Event Title

The Adventuring Party in Dungeons & Dragons: An Exploratory Study

Poster Number

13

Faculty Mentor

Dr. Darren Ritzer

College

College of Arts and Sciences

Department

Psychology

Honors Thesis Committee

Darren Ritzer, Ph.D.; Merry Sleigh, Ph.D.; Christina Stiles, M.L.A.

Location

Rutledge

Start Date

22-4-2016 12:00 PM

End Date

22-4-2016 2:00 PM

Description

Many studies have been conducted investigating online role-playing games (RPGs) and the people who play them; however, little research has been done examining their predecessor: tabletop RPGs (TRPGs). TRPGs, such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and others have regained popularity in the past several years; however, what little research has been done on them focuses on individual personality type. The role of the group, or adventuring party, in TRPGs, though it plays a crucial role in the platform, has yet to be explored. This exploratory study examined the creation of an adventuring party, the relationship between players and the characters they play, and how players work together to interact with a fictional world during gameplay. Participants in this study formed a focus group and played through several scenarios using the rules from 5e Dungeons & Dragons. The researcher acted as the game master (GM) controlling the setting and the non-player characters (NPCs). Each session concluded with a post-action review led by the researcher in which the participants discussed the events of the session and potential questions for future research. Observing the creation of an adventuring party offered not only a closer look at TRPGs, but also a chance to look at group functions in a casual setting. Although the interactions of a single adventuring party can not be generalized to the TRPG community as a whole, this study raised some interesting questions about the interactions of adventuring parties and the implications for other group settings.

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Apr 22nd, 12:00 PM Apr 22nd, 2:00 PM

The Adventuring Party in Dungeons & Dragons: An Exploratory Study

Rutledge

Many studies have been conducted investigating online role-playing games (RPGs) and the people who play them; however, little research has been done examining their predecessor: tabletop RPGs (TRPGs). TRPGs, such as Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Savage Worlds, and others have regained popularity in the past several years; however, what little research has been done on them focuses on individual personality type. The role of the group, or adventuring party, in TRPGs, though it plays a crucial role in the platform, has yet to be explored. This exploratory study examined the creation of an adventuring party, the relationship between players and the characters they play, and how players work together to interact with a fictional world during gameplay. Participants in this study formed a focus group and played through several scenarios using the rules from 5e Dungeons & Dragons. The researcher acted as the game master (GM) controlling the setting and the non-player characters (NPCs). Each session concluded with a post-action review led by the researcher in which the participants discussed the events of the session and potential questions for future research. Observing the creation of an adventuring party offered not only a closer look at TRPGs, but also a chance to look at group functions in a casual setting. Although the interactions of a single adventuring party can not be generalized to the TRPG community as a whole, this study raised some interesting questions about the interactions of adventuring parties and the implications for other group settings.