Hi Reddit! We are Adam Johns and Adam Davis. Since 2011 we’ve been running therapeutic groups using Dungeons and Dragons and other games to help teens and adolescents build confidence, relieve anxiety, and develop social skills. Many of our participants struggle with autism-related challenges, and we’ve found that games of all kinds, but especially Dungeons and Dragons, can help them build much-needed skills. We’ve used our training in psychology, education, family therapy, and drama therapy to design in-game encounters to specifically help build real-world skills.

We’ve spoken about our work at conventions around the country, and we’ve been featured in Kotaku, Geek and Sundry, the BBC, and we’ve appeared on the official Dungeons and Dragons podcast. Most recently we appeared on the Penny Arcade C-Team Table Talk.

We just launched the non-profit Game to Grow along with a crowdfunder in order to expand our work and spread it around the world. Donations to our Generosity campaign go directly to helping us launch more groups to serve even more kids and teens with lagging social skill development!

A game in every home! Ask us anything! (And proof)

1st Edit: Thank you for all of the great questions! We're going to take a quick coffee break but keep the questions coming in and we'll get to them as soon as we can.

2nd Edit: We're back and answering questions. We'll probably have to stop around 3:00 PST so that we can plan our groups for this evening, but we'll get to as many questions as we can before we stop.

Final Edit: We've got to head out to plan our groups, but thank you everyone for all the great questions! Especially thank you for all of your generous donations to the crowdfunder! You help make this work possible and are helping us to get services out to the many people who need them. I'm sorry if we weren't able to answer your question, but please feel free to email us at contact at gametogrow.org if you have any questions that we didn't get to! May all your hits be crits!

Comments: 143 • Responses: 49  • Date: 

Kaarous26 karma

Well I'll get the obvious question out of the way first. What edition do you play, and why that one in particular?

gametogrow33 karma

Davis here. Great question! We play mostly 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons. We've found that is has enough rules to provide the structure needed for our players to feel safe and secure in the boundaries of the game, while still providing enough openness to be able to modify and ignore the rules when necessary. We've also played other games and incorporated other mechanics, but D&D 5e has been the game we've used the most. We also grew up playing earlier editions, so it's something we've loved for a long time.

Kaarous11 karma

I've played since the days of THACO, and imo 5th is the most accessible the game has ever been. Good choice.

Next question I guess then, minis or no minis?

gametogrow25 karma

Davis again - It depends! Most of the time when we use the battle grid (which we don't always do), we use dice to represent both the players and the enemies. We have a set of d6s we use and number them off. We have MAX five players per group, so we have blue d6s from 1-5 for players, and red d6s to represent enemies. Sometimes larger enemies will have d8s, or sometimes larger dice for huge creatures. Dice are great for tactics on a battle grid, without being so literal that we can't use our imaginations, or add extra stuff if we need to be flexible.

nsadonvisadjco3 karma

Do you know 13th age, and if so, what's your opinion of that rpg system?

gametogrow5 karma

Davis here. We've met the creators a few times, but I've only played in a few sessions. I really like the versatility of their character creation mechanic with the backstory determining many of the dice rolls. I haven't played enough to give an educated answer as to its viability for therapeutic outcomes, but I've definitely been inspired by this mechanic.

Marmite_Badger25 karma

Oh jeez, I'd better ask a constructive and interesting question...

rolls a 1

...My favourite colour is summer?

gametogrow20 karma

Johns here. No way! My favorite flavor is purple! What are the chances!?

Ban_Deet22 karma

I have a game running with military veterans and we've been debating launching something similar to help other vets work through anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues. Any advice for us?

gametogrow31 karma

Johns here -- You should absolutely get something started with vets! We've been wanting to expand into that same direction, as it is a population that really could benefit from these kinds of services.

I suppose the best advice that I could offer is that, as you're getting started, make sure that the game is more about play and creating a save space than about the therapy. Often just having a place that you can go where there are others with a similar challenge and you feel welcome (and maybe even excited) to go each week serves more than anything else can.

Secondly, as you play, keep in mind that every choice a player make says something about them, but it might not always say what you think it is saying.

nvrnxt12 karma

I love that you’re committed towards working with all types of learners.

Any chance you’ll offer full day experiences for schools who see the value of facilitating leadership, collaboration, and public speaking skills that RPGs instill?

We’ve built a game based learning RPG simulations for our students that integrates with our curricula, but it’s clunky and hard to pull off and we’re curious about the world of expert facilitators—you seem to be two!

gametogrow6 karma

Davis here: We've run summer camps, but haven't run full-day experiences in schools. I've heard of some great incorporations of RPG elements in schools, specifically around building a "party mindset" to build collaborative groups with individual specialties. I'd love to hear more about your program and possibly to offer insights!

KabukiGhost10 karma

Hi guys from Portland, OR. A colleague of mine and I are attempting to set up a similar model here in PDX. Have you been successful in billing insurance for your service, and, if so, under what category do you bill?

F/U question: do you pair individual tx with your gaming groups?

gametogrow11 karma

Johns here -- I'll answer this in reverse! My background is in family therapy, and I'm a licensed marriage and family therapist. I do see some of our clients in individual treatment and we have found some great success on that end. It is awesome to get to have one on one conversations with clients about their characters or group dynamics in our weekly games. It gives a great chance for them to really understand why they play their characters the way that they do.

We have had some minor success billing insurance. We don't bill directly, but some of our clients have submitted superbills to insurance (an invoice of services) and have gotten reimbursements. Essentially, we've found that in the eyes of the insurance company, our services are much different than any other group therapy service. So we bill the same as a group therapy session.

KabukiGhost6 karma

Thank you Johns! We've both seen the therapeutic benefits of group RPG gaming and have tossed around the idea of exploring framing therapeutic interventions utilizing RPGs for years now. It's inspiring to see the work you both have done that demonstrates its efficacy.

If I could ask another question: Do players come into the space you set up with an agreed upon commitment for 'x' number of games? Is the agreement that they complete a 'campaign'? Are there regular check-ins on progress and do you then design further challenges on the fly to meet therapeutic goals?

gametogrow12 karma

Johns still -- We run on a quarter system to match up with schools as much as possible. Each quarter is 10 sessions long. The participants (and parents) are aware that the expectation is that they will attend all 10 sessions for the quarter (outside of illness or emergencies).

We have found that consistent attendance is really important to the group cohesion. Obviously it disrupts the story if a character is missing, but more than that it can disrupt the group dynamics between players, and make someone miss out on an important inside joke (which then makes them feel that they are "outside" the group). So we encourage people to miss as few sessions as possible.

We check in with parents at least once per quarter (more if needed) and will check in with teachers or other counselors where appropriate, as well. We always want to know about changes at home or school, whether good or bad. We will also create challenges in the game for skills that we see them struggling with while we're playing.

jjoshnelson10 karma

What was your favorite session? Was it a funny instance in D&D? or a happy breakthrough moment?

gametogrow47 karma

Davis here. I have lots of favorite sessions! They're not all easy, and they're not all breakthroughs, but it is amazing to be able to play a game I've loved for most of my life and use it to help kids. One of my favorite sessions was one which was the culmination of a plot where a villain was trying to capture ghosts (not unlike ghostbusters) to gain all of their knowledge and power. Of course, the heroes defeated him, but the ghosts were let loose and inhabited a building that had anthropomorphised and was rampaging (once again, not unlike Ghostbusters). The players had to jump from another building into the house, then go from room to room and talk to the ghosts to get them to go to rest. The players spoke to ghosts struggling with regret, betrayal, guilt, etc. and talk to them. It gave the players an opportunity to say things to the ghosts like "Hey, just because you've made mistakes doesn't mean it has to define you." or "It makes sense for you to be so mad! You were hurt, but you're not alone." It was a rich session, and every player had the opportunity to talk to a ghost that needed to hear a message that they themselves needed to hear or needed to say. The final ghost was one who regretted never telling his kids he was proud of them, and I played that ghost as an NPC and told each one of them how proud I was of them and how much I believed in their potential. It was powerful!

Duke_Paul7 karma

Hey guys, thanks for the good work and thanks for doing an AMA!

Most important question: What version of D&D? Second most important question: How do you feel about onions? Third most important question: How did you come up with the idea to use tabletop games for adolescent therapy?

gametogrow10 karma

Johns here -- We use 5th edition D&D, as we've found it to be both very versatile and easily accessible to new players.

I like onions, but they make me very sad. Not because of syn-propanethial-S-oxide, but because it seems like no one really appreciates their layers.

We started using tabletop games while we were in grad school working for another company. They had tabletop games for social skill development, but they were more like a drop in group than an intentionally facilitated experience. Adam Davis was originally running that group along with an improv skills group and his co-facilitator left. He found out my deep dark secret that I was a huge geek, and invited me to come get paid to play D&D with him.

We would go plan out the improv group and Davis would pull from his knowledge and background in Drama Therapy when we realized that D&D was basically sit down Improv. So we started to design in game scenarios that we knew would work on the specific areas of growth that our clients were looking for. We were not prepared for just how amazing it would be at addressing those challenges, nor for the path it would lead us down.

Comicspedia7 karma

Was there a specific moment in the early days where you realized you might be on to something? That it wasn't something just for fun, you could see how it could be something more?

gametogrow22 karma

Johns here. I suppose most of those experiences came in the planning phase for groups for me. Adam Davis and I went to our early groups on the east side, in Bellevue, and we would often carpool over early in order to beat traffic. We would then sit in coffee shops (very Seattle of us) and plan out our day.

Those were the moments where we really had the time to sit down and plan a group for several hours (oh how I miss those days now). It gave us a lot of time to think about the challenges of the group members and individuals. I can remember filling up one of my small moleskin notebooks (also very Seattle of me) with puzzles, ideas, NPC names, and therapist mumbo-jumbo.

I suppose the experience that stood out for me the most was the Runic Tattoos story.

In those early days we didn't know what the challenges of our players would be or even how many people we would have. So we designed our first quarter sessions with a very open ended story. In one instance we had 10 players showing up at once, who would be split into two tables after the first day. We had them come into a soup kitchen (there is no alcohol in our games, people just drink soup from mugs) and had to leave their weapons in a magically sealed chest by the front door when they came in. They met the soup chef and got their soup mugs, when suddenly skeletons burst from the walls and flooring and started to attack everyone.

We went around the table and each player stated what they wanted to do to respond to the skeletons. Some were casting spells, some were using tables or chairs to hit skeletons, etc.

We got around to one player who held up his hands in front of him so that he could see the inside of his forearms. He said, "I summon my weapons to myself." He had designed a character with Runic Tattoos on the inside of his arms which he could activate to summon his weapons to his hands. I told him, "They don't come, they are magically sealed in the chest." Then he started to get really angry. His face turned red, his hands clenched into fists, and he started to breath heavily. He said, "If I can't summon my weapons to myself then my character is useless. This was the whole point of my character...." And then Adam Davis turned to him and said, "Yeah, your character is really angry. What does he do next?"

And I visibly saw the anger drain from him. He unclenched his fists and said, "I rip the arms off of the skeleton and beat him to death with his own arms."

And I said, "YES! You do exactly that and wail on the now disarmed skeletons with is own arms."

It was then that we realized that there was a real power to the separation of yourself and your character, and that moving between being your character or being yourself could give tremendous opportunity to lower defenses or let you develop a greater personal insight and highlight your goals or challenges.

probably_llamas7 karma

What are some of the non-role playing games you use and do you pay them in group setting or one on one?

gametogrow13 karma

Here are a few of our favorite games we play in groups:

[Hanabi](https://amzn.com/B00CYQ9Q76) Hanabi is a cooperative game about building a fireworks display. It's similar to a cooperative solitaire, in that cards must be placed into piles on the table in specific order. What makes this game unique is that players hold their cards facing away from them, and must be given clues about the cards in their hands by other players.

[Once Upon a Time](https://amzn.com/1589781317) In this game players have a hand of story elements(characters, events, characteristics, etc) and are trying to be the first one to empty their hands by incorporating all of their cards into the story they are telling. The stories must be interesting (the other players can vote to skip if they are forcing the story forward in order to play their cards) and other players can interrupt if the cards in their hand permit. It's a very collaborative game that allows players to build on each others' ideas even though they are trying to steer the story to their own desired conclusion.

[Spaceteam] (https://amzn.com/B018UUK63W) This cooperative game takes place in real-time, with all players playing simultaneously while a 5 minute timer ticks down. Players need to self-advocate to have other players (who are working on similar challenges) pass them the cards they need to repair the ship. In this game players will often shout over each other, and the game not-so-subtly reminds us that sometimes we need to self-advocate clearly in order to help others, and sometimes we must listen to help ourselves.

Those are just a few of the (maybe lesser known) games we play in groups. We also play some great standbys, Fluxx, Sentinels of the Multiverse, Codenemes, etc.

KabukiGhost7 karma

I've heard that you mentioned offering training opportunities. How far along are you in putting a training seminar together for others in helping professions and do you have a timeline when those of us with interest might be able to sign up? :-)

gametogrow6 karma

Davis here. We've done a few one-day trainings, but our longer training program is still in development. We're going to be putting it together as soon as our grant funding comes through, and as soon as we can focus on it with more of our time. The best advice I can give is to sign up for our newsletter. It'll be the first place we announce the new program. Thanks for your interest!

KabukiGhost5 karma

Thanks so much to you both for participating in this AMA. We've been following your efforts closely and are appreciative of your contributions to the field. Our hope we can somehow build on the good work you've done. Looking forward to meeting you, someday. If you're ever in Portland, we'd be happy to buy you both a beverage of your choice.

Tom___zz3 karma

A mug of soup from the Soup Kitchen?

gametogrow2 karma

Adam Johns has an insatiable thirst for soup.

Sickzaur7 karma

What are your favourite classes? Or are you forever DMs like me?

gametogrow7 karma

Davis here. I've always loved playing rogues. I grew up as a kid who was bullied for being overweight and sought refuge in playing characters who have dexterity and charisma. I played those characters in order to help myself see myself as someone I liked and wanted to be. It helped boost my confidence back then, and I still love those characters to this day. I still prefer snipers in most video games, and like smooth talking my way out of combat encounters.

We don't get to play as much as we used to, since we're running 5 weekly groups for our participants, but that tends to be where I end up. I'm playing a dwarf barbarian in a game right now, and it's fun to try something new, but I'lll always love my rogue monk 3.5 character I played a few years back.

TWIYTC6 karma

To both of y'all: what's an instance that really stood out to you where a player's behavior noticeably changed over the course of a session, i.e. They really started thinking outside the box or were able to progress in a therapeutic sense?

Also for Adam: living on the west coast, how hard is it to keep the true faith of the greatest NBA team in all the land, the San Antonio Spurs?

gametogrow21 karma

Johns here. Adam Davis just jumped up and ran around the room in excitement at your question. I'll let him answer the Spurs part of the question.

I think one of the best moments where I felt like I saw growth in a single session, was with a client who was really struggling with ADHD and impulsivity. He made a character and said directly, "My character struggles with impulsivity.

Him and the rest of the adventuring party were all brand new to each other and were only a couple of sessions into the game. While going through a dungeon they came across a room with a large troll of legend; who was captured and imprisoned. On the other side of the room was a large steel door with no handle, and on the wall were three unlabeled switches.

We designed the room with the idea that the players would need to talk with the troll (who would likely lie to them) and figure out which two switches would let him go, and which one would then open the the sealed door. However, once I introduced the puzzle the impulsive player said, "I run across the room and pull all three levers at once!"

No one had ever done that before. In an instant I had to decide if I should change the puzzle or I could let the group (and this player) learn from some mistakes. The troll ran across the room and grabbed the impulsive character, ready to eat him in one bite. Then I put down the DM screen and turned the remaining players, who were looking pretty angry at the choices of their teammate. I let them know that they could make a choice here. It wasn't the player who pulled those switches, it was the character. They would need to decide what their characters would do in response to that choice. They could leave their friend to get eaten by the massive troll, running into the next room while the troll was distracted. Or they could try to help, and risk that they too could be eaten. They talked it over and decided that their characters would stick around. Eventually the group of characters worked together re-imprisoned the troll and save their impulsive teammate.

At the end of that session we did our check out. The impulsive player said, "My character knows that she is impulsive, and that she needs help from the other characters to try and tone it down a little." Another player even said, "I'm really glad that they made that choice, because I also struggle with impulsivity, and it is hard. But that is why we're here."

Of course that player was still impulsive, but it drastically changed the way that he approached the game and the way that he continued to check and balance himself using the other players.

gametogrow8 karma

Davis here, re: the Spurs. Sometimes it's hard to watch games since I run groups in the evenings, but my faith doesn't waiver! I'm from San Antonio, so I've been rocking the black and silver for years. Nice catch!

megaria5 karma

This isn't really a therapeutic D&D specific question, but since you've said you do a lot of improv in your groups and have some drama background, any advice on getting more comfortable with improv as a DM? I'm comfortable with it when I only have to worry about my character's actions but I tend to blank when in the DM-seat. Is it just practice?

gametogrow6 karma

Practice, practice, practice!

The hard part about improvising as a dungeon master is the idea that you need to have everything planned in advance. There's really two main times to improvise, and they're very different. Sometimes you need to improvise with mechanics. The players want to do something you didn't expect, and you need to either go with the flow or redirect them. I forgot that one of my players could cast the spell "spider climb" and needed to figure out what to do when he could just climb into the window instead of knock on the door for my planned social encounter. Or maybe a combat is either too challenging or too easy, and you need to modify it in some way to make it more interesting. Both of those require a certain degree of comfort improvising with the mechanics, and that comes from knowing the game well, and having the trust of your players. Think like Picasso. He was able to do what he did as a painter because he was also an expert of traditional painting techniques and understood the rules of the craft so well he could be flexible and break all the rules intentionally. That's where the trust of your players comes in. If they don't trust you, they won't stop to admire the craft or give you the benefit of the doubt.

The other time you'll improvise is as an NPC talking to players. This is more more of a traditional "dramatic improv." You'll absolutely benefit from taking an improv class, but the basic cardinal rules of improv apply. The sort of catch-phrase of improv is "yes, and" but I prefer to explain it as "accept and expand." Most of the time when people blank, they've either forgotten to breathe, or they missed an offer. Try your best to first accept their ideas, redirecting them when necessary so they don't feel shut down, and do your best to expand on their ideas so they have more to respond to in kind. Sometimes I'll just, in character, essentially repeat or rephrase something they say, and then add something else on. Like "Oh, you want me to lower my prices, just because you are trying to save the world!? Humbug! I've saved the world lots of times, and you don't see me lookin' fer charity!" Now the players can see that I've made an offer (This shopkeep has saved the world?) And now they can respond with another "and"(Yeah right! Let's ask him about that.)

It also helps to get into a present-moment mindset. Adam Johns and I have a few warmups we do before sessions, where we make up a story together one word at a time. It helps us get into a playful, spontaneous mood, which is a fertile ground for good improv. Hope that helps!

Arkideon5 karma

Hi! How do you make your table's dynamic good if one of your clients may have a disruptive behaviour or disorder that can make it hard to play with him (like impulsive or Oppositional defiant disorder)? Also, if the table have a variety of people with diferent needs, how you adjust your game? PD: You are doing a great thing by the way!

gametogrow6 karma

Davis here. If we know we have some oppositional or combatative personalities at the table, we set out some rules ahead of the first session:

  • All players are heroes.

  • Players stay together and can't attack each other.

  • Nothing happens unless the GM says it happens.

Then we create a blacklist and a white list, sometimes referred to as lines and palettes, of things we absolutely won't have in our game, and some things we absolutely want in our game. Blacklist things often include obvious things like rape, torture, etc., but it's helpful for players to outline specific things they want to have or not have in the game. It let's you know their needs, and also allows you to assess for how willing they are to self-advocate. Whitelists are for things like "I want strong female characters," or "I'd like to see some planar travel." I've also included a grey list, which are things that the players aren't sure they want or not. Blacklists aren't up for debate, but grey lists are up for discussion. A player might say, "I think I'd like to say no to profanity."

Players will learn pretty quickly that combatativeness at the table slows down the game and ultimately doesn't serve the players. It's a great negative punishment for problematic behaviors, though the game master/facilitator needs to prompt, shape, and reward better behaviors if the player is going to improve. The trick is to address the underlying issue instead of the symptom. I mentioned in a previous thread, a player who is acting out at the table is probably doing so in an attempt to get a need met. Address the need, not the behavior.

Nyxiaus5 karma

Hi! I saw y'all last year at PAX south and I love this idea! I'm about to graduate as a masters level social worker and love the idea of play therapy with older kids!

My question is do you streamline any of the rules for younger players or keep them mostly the same? If you do change them what sort of modifications do you use :)

gametogrow6 karma

Johns here. Our youngest group was with a group of 9 and 10 year olds. We started the group playing Monty Cook's No Thank You Evil, which is a great game for kids to get introduced into the format. It worked great, but we found that the kids very quickly needed some more robust rules. We had one player who, before the quarter was over, had figured out exactly how to manipulate the system to get the best possible outcomes.

We have since just played 5e with that group, and they've taken to it very well. There are definitely more complex parts to 5e, but I have to say that I've been surprised at how well younger kids can pick it up and understand the necessary parts. It does help a lot that they have premade character sheets, so we can always point to where a skill is or where their attack or ability description is written down.

I think if I was going to run a much younger game (like 6 or 7 years old) then I would want a more streamlined system or might use No Thank You Evil. Otherwise I'd recommend simply using the normal rules, but be prepared to explain where things are, or roll simple checks instead of more complicated ones. Like a strength check instead of an athletics check.

Siuxia5 karma

This is awesome, I'm glad there are guys like you using out the box thinking to help people, especially using DnD.

My question is have you ever found an instance where an interaction or situation in game has had the opposite effect to the therapeutic intentions? How did you cope with it, i.e. completely steer away from it or confront head on?

gametogrow10 karma

Johns here. Many of our players come into our groups with pretty challenging behaviors. Most commonly we see challenges with limited skills on interacting with others. Many of our players basically only know how to threaten or attack an NPC, rather than trying other strategies.

This comes up so often that we've developed a lot of ways to redirect those behaviors. One of the most fun ones (that works best with our younger clients) is to never break character and assume that everything the player says is in character, too. So when the player says, "I attack him." I (still in my NPC's voice) say, "Attack who, I'm right here. If you really want to attack someone you should buy one of my fine weapons." Usually this turns into a big joke, and is great for diffusing the tension. It then gives them a chance to try another strategy to get along with the NPC.

Ultimately, our GMing styles are very improv heavy. So we are good at adapting to the situation to help encourage pro-social behaviors and discourage the anti-social ones. In the rare occasions that this isn't working (such as players that are overtly arguing with each other at the table so much that they aren't playing the game anymore) we will take the steps to put down the DM screen and talk about it as a group. The nice thing is that everyone who is there wants to play, so there is always the common goal of getting back to the game and having a good time to motivate them to work things out.

Misgunception5 karma

What sort of conditions do you find this kind of therapy to be the most beneficial for?

gametogrow9 karma

Davis here. Over the years, our main populations have been high-functioning autism, anxiety, depression, and ADHD. We haven't seen as many clients with PTSD or trauma histories, but we believe the model would also be very beneficial for those populations as well.

Our groups have mostly been focused on middle-school or high-school aged youth, mostly because this is a time when young people are identified as needing support—largely from teachers and parents. There is no reason they wouldn't be as beneficial for adults also struggling with similar challenges, and our hope is that expanding with Game to Grow will let us reach more people with those challenges, but also help us expand into helping with other challenges as well. We'd love to work in hospice, in treatment and correctional facilities, etc! I like to call our work "sit down drama therapy."

CalcetasAmarillas4 karma

Thanks for this AMA, It came at the best time possible. A friend and I are trying to start using D&D for therapy purposes in México and your work has been an inspiration.

What do you take into account when designing a session? (Even story wise)

What kind of considerations are taken during character creation?

What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Thanks again, keep up the great work and spreading the love.

gametogrow11 karma

Johns here. That is spectacular that you're starting a group in Mexico. Definitely shoot us an email and let us know how things progress.

When we're designing a session we think largely about three things. First what the group needs, do they need a combat, a social challenge, a puzzle, or possibly just a chance to roleplay with each other's characters? Second, we think about the specific goals of each individual. Largely our players are struggling through some very similar challenges. So many of our interventions work for everyone in the group at the same time, but sometimes there are specific challenges that we need to address or highlight for an individual. Lastly, we look at story line. We want the story to make sense from piece to piece and generally have a start, conflict, and resolution.

We use pre-made characters for our players who are new to D&D to help them get started playing right away. We do ask questions to help them select the character from the list of pre-made characters, and then a few more questions to help them build a little bit of background. We like to ask, "Is your character from a big city or a small town?" Followed by, "What is the city/town that you're from well known for?" Then, importantly, "You left your town or city to become an adventurer, what caused you to leave?" This gives a great chance to think about your character and motivation in a couple of very quick answers, as well as give the GM a chance to understand how well you handle both open ended questions and close ended decision making.

African or European Swallow?

SashaNightWing4 karma

What kind of advice do you give to your first time players? i know for me i have always wanted to get into the game but haven't felt like i would know the protocol for it. I don't want to upset somebody by doing/saying something wrong or at the wrong time.

gametogrow5 karma

Davis here:

We have lots of first time players in our groups, and we have lots of tools to help them get started. The best advice I have is to not try to understand everything before you play for the first time. We teach our new players as we go, because there are so many rules to DnD, and we'd spend way too much time answering specific questions that don't ultimately matter. We use pre-made characters, and I'd suggest you get a pre-made character for your first session as well. I'd recommend you look up a local game store that offers Adventurer's League, which is the organized play through Wizards of the Coast. I'd go for a session to check it out, and let the game master know you're a first time player. If they're worth their salt (and most AL GMs are), they'll help you get involved.

Don't worry about upsetting people. There really isn't much you could do that is "wrong" in the first place You might not understand the rules, but you shouldn't be expected to on your first session! If you want to do something in game, ask your game master what it would take to do it. They'll help guide you.

Fellows234 karma

As someone who is very new to the D&D scene, I've found that podcasts and some YouTube videos/series are great ways to become familiar with the game.

Do you guys have any favorites? (Shout out to the Adventure Zone)

gametogrow5 karma

Johns here. NOOO! You already stole my favorite one! I am totally a fan of The Adventure Zone. Someday I want to convince those guys to have us on as some ridiculous NPC guests.

I don't get as much time as I'd like to follow other pocasts or streamers. I still haven't watched much Critical Role, and I hear that I should. I've started to watch the C-Team, which I find pretty fun. I've also listened to a little of Friends at the Table. I also always go to the live Acquisitions Inc games at PAX West every year.

Ultimately, I'd say that it is actually really hard to get a good idea of what playing is like by watching or listening to streams. Especially the ones designed for entertainment value. I love those, but there is a different experience when you're playing or GMing than when you're watching something. I'd say that your best bet would be to sit in on a game at a local game shop, or start playing an intro campaign with some patient friends. Ultimately, your own inside jokes and experiences will always be more rewarding and will stick with you longer.

PS -- You solved my "ask a question including The Adventure Zone" Puzzle!

LanternMoth4 karma

This is awesome Adams!! What’s your favorite therapy gaming moment ? Both answer please! From a British OT in Denver who is a big fan.

gametogrow11 karma

Davis here. One of my favorite sort of recent ones (I've told some other stories in other threads above) is one where the players needed to get the help of a dracolich to help them defeat the plants that were taking over the continent. The players needed to find out how this dracolich (the last remaining of its kind) had defeated the plants before, ending the "Age of Green' to usher in the "Age of Dragons" centuries before.

This dracolich was reticent to offer help to some fleshy adventurers, asking the players, "Why should I help to save a world in which I am the last of my kind? I have no family, no kin. I am alone."

I had created this dracolich to be a hard bargainer, one that would have the players have to deal with someone resistant. To my surprise, one of the players who himself was struggling with isolation and depression, responded to the dracolich by saying, "That sounds like me. I also have no friends, and I feel alone a lot. It's really hard." Suddenly the dracolich became a sympathetic character, who struggled with his isolation too. The players normalized his feelings, and helped this newly sympathetic dracolich corrupt a nest of dragon eggs to make a new generation of dracoliches—his new family.

When I asked this player at the end of the session to reflect on his experience, he said, "I never expected to have empathy with a dracolich."

It's a story that still brings a tear to my eye.

gametogrow8 karma

Johns here. I suppose one of my favorite moments was actually one that we rarely tell the story of. I'll make an attempt at it here:

I was working with a player both in groups and individual therapy. This client struggled with a lot of anxiety and had a lot of difficulty roleplaying in character. He really wanted everything that his character said to be perfect and sound exactly how he wanted it to sound, and so he often became frozen with anxiety and fear that it wouldn't turn out how he wanted when given the opportunity to speak as his character.

He was playing a military leader character, who was rallying an army to fight against his previous military command, who had been corrupted. What I wanted him to do was to map out his speech and then give the speech to the room as if he was his character rallying those troops. However, that was a little too much for him. Instead, the group as a whole helped him create a few important points to his speech and we wrote them on the board. Then I acted as his character. He described how I should stand, what my voice should sound like, and what kind of cadence I should have in my speech. Then I read out the lines that he had constructed and described the armies reactions. They cheered him on through his character.

It was a tense moment that felt especially uplifting and I could see him really appreciating the opportunity to picture his character and all of the strength of presence that he really struggles to have in his life. It was especially amazing to have the whole group on board and supporting this player as he helps to rally their armor to their cause.

That player has since gotten a lot more comfortable roleplaying as his characters, but I think that was a great turning point for him and it always really stuck with me.

Outlas3 karma

Which group does better in your D&D sessions: patients with autism-related confidence/anxiety/social skills issues, or patients with non-autism-related confidence/anxiety/social skills issues?

Related question: which of those groups gains more from the D&D sessions?

Another related question: is the answer any different when you use other kinds of games than D&D?

gametogrow4 karma

Johns here. These questions are super interesting. I'm not sure that there is a great distinction in effectiveness between the two groups. One thing that our model does really well is open up flexibility and build frustration tolerance for many players that struggle with those ideas. These are both skills that individuals with autism related challenges struggle with greatly. However, the game also provides opportunities for open ended play and creative problem solving, which I'd say both groups really struggle with. I think that the thing that makes role-playing games so effective is that their clear and outlined structure makes it very approachable for those on the autism spectrum, but the opportunity for playing a character and telling stories makes it very appealing for all players, old and young.

Ultimately the advantage, especially in how we facilitate the groups, is that you can approach the games with extremely different levels of social skill or challenge and still both contribute to the game and group, and have a great time that encourages you to continue to want to be social. We can have one player who can barely speak up at all from lack of social confidence, and another one who won't stop talking. Our group gives them both a chance to work on important skills, from very different directions, at the same time.

I will say that some of that is slightly different with other games. When we pick board and card games for our groups we need to keep in mind what kind of specific challenges each player may have with the game. Some players on the spectrum do not do well with competition heavy games, or games that demand significant flexibility. I wouldn't say that they benefit less from gaming, but the games that you pick need to be more intentionally selected.

Morvick3 karma

Do you think there are populations where this form of therapy/group is contraindicated?

What typical "D&D" things have you found it is wise to avoid, such as perhaps character death, very evil BBEGs, or complex puzzles? Or is it all fair game in the spirit of producing a challenge to overcome?

gametogrow5 karma

Johns here. Adam Davis and I have specifically worked with social skill development, which has limited our scope of diagnosis and challenges that we've worked with directly. Likely this kind of therapy could be used with a much wider scope of challenges than just the clients that we've seen.

That being said, there is one challenge/population that we have had a lot of hesitancy working with. That is Schizophrenia or anyone having difficulty telling the difference between fantasy and reality. I wouldn't go so far as to say that roleplaying games wouldn't work with that population, but that we have specifically avoided those challenges due to the risks that it might bring up. The work we do often involves descriptions of swinging swords, shooting bows, and sometimes descriptions of violence. Our clients know the difference between the application of these descriptions and imagination in our game and in real life. For someone with Schizophrenia that might be a much greater challenge.

Aside from that, we do set some rules for our groups. Our players are always heroes (good guys) and they aren't allowed to split the party. Beyond that we let groups set some of their own rules based on their age and developmental level. In our younger groups we have significantly less violence description and more "classic" evil villains. In our older teen groups we will often deal with much more serious moral questions, torture, or deeper character conflict.

Lastly, we do try to avoid player character death unless the player is clearing taking risks that require a very strong boundary line. Usually it is better to provide in game punishments that don't end the story of their character (like losing a hand or getting imprisoned).

kingoftheconnors3 karma

Ever have to deal with a player wanting to be an evil character? If so how do you deal with them?

gametogrow10 karma

Davis here. We often have players that want to be "evil." I've never particularly liked the alignment system anyway, so I normally respond by saying "what are you hoping to get out of your game by being 'evil?'" If they want to wander the countryside indiscriminately killing civilians, I let them know that despite alignment, they must be heroes who are on a team with other heroes, and heroes don't indiscriminately kill innocent people. If players want to be "assassins" or some other more "dark" backstory, I'm alright with that, as long as they agree that their goal is to work on a team of heroes in spite of their dark past. I guide them toward examples of characters who sometimes do hard things for the right reason, or sometimes characters like Han Solo (WHO SHOT FIRST).

I also encourage them to go on journeys of redemption. I've had many players play necromancers, assassins, lone thieves, etc., and that's the right character for them to play to get therapeutic benefit. I then guide their characters (and thus the player) on a redemptive journey of mutual growth.

kingoftheconnors2 karma

I also don't like the allaignment system, for only sith speak in absolutes. Thank you very much for your eloquently worded and thorough response.

If you had a particularly troublesome player (with a semi troubled past), one that does odd almost idiotic things in character, such as pick a fight with prison guards (while a prisoner), or push another player out of a boat into monster infested waters for a petty reason, and you've tried talking to them about consequences and not being a sporadic jerk, but seem to fall on deaf ears, how would you, as a DM, react?

gametogrow5 karma

I tell my players that nothing happens in the game without me verifying it. Players sometimes try to attack each other, or steal from each other, and I don't allow it, aside from possibly very rare scenarios. I often do allow for consequences of actions. A player who picks a fight with a guard will be attacked. I won't go into initiative for combat, but may have him stabbed or hit with a rod of shocking grasp (basically a cattle-prod). Sometimes I'll give consequences of reckless behavior like: "You stay in prison for 5 years. We're going to fast forward to your release date." Killing a character they don't care about doesn't provide any sort of meaningful punishment for behaviors, and it certainly won't prompt new better behaviors. Often players are engaging in those behaviors out of a need to feel powerful. They're trying to control the narrative of the game, and this may be a signal that there need to be other ways to help them feel powerful. Maybe they need a more challenging combat, where they can feel impressive? Maybe they need a sycophantic NPC that absolutely adores them and everything they do? Try some things like that to aim at the origin of their behaviors, not the behaviors themselves.

scoobydoom23 karma

Alright, so as a DM I'm a bit curious, what do you do differently when designing sessions/campaigns/worlds for therapeutic purposes as opposed to how you would design them for a home game?

gametogrow5 karma

Johns here. I think that most of what makes our games different than a home game is the way that we go about our planning. We do have a distinct GMing style that benefits our players in a specific way. We are very intuitive in our gaming style and use a lot of improv in our gaming sessions to react to our players in the moment.

But the thing that really turns this into therapy is the thought process behind the planning and each reaction that we have as game masters. We aren't just thinking about what would be fun or what the character might do in the game. We want to think about how the player relates to their character and, through their character, what would help the player build skills or find personal insights. Often that process is fun, though sometimes it is a real challenge for the player, and requires them to step outside of their comfort level and face a challenge so that they can be successful.

The way that I like to describe it is that it is just like going to therapy vs having a good friend. I can get a lot of benefit out of having a conversation with my good friends, and I get some of those same benefits when I go and speak with a therapist. What the therapist gives me that my good friend might not are the moments where they thoughtfully guide me to an insight, or offer me a contradiction that helps me grow in a very targeted and direct way. That is what we do in our games, as well.

gametogrow3 karma

Davis here. We know our players well, and know their specific areas of growth. We definitely design our campaigns and worlds to be fun like they would be in a home game, but also do our best to build scenarios in the campaign that target their real-world areas of growth. A player who is working on flexibility or frustration tolerance will benefit from an encounter that allows them to be successful in working on these skills, like creatively figuring out how to escape a room that is slowly filling up with lava. A player working on self-advocacy will benefit from having his character stick up fro himself or rally a group of soldiers.

toriloveamaya3 karma

Hi guys! I just got linked here by a friend that I had brought up the possibility of using dnd as therapy after helping him design a dungeon. Do you incorporate any CBT, or REBT concepts into your work/the game?

Also I am a junior in undergrad studying psychology would you guys be interested in having a summer intern?

gametogrow6 karma

Johns here. We will occasionally use some behavioral techniques in our groups, though generally we like to use a model that focuses more on building an intrinsic appreciation for socializing.

One example that we've used in the past is that, for especially energetic ADHD players, we've used classic marble jar teaching techniques for when they are redirected appropriately in the game. The way that this is usually done is that you put a marble in a jar when the player needs to be redirected to focus back on the game, and if there are fewer marbles than the previous session, they get a reward of some kind (extra inspiration, gold, etc.). What we did that was slightly different was to make this a group activity. Where the group is rewarded with a marble not for the person refocusing, but for appropriately responding to that person to help them focus. In other words, the energetic player would get off track, and another player could gently remind them what is going on in the game to put them back on track. This way it was about the group working together to respond to disruption rather than making it only the goal of the individual player.

Ultimately, I believe that there are lots of benefits to behavioral models, and use them often in my private practice, but I also believe that building social skills is about finding reasons to want to come back to social groups again and again. Then using those experiences to learn how to be social more effectively. Tabletop RPGs work well for this, because the same skills that make you effective in social situations with others, help you to be a more effective gamer and do better in the game.

We aren't quite at the point where we need volunteers, but make sure that you shoot us an email as we get closer to the summer. If we have a space for you to help out we'll let you know!

DreadClericWesley3 karma

Hey, guys, thanks for sharing.

As DMs with an ulterior motive, i.e. therapeutic goals, how do you balance story vs. therapy? Do you start with a story arc and then fit specific goals for each client into that narrative or do you start with your therapeutic goals as waypoints and design the story to hit those markers?

Then, how do you connect the dots for your clients? Do you follow up each game session with a debriefing to connect it to their real life needs or do you interrupt the game to show those connections or do you just let the client ruminate over how the game went and find that application intuitively?

What do you do when the PCs derail your plot? If a plot point is connected to a therapeutic goal or life skill, but the PCs go off the rails, do you guide them back to that point or just go with the flow and reintroduce that goal in a later session?

I guess my main question is how to balance the desired outcomes with the open-ended freedom of play. Does the game provide random teachable moments for building life skills or does the curriculum set the agenda for the game?

Thanks again.

gametogrow2 karma

Johns here. Ultimately, there is a definitely balancing act that we're playing between those two ideas. If the game isn't fun or starts getting a little too therapeutically heavy handed many of our players will start resisting. Most of them have had social challenges for a long time before coming to our group, and have been in therapy most of their lives. They can smell therapy from a mile away and will lean back on their heels if there is too much of it.

Most of the time our methods for planning the groups are to come up with some challenges that can be come about in an open ended way. An example of this might be that they need to find an expert on an ancient culture in order to find the ruins where the big bad guy has set up shop. I originally planned for the expert to be at the library, but the players decide instead that they want to go wandering around the town. I can move my NPC or completely redesign him as the general store shopkeeper who is an amateur anthropologist in his spare time so that my players can find the right direction.

We definitely have some players that want to go off the rails from the story line. Often we'll let this happen, or us it as an opportunity to understand what the player wants out of the game. If they aren't interested in the story that we've provided, perhaps that means that we haven't figured out what this player or character would be motivated by. Maybe we set a sizable gold reward as motivation, but what this player really wants is interacting with strange creatures. In that case maybe we can give them both, and change our story to be about a society of Xorn living on the material plane that need their help.* It is about thinking about the players and what it is that they are really trying to get out of the game.

*PS This is an amazing idea that I just came up with as an example but I totally want to use it in a game now.

tomedunn2 karma

When running DnD as therapy, are there particular formats (e.g., one-shot adventures or longer campaigns) and adventure types (e.g., mysteries, quests, or open world) that you tend to gravitate towards or find most effective?

gametogrow4 karma

Davis here. Our games are all longer campaigns, most of which are quests. Our therapeutic model is largely built on the relationship a player has with their character, and their reciprocal challenges/strengths, so a longer series is better to build this relationship to the point of therapeutic potential. We incorporate a lot of drama and narrative therapy, so the story elements need to be compelling. A quest tends to have the most hooks, and because our sessions are only 90 minutes long, we have to have a certain amount of focus on specific plot outcomes to move the story forward. We're not fully railroading our players, but we do have a pretty good idea of what specific plot points the characters are aiming at.

That being said, we do a fair amount of collaborative world-building with our players, and let them do some exploring in it, but most often with a specific goal or outcome planned for the session.

BK-20l2 karma

Favorite Twice member?

gametogrow3 karma


KuronekoFan2 karma

What are the most fun quests you've DM'd?

gametogrow6 karma

Davis here. We've told a few stories in other threads, but in general, the most fun I have is when we create the world together with our players. We'll create a map of the area together, passing around a piece of paper and taking turns adding geographic features. Then we'll name things one letter at a time. This let us create a dynamic world together that has some great hooks for their interest.

Once we created a map that had a "retirement home for the magically abled." The party went there to find the fabled sorceress Ravidova, but ended up just meeting a bunch of old wizards to play bingo with. Later on they discovered that one of those wizards, Binor, who they thought was just a kooky old man, was actually a powerful wizard who had defeated the ancient evil spider god Hämähäkki. The party needed to save him when he was kidnapped, then eventually used his help to prevent Hämähäkki's return.

The next adventure began at Binor and Ravidova's wedding, which was attacked by Githyanki assassins. A little collaborative world-building hook can go a long way!

Morvick2 karma

I'm gearing up to begin my MSW in the summer, and have a deep love of games, fantasy, and "building people up" through what social work I've done so far.

For the fledgling DM and the somewhat-untested Clinician, how would you advise replicating your program? Have area agencies been receptive, or do you connect through schools? What kind of experience have you found the most useful, or even what therapeutic philosophies (like Family Systems Theory) do you employ the most (such as NPCs and BBEGs standing as representations of maladaptive coping mechanisms)?

I have more questions, and overall an enthusiasm for this topic, so don't limit your answers if you have something else to share. This may even be my thesis of choice, when the day comes.

gametogrow6 karma

The advice that we have, especially once you're trained, is to get started.

We haven't worked specifically in agencies or schools, but have received many referrals from them. It's important when speaking with them to speak their language. It helps that our team has both a trained therapist and a trained educator on it, so we can speak both the language of therapists and the language of teachers.

As for theories, we take a considerable amount of our approach from drama therapy, but are also heavily influenced by narrative therapy, systems theories, developmental psychology, and play therapy. I've had some additional DBT training that has been influential as well. Our model relies on building and reflecting on the relationship between a player and their character. We incorporate a minimal amount of behaviorism, but mostly use an interpersonal approach.

We've helped many students with their theses or dissertations, so feel free to reach out when that time comes!

Lord_Emperor2 karma

Since 2011 we’ve been running therapeutic groups using Dungeons and Dragons and other games to help teens and adolescents build confidence, relieve anxiety, and develop social skills. Many of our participants struggle with autism-related challenges, and we’ve found that games of all kinds, but especially Dungeons and Dragons, can help them build much-needed skills.

Do people who are not in any of these groups, but still feel some level of social anxiety or difficulty interacting with people also join your sessions? If so have they experienced a similar level of success?

gametogrow3 karma

Johns here. We don't actually require a diagnosis for our groups. We like to describe our players as having "lagging social skills." Meaning that they just having yet had a chance to develop or practice some skills that may be more useful to them now or in the future.

Many of our clients come in with some difficulty interacting with others or minor social anxiety. We find that the opportunity to play a character who is different from you in some ways, but similar in others, gives a great chance to try out other strategies and work on building different perspectives. Having practiced those skills you build self-confidence and are able to take the successes of your character into the other parts of your life.

We have seen some great success with clients who are simply a little anxious or a little shy. Most often those are the clients that stick around for a couple of quarters and then move on, having found the opportunity to grow through the game and then feeling more ready to practice those same skills in more real life situations. We're always happy to have helped in that process.

Daihatschi2 karma


please don't take my question personal or think it's meant to attack you.

But I'm wondering what differentiates your project from a scam? (Okay ... non-profit kinda answers itself) How does paying for your services create a different experience than what Hobbyists do all around the world?

What does a "patient"/"customer" (which one is the more correct?) get that he couldn't from playing with Game Masters without your degrees?

While gametogrow.org looks nice and I can absolutely get behind the idea, I feel it doesn't really explain what you do outside of just being a "friendly, neighborhood GM which you pay to play".

gametogrow3 karma

Davis here. We don't take it personally. It's a great question, and you're not the first to ask it.

We're not shy about the fact that RPGs have the inherent potential to benefit everyone. Any good supportive game master can help their players grow. What we provide is one step further. Adam Johns answered nicely in a previous thread:

it is just like going to therapy vs having a good friend. I can get a lot of benefit out of having a conversation with my good friends, and I get some of those same benefits when I go and speak with a therapist. What the therapist gives me that my good friend might not are the moments where they thoughtfully guide me to an insight, or offer me a contradiction that helps me grow in a very targeted and direct way. That is what we do in our games, as well..

PapaSteel2 karma

Hey, guys! This is incredible work, and I've always been a big supporter that D&D can be wonderfully therapeutic.

But as a GM, I like to create high-risk games where death, or loss, or sadness can be possible. Is there an easy way to balance this with the safe space mentality, or are the games you run extremely lighthearted?

gametogrow3 karma

Davis here. We do a fair amount of both, because a good game needs both. Some players aren't ready to experience the more complex or rich plot elements of sadness and loss. They're focusing more on teamwork and collaboration. Their positive outcomes are more tied to the positive benefits of working alongside others towards a common goal.

We do, depending on the players, incorporate serious themes, including death, loss, and sadness, into the campaigns. The trick is to balance them against lighthearted content. The book Hamlet's Hitpoints provides some great insights into how to track the story beats.

Even if the group deals with tough themes or issues, it should still always be safe. Safe doesn't mean free from challenge, it means free from judgment, criticism, and personal attacks.

zzelinski12 karma

why this field of work? at the end of the day, do you feel like you’ve made a positive impact?

gametogrow3 karma

Johns here. This is a great question. Ultimately I don't know that I chose this field of work as much as it chose me (oh man, that sounds so stupidly corny when I write it down). What I mean is that I started playing RPGs when I was around 8 or 9. I did not ever see it as a career or a possible job skill. Even when I was playing in college while pursuing a degree in Psychology I never really saw it as much more than a hobby. In Grad school I lucked into a group where we started using these games with a difficult population, and it wasn't until that moment that I realized that I could do something with it.

I never could have imagined that I would be spending my evenings playing D&D to help people. There are days when it is hard or when running a nonprofit is less than rewarding, but the days that it isn't make all of the difference. I know that our groups make a big difference in the lives of our players. I can watch them walk away from the game with excitement, watch them exchange phone numbers with each other, and see them telling stories of their many adventures together.

I can't say that I've made a positive impact on the world as a whole yet, but I'll keep at it. Ask me again in 10 years. ;)

DoctorFacepunch2 karma

I've been thinking of using D&D to help bolster my son's confidence when he gets a little older. Are there any particular techniques you've found work best for that?

gametogrow6 karma

Davis here! Yes! There's a technique we use specifically for this. As the game master, you have the power to use the second and third pronouns when facilitating the game. So if his character does something cool, impactful, important, etc., you can look at him and say, "Wow, you just did something amazing. How do you feel about that?" Conversely, if his character struggles with something, you can use the third person to increase distance. "Your character just missed with his sword. What would you like for him to do next?"

Pronouns are a powerful way to create distance/closeness with characters, and it's an incredible tool to get perspective on challenges and internalize successes.

throwawarty2 karma

Hey! I run a nonprofit called Gamers United Foundation, and I would love to integrate something very similar into our program. I'm a HUGE fan of DnD and I love the entire idea behind your nonprofit.

Is there any tips and suggestions you'd give to setting things up? I know we are pretty far away from each other but would you be interested in collaborating? Or I'd love to help if possible!

gametogrow2 karma

Johns here. Your organization looks awesome! We would love to figure out a way to collaborate in the future. We're still in process with our 501(c)(3) application, but you should feel free to shoot us an email at contact at gametogrow.org and we'll see if we can find a way to best collaborate. At the very least we'd love to help you get in touch with other similar resources.

Thank you for contributing in such an impactful way to the message that games can be good for you!

adamalive2 karma

What ate you Education backgrounds?

gametogrow3 karma

Johns here. I have a Masters in Couple and Family Therapy from Antioch University Seattle. I am also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice in Kirkland (greater Seattle area). In private practice I specialize in seeing Geeks and Gamers in therapy.

Adam Davis has his Masters in Education with a focus and specialty in Drama Therapy also from Antioch University Seattle. He was a teacher in the Seattle Public School District and has been a freelance Drama teacher for many years. He is, also, currently working with the Atlantic Street Center in Seattle to help develop curriculum for the CORE Gaming Program, originally created by Wilder Heath. CORE is using video games to help develop DBT skills in kids and teens around the Seattle area.

Swarrel1 karma

How can I get involved? Do you have anything going on near Dallas,TX or a way I can get involved online? Love to help!

gametogrow3 karma

Johns here. Right now we don't have a lot of volunteer opportunities, but a lot of the work that we do is about spreading the word of how games of all kinds can be good for you. We want to encourage everyone to keep the conversation going on social media and when talking with others about the benefits of games. If you have felt that games (especially tabletop role-playing games) have helped you in this way, share your story with others.

Additionally, keep an eye out on our website. Subscribe to the newsletter so you can keep an eye out as we expand. We'd love to eventually help sponsor or encourage groups to open in other locations. As we do we'll need the support of everyone to help get those off the ground.

bigattichouse1 karma

Would you be interested in a team up with small for-profit press?

I'm Mike from http://limitless-adventures.com/ We've done some product gifting for counseling groups in the past (PTSD and Autism mainly) on /r/dnd and /r/dndnext , Could you PM me - we'd like to partner with you, see if there's something we could provide for your groups to use to help ease the weekly creation of content (or more targeted material)

gametogrow2 karma

Johns here. Mike! We would love to talk with you about some of your stuff. Our story lines and challenges are all designed by us in house, but we'd love to figure out if there is a good way for us to collaborate or to use some of your materials as supplemental in our groups. I'll shoot you a PM so we can open up some conversation on that end.

WolfyTAD-1 karma

Are you a tits or an ass man?

gametogrow12 karma

Choice between titans or assassins? Tough choice, but as Titan is not a real class, I think I'll go assassins. Poisons are just too good.