1 – Progress doesn’t show immediately.
In Dungeons and Dragons, the experience you gain accumulates and, once in a while, you level up: you get more powerful, learn new skills, etc. It’s the same for almost anything you learn.
There will always be a time when you feel like you’re stagnating. You’re not, unless you’re doing nothing; you’re accumulating experience and will level-up eventually. You just have to be patient and find the right challenges for your level. A challenge too formidable might kill your character (or your motivation); one too humble will be a waste of time.
2 – Sometimes the dice won’t roll your way and there’s no higher meaning to it.
No, the DM (or God) doesn’t hate you. It’s probability. A car accident is a probability; a disease is a probability; being hired is a probability. You can and should do your best so as to put the probabilities in your favour, but a 0,01% probability is still an existing one; a 90% probability isn’t a certainty. All of us get our fair share of fumbles. Don’t worry, in the long run, we get an almost equal amount of critical hits.
Also: Even level 20 characters can get a fumble. It doesn’t mean they’re any less worthy of their level.
3 – Alone, you’re vulnerable.
There was that strong half-orc warrior that got killed by one of the smallest creatures in the bestiary: it got on his back and he was unable to fight against it, dying a slow death. Had he not left the party alone, any accompanying member would have been able to save him. But he thought there was no need for that.
It’s easy for people considering themselves “strong” to think they can do everything on their own. But all of us have our kryptonite. Besides, it’s so much more fun to share experiences with people.
4 – You’ll encounter bosses once in a while.
Sometimes they’ll almost kill you. Sometimes you’ll fall and your companions will save you. Sometimes you companions wil fall and you’ll save them. Sometimes, too, one playing character will die and there’s nothing you could have done differently to save them. But even then… the rest of the party has to keep moving forward.
It’s really just like life. You can get knocked down and it doesn’t mean you’re weak. The characters most at risk of falling during a fight tend to be those with the highest armour class and constitution – in other words, the most resilient. They take all the hits to protect other characters who could not endure them. Which brings us to…
5 – Diversity is essential.
While the tank takes most of the damage, the mage, for her part, deals most of the damage. The healer cast protection spells on the party and keeps everybody alive. The thief is especially useful outside of encounters as a stealthy vanguard, lock picker or trap detector.
All those characters don’t necessarily get along, but they understand the value of having different skills and point of views in the party.
Centaur made using hopeso 009’s technique.
It’s good to have contacts with people whose personality or culture is different from yours. Sometimes, problems that seem impossible for you to solve seem simple in their eyes.
Diversity is precious and we must embrace it.