D&D: You can do anything... within reason

July 28, 2018

There is a well-known saying in D&D: "You can do whatever you want". This is meant to reflect the versatility of Dungeons and Dragons; if you're playing in a fantasy setting, the sky is literally the limit; if you're playing on a sci-fi setting, your limit might even be the outer space.

Part of the fun of playing Dungeons and Dragons is that different players will come up with different solutions for the exact same problem. And, sometimes, people will come up with weird and creative solutions who will be remembered by the players sometimes even years after the game has been finished.

However, even within an imagination-based game such as D&D you need to have some rules. In a fantasy setting, the sky might be your limit but, if you're a human, you need to either have a flying mount to get there, or have someone (or yourself) cast the Fly spell on you. If you're playing on a sci-fi setting and want to go explore the outer space, you're going to need a spaceship of some kind.

The laws of biology and physics still apply to D&D. Which leads us to another well-known saying in D&D, made popular by Matthew Mercer (the DM of Critical Role): "You can certainly try". This means that, even though "you can do whatever you want" in D&D, if you choose to do something irrational, there will be consequences, just like in real life. Sometimes, the consequences are minor, others, they can be fatal.

You want to cast some magic during a pit fight, to enhance the strength of the brawler you're betting on? If the booker sees you, you might end up in jail. You want to have your human character jump off a cliff into the ocean? Then they may just roll bad and fall into their death. You want to go explore the outer space without an astronaut suit? You will run out of oxygen and die.

Again, that does not mean that you can't still try to do silly things from time to time. You may get lucky and roll high enough on the dice to succeed. Either way, D&D is just a game so just make sure you're having fun. Besides, it's the best moments and the worse that make the most memorable D&D moments. Critical Failures can be just as fun and memorable as Critical Successes.

What about you? What is the most memorable thing that has ever happened in one of your sessions? Let me know in the comments below.

Go ahead, treat yourself to something else:


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