successfully, no one plays a single protagonist. Having one character constantly running away on his own breaks the mold, shining the spotlight disproportionately on one player. At best, this limits opportunities for collaborative storytelling. At worst, it forces players to wait their turn to play. While loners are fun, players should create characters who are willing to cooperate and spend time with other people.

D&D Bards Are Overly Stereotyped

Of the various classes in DnD, the bard is probably the most unfounded joke. Bard stereotypes abound - plenty of players have stories of overly provocative bards trying to seduce villains, and the class has a (frankly undeserved) reputation in the DnD community. The common perception that bards are promiscuous, dramatic, and debonair can be a huge pitfall for new players, who might think that's the only way to play the class.

DnD content creator and cosplayer Ginny Di tackles this question in an excellent video, explaining and subverting the often exaggerated traits of bards. She breaks down classes and the Charisma ability score they depend on, getting down to the essence, and expanding on alternate explanations for bard abilities. Although players are sure It's possible to play a stereotypical bard, and doing so greatly limits the capabilities of the class and the stories that Dungeons and Dragons can tell.

New D&D Players Shouldn't Play A Chaotic Stupid Character

DnD's faction system plays a primarily narrative role in 5th edition - it's a holdover from an earlier period, when it was incorporated into gameplay more frequently. However, it's still a useful tool for judging how a character might act in a given situation, so it's no surprise that alignment remains a common point of discussion in DnD.

Chaotic Stupid is certainly not an actual faction, but a label used for a subset of unthought-out behavior that some players may exhibit. While characters in Chaotic Dungeons & Dragons may break out of conventional ways of thinking and behaving, ignore rules they disagree with, or act impulsively, Chaotic Dungeons & Dragons characters act without any motivational considerations. Their behavior can involve starting random fights, constant attempts at stealing, and performing dangerous stunts with reckless recklessness.

Playing like this does not represent a character's alignment; while these actions may seem sinister, DnD alignments generally make sense in the game's fiction. The result is almost always chaotic stupid characters A player doesn't take the game as seriously as everyone else at their table. It's an odd point—games are meant to be fun, and certainly don't need to be filled with grim, stoic, and apathetic heroes—and a player who isn't very engaged in a Dungeons & Dragons game can seriously describe the fun of someone else.

More: Useless D&D character builds in combat (but still fun)

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