Dungeons & Dragons is an amazing game. It helps people make friends, helps people work on social skills, it can even be used therapeutically, and as we all know, it makes for a damn good web show. However, for all of the awesome stuff that D&D does, it also holds a dark power. Yes, friends, our beloved RPG can not only create relationships, but it can also destroy them. Once, it nearly destroyed a Major League Baseball team from within.
I’m not even joking.
The Royals are a baseball team out of Kansas City, Missouri, and prior to the season starting, the team started up a D&D campaign. What started as a pleasant escape and a unique way to build camaraderie among teammates slow deteriorated and caused such a huge rift among Royals players that it started to effect how the team played. The Royals Review website got an interview with one of the players who anonymously explained the situation in more detail.
The Royals DM was Ned Yost, the team’s manager. While it’s kind of awesome that the team’s manager stepped up to the DM plate, apparently Yost was no Matthew Mercer. Yost’s campaigns were confusing, according to the Royal Review’s anonymous informant, and Yost also had a really bad habit of pitting the players against monsters that were far too advanced. However, the dice would always seem to roll just right, and the adventurers would find themselves victorious despite overwhelming odds. While the rolls were good, the team was happy–it was actually kind of funny to them. Of course, Lady Luck does not always bless the team’s rolls, and so tensions run high whenever the natural twenties become more and more rare.
But a shaky DM isn’t the only problem. There’s also the issue of the team’s healer, played by Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar. The role of the healer is crucial to a campaign, and it is important that they are very careful in how they interact with threats. Escobar, however, adheres to the Leeroy Jenkins school of thought, and has a bad habit of plowing ahead, right into the clutches of danger. Much like Yost’s overly challenging monster fights, Escobar’s Leeroy Jenkins antics made the team laugh at first–until they didn’t stop. It didn’t take long for the joke to get old, and super obnoxious.
With issues like that paired with players who are really dedicated and invested in the game, it seems this fun game of D&D pulled the Royals at the seams. Tensions weren’t only high on game night, but the conflict also made the Royals play pretty poorly. While the team is working to repair this D&D sized rift among them, fans can only hope they can get their act together soon enough to start winning more games. I dunno, maybe they should just switch to watching Critical Role together rather than actually playing during the baseball season.
Has D&D caused rifts in your friend groups? How did you deal with it? Let’s talk about it in the comments!
Image credit: Keith Allison/Flickr